Almost Immediate Reactions- Game 2
The Sabres entered Game 2 with a 1-0 series lead on the Flyers and were looking to leave the City of Brotherly Love with a stranglehold on the series. Thanks to 6 goals in 13 minutes of action, the game was tied at 3 after 20 minutes. However, a parade of blue and gold to the penalty box, the Flyers were able to score two goals and never relinquish the lead again. And despite a Cody McCormick third period goal, this series goes back to the 716 tied at 1. Game 3 is Monday night at the friendly confines of HSBC Arena.
-Teams that take 13 penalties in a game, no matter how many you kill off, will not win playoff games.
-I said in my last game wrap up that if Thomas Vanek gets more than 13:28 of ice time, he’ll be able to perform. Well look at his stats today. 2 goals in 16:48 of ice time. Not a big increase, but an increase nonetheless. It’s now time for Brad Boyes and Nathan Gerbe (12:03 and 6:30 respectively) to get more playing time.
-I’ll make another post out of this later on, but it still angers me to see Danny Briere in an orange jersey. I think it’ll do this until he retires or plays for a team I don’t directly despise.
-The second period was the worst period I’ve seen since the Nashville game in which the team blew a 2 goal lead and lost in overtime. They just paraded to the penalty box. Once they killed one off, another one went back. It meant that our playmakers (Vanek, Ennis, Gerbe) couldn’t get to play a lot at all, and that meant we couldn’t score or set up our offensive attack. The good news is that our PK kept us in it for the majority of the game, as well as Ryan Miller standing on his head again.
-Steve Montador played extremely bad in game 1, and he did a complete 180 in game 2. He won’t show up on the score sheet with any points, but he significantly elevated his play in this game. He was especially helpful on the penalty kill, just lifting the puck down the ice and giving the team time to change up the lines. He’s a big reason we killed off 9 of 10 penalties.
Stat I Liked: The Flyers were 1-10 on the powerplay, and are now 2-15 through two games. That’s disgusting. Give credit to Ryan Miller for standing on his head and the PK units for the Sabres who keep foiling the Flyers’ attempts.
Stat I Disliked: 13 individual penalties. That’s disgusting. That’s wrong. That’s undisciplined. That’s horrible.
Game Puck: Thomas Vanek: 2 goals. That’s how you respond after not playing much in game 1.
Lindy’s Doghouse: Gaustad, Gerbe, Sekera, Kaleta, Myers, Pominville and Montador. All of whom took at least one of the 13 penalties. See the reoccurring theme here?
A final note- all is not lost. It’s one game, and it ensures a 5th game in the series. I didn’t expect a 4 game sweep, and nor should you have. The crowd at home should really help the team out.
Game 3 is Monday (4/18) at 7:00pm on MSG. Let’s see if the boys in blue can get some home cookin’ going to retake the lead in the series.
LET’S GO SABRES!