One Night In Columbus-Game Reaction
Hi everyone. I missed you dearly. I hope you missed me too. Let be among the last to wish you Happy Thanksgiving, and first to wish you Happy Holidays. Please follow this motley crew on Twitter at our respective handles (mine is @DaveTRW).
Friday night, our beloved blue and gold played a roadie in Columbus, Ohio, a state where most people go to watch the Browns…er, I mean the Bengals…um, I meant the Cavaliers…oh, and the Blue Jackets are there as well. Hockey isn’t big in Ohio, and the Blue Jackets haven’t done much to improve that line of thinking. But then, one night in November, the Sabres came to town.
The Sabres came into the game sporting a 12-8-1 record, fresh off their defeat at the hands of the Boston Bruins via the shootout. The team blew yet another lead at the friendly confines of the F’N Center and fell to 5-6-1 at home. But tonight was different. Tonight, the Sabres were playing the worst team in the NHL, a team which only had won 5 games all season. And all of the 716 was clamoring to get a glimpse of our lord and savior, Zack Kassian, freshly called up from Rochester because of Brad Boyes’ first career injury/missed game. The matchup was set. Jhonas Enroth vs Curtis Sanford. This one we could kick back after eating leftover turkey and shopping till our feet were wore down and watch ’em coast outta there with 2 points right?
The first ten minutes were back and forth, with each team generating good chances, but neither able to solve the other teams’ netminder. And then, the wheels on the bus fell off. Marc-Andre Gragnani failed to play some defense, and Marc Letestu got the first goal of the game. 1-0 Blue Jackets. I’m thinking to myself at this point “hm, Grags is lucky Weber is injured otherwise he’d be a healthy scratch.” A little while later, Grags took a penalty, and in the box with that sheepish “I didn’t do anything” grin on his face, watched as Rick Nash scored to double the lead. 2-0 Blue Jackets at the end of the first period.
I pause briefly, to say that all my thoughts can be seen on Twitter, and as most of them are laced with colorful language, I won’t quote myself in case we have young readers. If you’re mature enough to handle it, go peek at my feed from earlier.
The second period wasn’t really much better. It seemed to go downhill, and the bus came to a screeching halt without the wheels. Almost 5 minutes into the period, and Marc Methot scored. It was his first goal in 101 games. 3-0. At this point I was typing how Enroth should be pulled in favor of wunderkid Drew MacIntyre, but before I could submit this tweet, RJ Umberger slapped home a puck that trickled through Jho-Jho’s pads a mere 12 seconds later. It was at this moment that Lindy Ruff told the worker to go home, and replaced Enroth. This seemed to give the Sabres a wee bit of a spark, as Jordan Leopold blasted a shot past Curtis Sanford to make the game 4-1 Columbus. This play was significant, as the legendary Zack Kassian netted his first career NHL point, obtaining an assist on the play. Yay, Rookie! But the jubilation was short-lived, as Rick Nash yet again scored approximately 4 minutes later to give the Blue Jackets a 5-1 lead, a lead which they held for the remainder of the game. You could have stopped the game after the second period. I’ll spare you a recap of the third because while the Sabres generated a couple nice chances, they couldn’t put the biscuit in the basket and the crowd went wild.
-Luke Adam is snake-bitten. He had, by my count, 4 quality chances early in the second period to get the Sabres back into the game, and on each chance, he either fanned, missed the net, or was stopped by a defenseman. Sooner or later, he’s going to find the back of the net again.
-Injuries are beginning to take their toll on this squad. The latest comes from gritty Robyn Regehr, who left in the third with an upper-body injury. In response, Brayden McNabb was called up after the game and will make HIS first career NHL start Saturday against the Capitals.
-Ville Leino showed me some signs of life tonight. Patience is a virtue, but how long do we give him? I’m trying my best.
-The injured player list looks like this: Forward: Ennis, Boyes, McCormick, Kaleta. Defense: Regehr, Myers, Weber. Goal: Miller. Yikes. As one on twitter said earlier: We have a collective glass jaw as a sports city. This statement couldn’t be more true, especially with the loss of Regehr.
Stat Line I Liked: Drew MacIntyre: 15 saves on 16 shots. I hope he starts tomorrow.
Stat Like I Disliked: 1 goal. COME ON.
Game Puck: Jordan Leopold. Should have gotten one of the three stars.
Lindy’s Doghouse: Everyone except Leopold and the rookies (excluding Enroth). YOU ALL SUCKED TONIGHT, STEP YOUR GAME UP.
Last Thought: Yikes, that was bad. We lost to the worst team in the NHL. That’s embarrassing. Sleep off the tryptophan and come out fighting next game.
“Fight on, my men,” Sir Andrew Said. “A little I’m hurt, but not yet slain. I’ll just lie down and bleed a while. And then I’ll rise and Fight again.”
Next Game: 11/26 at 7pm vs Washington
Be positive, Sabres fans.
Let’s Go Buffalo!