My Name is Jhonas.
Before I proceed with this post I would like to take care of a couple housekeeping issues. First of all, Hi. How are you? It’s been a while since I posted but I miss you all dearly. Second, sorry that the theme of this site keeps changing. Every time I find a theme I like it has some sort of restriction that blocks my path. We’re sticking with this current one. Stay posted as new header and background images are forthcoming. Third, the title of this post is a Weezer reference. That is all. Enjoy this post (if you can decipher it).
It says a lot that Jhonas Enroth only needed one goal from his offense to pull out a win a last night. It says a lot about the Sabres that they could only muster up one goal last night. It says a lot that Jason Pominville is on a six game point streak and Thomas Vanek’s streak hit four. Basically, lots of things were said last night.
Hit the jump to read more.
All of that being said, there’s not denying that this team is a bit of a shit show. It seems that among all the distortion and chaos that has been the 2011-12 season, the only constant for the team has been our “core”. Night in and night out the core has been all over the ice and the score sheet. Besides Gaustad, it appears that the guys that have a “C’ or an “A” on their jersey are living up to the standards we set for them. It is now time for the rest of the team to complement those standards.
Luckily for us, that starts between the pipes. Saying that Ryan Miller’s early season play was sub-par would be an understatement. Things were pretty chaotic during the stretch where Miller was occupying the crease. For a team like the Sabres, a static calming presence in the net is the key to victory. The team has a tough time stringing together wins without a dominant presence in goal. Enroth’s shutdown of the Carolina Hurricanes last night proved that success begins in net for any Ruff-based team. The argument has been made in the past that good teams can win with bad goalies but the Sabres aren’t that kind of team. We win game by forcing goals offensively and shutting down on defense.
Which brings us to the next section of this post, supporting the core. In the past it seemed like the team got by with scoring from random places. When Luke Adam broke out early this year my first thought was “Well, here’s the guy that is going to surprise us and carry the team into the playoffs this year.” That’s not to say I though Adam was going to be the next Vanek or Roy but just that this team tends to run based on surprises. Remember when Tyler Myers surprised everyone his rookie year? Remember how Drew Stafford played, like, real hockey last year? These things were all surprises that helped spur the team to a temporary next level. This year there is none of that surprise factor. The players who are supposed to play well (at least on offense) are doing just that: playing well. It’s time for the rest of the team to step in and help that.
The Sabres used to be a team that got most of their scoring from sporadic support players. If that were to happen again while being coupled with the torrid pace of our actual playmakers, then the Sabres would be an even more elite team. The pieces are there. Ville Leino is looking for a breakout game (and he gets to play a tired Coyotes team tonight). Andrej Sekera is in desperate need of more points. Matt Ellis continues to work his tail off (and capture my heart). With scoring comes support and that’s what the Sabres need to take it to the next level.
As of right now though, we’re all Swedish and no Finnish (aka we don’t score). Until we do score, it falls on the young Swedish shoulders of Enroth. My name is Jhonas, I’m carrying the wheel. Thanks for all you’ve shown us, this is how we feel.