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Game #63, Sabres @ Hurricanes: Redneck

03/03/11
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Like every game since Derek Roy went down, it’s the biggest game of the season. The goal is simple – win in regulation. To the victor go the spoils – 2 points. For the Sabres, it means pulling in to a tie for 8th over the Canes (tiebreakers in effect). For the Canes, it means pulling ahead of the Sabres by four points.

Lindy Ruff has scratched Rob Niedermayer tonight in favor of Nathan Gerbe, with the intention of rotating them for the rest of the season. “Obviously, if Nathan plays really well, it will make a tougher decision,” Ruff is quoted as saying in TBN. “I would like to see that.” If this sounds familiar, right down to Lindy’s words, it is – this is the exact manner in which he handled Andrej Sekera and Chris Butler toward the end of 09/10’s division championship season. It didn’t work then, and it won’t work now.

Same three things I’ve been harping about lately, I’m harping about for tonight. Keep up the strong forecheck (especially raising hell around the crease) and fast transition, while keep on working on that defensive zone breakout.

The Sabres are on the cusp of finally claiming 8th with a regulation win while retaining games in hand. With some help from Minnesota tonight, they might even be only one point back of the 7th place Rangers with three games in hand. This should be the only invitation the Sabres need.


(Ed. note: Music video is apropos, but NSFW)

3 Comments leave one →
  1. 03/03/11 2:28 PM

    To steal a line from Carolina fans: “Git ‘er done!”

  2. Dave permalink
    03/03/11 8:09 PM

    After your write-up on the Sabres new offensive zone scheme, I wonder when they’ll be working on their O-Zone entry?

    It’s no wonder they’re forced into so many hail mary passes and blue line turnovers when the system has both wingers stationary against the boards and the center skating parallel to the blue line. There’s next to no forward momentum for the Sabres under this system; and since they players are basically standing still, when the puck carrier gets in trouble, they can’t get in position to support him and the puck is dumped to an empty corner and they lose possession. I won’t even get into the “drop-pass to a trailer while everyone else stands still and watches him take on both defensemen” play.

    A forward skating, puck-carrier support breakout system would solve the majority of their breakout and zone entry problems IF the players could keep their feet moving (and take short enough shifts to stay fresh).

    Rant over.

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