Sabres/Flyers Stanley Cup ECQF, Game 4 Recap: Déjà Vu Again
Game three’s loss felt like watching the first half struggles all over again. Game four’s win was like watching the game one win all over again.
Ryan Miller shut the door like a boss (with a little help from his posts) and now has 2 wins which are both shutouts. His defense did another great job sweeping away rebounds and keeping shooters to the outside, but there were some breakdowns in game 4 where Miller had to be on his Vancouver best. And he was. That save in tight against an all-alone Danny Briere was the kind of stop that seals a game up. Given the recent sparring in the media between the two stars and the pervading feelings about Briere among the Sabres’ fanbase, and it was that much more special.
Speaking of Danny Briere, he must’ve kicked Tyler Myers’ puppy with how the towering sophomore was treating him from opening faceoff to final whistle. Myers showing such enthusiastic, intense physicality was a welcome change from a player many fans have been quick to ask for some more grit from. Outside of the Briere/Myers interactions, the Sabres were definitely refreshingly physical. One big change from teams of seasons past is their penchant for immediately jumping in to protect Miller. At no point was this more evident than when Dan Carcillo took a shot at the goalie and Mike Weber gave him a working over..
The Sabres had their fair share of great moments and head-shaking gaffes, but they showed with their game 4 win that they can take their game to the Flyers and look good while doing it, or slow down the pace of the game and take control of play. They need to work on finishing in the offensive zone and keeping active in the defensive zone, with special attention paid to maintaing presence on the point during the power play, but the Sabres are still in this series and can still pull off the upset.