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Game #63 Recap: Sloppy Like The Chipp Strip

03/03/11
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Plenty of blame to go around after that game.

Ryan Miller was patently terrible in the second period but the goal he allowed in overtime, while unfortunate given the circumstances, was understandable. Tyler Ennis and Tim Connolly both made great plays to set up the Sabres’ goal-scorers, but when it counted all the forwards could find was the pipe. Their defense led the rush well, but in their own zone they were a mess. They generate good pressure on the power play, but couldn’t keep from allowing more shorthanded chances. In the end, it was a sloppy mess on both ends that could’ve gone either way. The Sabres were sloppier. End of story.

Once again the forecheck was potent and caused plenty of havoc in front of Cam Ward. The top six just decided to wind up snake-bitten at the wrong time. The transition game wasn’t nearly as good as it’s been but Carolina’s was pretty bad as well, turning the netural zone into a mess. The Sabres’ defensive breakout was less than stellar for the fifth straight game and it’s becoming a concern, frankly. It needs to get sorted out, plain and simple.

There are plenty of positives to take away from this sloppy effort, though. With the Sabres losing in OT and the Rangers losing in regulation to Minnesota, the deficit to 8th place remains 2 but the games in hand has actually gone up to 3 (With the win, Carolina advanced past the Rangers into 7th). Tonight’s loss also increased the Sabres unbeaten streak to five games (3-0-2) since Pegula took over the team.

The Sabres face the conference-leading Flyers on Saturday afternoon, so it’s gonna be a tough as nails game to win. The Maple Leafs did it tonight, which means it can be done. As Shelby talked about on her blog, the Sabres just have to want it.

Scoreboard-watching fans, take note – tomorrow’s games that impact the Sabres are PIT @ NJD, NYR @ OTT, and CAR @ CHI. We want regulation wins for PIT, OTT, and CHI.

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