In my blog last night I said the game would come down to who wanted it more. Well the Jets wanted it more without a doubt. Buffalo looked slow and was sloppy throughout the game. They could maintain no puck possession, poor passing, and numerous turnovers, 16 to be exact. 16! The Jets won every single battle within the game last night. They came with odd man rush after odd man rush.
The headline to this game was the struggle of the Sabres top line. They are the reason that the Sabres did not get 2 points last night. Vanek, Pominville, and Roy were all a -2 last night. Those two goals coming in the 3rd period off of you guessed it, turnovers. Pominville didn't get a shot/pass through and would result Blake Wheeler walking in alone on Miller. Then Roy would throw it behind Pominville on a rush and Thorburn would come down and abuse Robyn Regehr and Ryan Miller to ice the game. By the way I love Regehr's desire to play, but if you can't move and Chris Thorburn blows around you, you shouldn't be on the ice. The Sabres first line managed 0 scoring chances, while the Jets first line dominated.
The Hodgson line had perhaps it's worse game since Hodgson joined his new club. Last night was the first time that I noticed that Hodgson looked lost. Luckily the Leino line and the Boyes line came to play. Corey Tropp put in the only Sabres goal with 30 seconds left in the second giving Buffalo life, or so I thought.
Pavelec had a fairly easy night, I don't remember one time I thought "oh nice save", 23 saves.
Ryan Miller played well again last night making over 30 saves. He only made one mistake on the Thorburn goal, but at that point the game was already however. However the not so good news was in his post game interview Miller said he was "exhausted". Jhonas Enroth will likely get the cage Wednesday against Carolina and then Miller will get right back at it Thursday in Boston.
Tyler Myers was the one bright spot last night. He was a physical force and was flying all night long. Any Jet player that dared go into the corner with Myers last night paid the price. Unlike the rest of his team Myers gets better the bigger the game is. Myers has been back to form the last couple of weeks. If the Sabres want to make the playoffs they need him to stay on his game.
All in all going 3-1-1 on a road trip that featured stops in Madison Square Garden, Anaheim, SJ, Vancouver, and Winnipeg is nothing to scoff at. The road trip got Buffalo back into the race and they need to forget about this game and go right back on the kill against Carolina at home. This loss does not kill their chances for the playoffs, like most overreacting Sabres fans are saying this morning. The Sabres were the best thing since sliced bread all last week in Buffalo and now they are terrible! Makes you want to put your head through the wall.
All fans in Buffalo should take note of the noise level in the MTS Centre last night. The fans in Winnipeg enjoy their team no matter what and are behind them. Where did that go in Buffalo? I'm sick of going to the FN Center and having it be so quiet that you could hear a pin drop. Being able to hear Lindy Ruff yell for line changes from the 300 level is pretty bad. Embarassing, Buffalo is supposed to be a hot hockey market. Enjoy your team people and cheer them on. Maybe some day teams will fear coming into our building.