Playoff Post #1: What the Balls, Buffalo?
The last two games of this series have been painful to watch (or if you’re me, painful to watch part of only to get dragged away by a prior commitment). It’s not even like we’re getting outplayed that badly. That is the kicker (at least to me). Last game we actually out shot the Bruins 33-29.
For me, Sabres hockey this season is simple. Hit the corners hard, make a couple passes, throw the puck on net, win the small battles, scrounge for rebounds and put the puck away. The only part of that entire equation that happened on Monday was hitting the corners. It seemed to me we beat the Bruins to the corner every play. Our depth guys are keeping this team alive because, well, they do what they’re supposed to do. They crash the net. The out work the opponent down low, they hit the corners hard, THEY MAKE THE SIMPLE PLAY.
Our only goal last game came on what looked to me like a simple play. Raffi Torres fed Mike Grier the puck on a simple through pass in the offensive zone. Grier threw the puck on net and right past Tukka Rask. Minor celebrations ensued. That was it for scoring though. The rest of the night saw the Sabres win puck battles in the offensive zone only to give up the puck later in the play. The Bruins D is collapsing on the puck carrier. What I mean is that two guys on defense are attacking one guy on offense. For those who aren’t so good with math that leaves someone on offense open every play.
Pass the puck to the open man and then shoot it. I know, I know… It’s the age old story. Ya know, that one guy who yells shoot when the puck is in the offensive zone. But on Monday night that really needed to happen. It’s alright to occasionally make the pretty play. Every now and then a forced play that is broken up is acceptable. However, that being said, every play can’t be a forced play. If a pass isn’t there don’t try it. I watched the puck get coughed up by our offense way too much last game. That can’t happen this game. Knowing Lindy, it won’t.
Cody McCormick has been called up from (the now golfing) Portland Pirates to add some beef to this bunch of sissies that call themselves a hockey team. I’m usually not for the offensive power forward but it is needed tonight. Seriously, I’m 6’0 and weigh 135 but I swear to you I could probably throw a better check those that I saw on Monday (I’m being a bit hyperbolic but still, you get the point). McCormick is 27 years old as of 4 days ago and has around 160 games of NHL experience. Needless to say, he is going to be hungry for ice time. Think Matt Ellis but gifted with a large frame and less wind.
Johnny Boychuck better be the first person on the Cody McCormick “To Do” list. The man needs to be dealt with. He can’t go around skating all willy-nilly thinking he can do whatever he wants. Hacking legs, laying massive open ice hits, causing trouble. Who does he think he is, Scott Stevens? Well he isn’t. And McCormick better prove it tonight. Oh and did I mention that McCormick lead Portland in penalty minutes this season? Well, he did. And I’m okay with that.
In conclusion, Tim Kennedy should never be allowed to go into the corners in the defensive zone ever again. I mean, sure I like to see someone backcheck but the poor guy got hung out to dry.
Alright, that is all for now. The game is on at 7:00 on VS. So, there ya go Katebits, you get HD.
Until next time…