Sabres vs. Capitals: Period 1 Analysis
So I forgot to write a game preview today. Sue me. Well don’t, actually. That wouldn’t be very nice. To make up for this, I have decided to break down each period after said period has occurred. For the sake of time, let’s get down to business.
What we’re doing well:
Ryan Miller: Millsy has been able to stop 13 out of 15 shots. That’s not bad considering most of those chances were very high opportunity shots. Alex Semin would have at least two goals if it wasn’t for the solid play of Mr. Miller. If he can continue to stay solid, I’m sure the Sabres will be able to put one past Neuvirth.
And that’s really all that went well last period. We kicked it in to damage control after the second goal but that won’t cut it.
What we (really) need to improve:
Shots: We need to take better shots. Not more shots, but better ones. I try to pride myself on not being the guy that yells shoot during every single power play. A low opportunity shot is likely to get blocked and those usually result in turnovers and odd man rushes back the other way. It’s not a good idea to force the perfect play. The Sabres need to stop worrying about being fancy and just settle down and get GOOD pucks on the net. When cycling the puck they need to put it through the middle (to the guy in the slot) and try to get some shots closer in. Michael Neuvirth has played 8 career games. 8. We really need to pepper this guy with shots ON goal, not shots AT the goal. The Sabres only had 4 shots hit the net in the entire period. That’s not acceptable. Shots equal goals. It’s basic math.
Defense: The defense just needs to step it up. Plain and simple. Miller can only do so much (and much he has done). If the Sabres can settle down the game and not allow the Capitals to keep their high intensity of play, they will be fine. There is no reason we can’t dominate this team. Especially tonight on the road. If the Defense does their job, we will be fine.
This game provides an opportunity to gain an even greater lead in the Northeast over the Bruins. Only time will tell.
See you after the second period!