Recap! BUF 2:6 BOS 11/12/11 – Sabres Fold Like A Flan In A Cupboard
It started well enough, with Thomas Vanek scoring his obligatory goal versus the Bruins, but it ended in a Twilight Zone-like fashion, with the Bruins scoring 6 unanswered goals to win 6:2 in this first meeting between the divisional rivals.
Things looked up for the Sabres after Thomas Vanek’s 11th goal of the season came on a bankshot off the back of Tim Thomas’ leg. His game-opening goal was his fifth of the season, giving him the league lead, and it gave the Sabres a nice start in a hostile barn.
Then the Milan Lucic hit Ryan Miller like a train speeding toward a damsel in distress ties to the tracks. This time, Dudley Do Right didn’t get the damsel off in time and Ryan Miller got BLOW. UP. by Lucic. Much to everyone’s chagrin, the Sabres didn’t retaliate with punches. They did respond, however, by choosing not to play any defense within their own blueline. That’s when the real beating started.
In a span of six minutes in the second period, and then four in the third, the Bruins scored six unanswered goals to take a commanding lead. All six came from defensive miscues by the Sabres, many by Myers and Sekera alone. The pair has looked bad at times and terrible at others. Lindy Ruff is determined to let Myers play through his slump, but it may be time for the big guy to sit for a game or two.
Now Lindy Ruff has Sunday to bag skate his team as much as he wants before the Sabres take on the Habs on Monday night in Montreal. It is a Versus game, so remember to sync up the WGR feed with the television if you feel so inclined.
What Worked For The Sabres
Despite having scored two goals, I’m leaving this blank tonight for obvious reasons
What Didn’t Work
Own-zone coverage: The Sabres were flat-footed, out of position, or just plain on lunch break for the Bruins’ goals. Myers and Sekera were la-di-da’ing on three of them and Ehrhoff blew right past his man on another. The team plays five offensive defensemen night in and night out (Myers, Ehrhoff, Gragnani, Leopold, and Sekera). While in theory it should help the scoring, it’s also a leading cause of their bad D zone play. Putting in a sound, stay at home guy like Mike Weber would help their cause. Is he in Siberia?
Leaving Miller hanging: This ties in to my previous point. John Vogl tweeted that a Sabre (left unnamed) told him they in fact play differently in front of Miller than they do Enroth. It’s costing them goals by abandoning Miller and expecting him to stop everything. It doesn’t matter how good your goalie is, you don’t screw around in your zone. It’s also likely messing with the goalie’s head, as he learns to stop trusting his D and attempt to do all the work.
Leaving Enroth hanging: And this ties in to my previous point, again. If the Sabres played differently in front of Miller than they do Enroth coming in to this game, they didn’t tonight. Their shaky defense in their zone had the Swede hanging on a clothesline right next to Miller.
Play Of The Game
Also blank. Again, obvious reasons
Bust Of The Game
I’m not picking out a play specifically, but something that happened at least half a dozen times tonight. A Sabre found himself along the penalty box-side wall, either in neutral ice or the Boston zone, and attempted to force a cross-ice pass. Instead of finding a white jersey, it found a Bruin who would take the puck up ice and create an odd-man rush. No less than two of the Bruins’ goals were scored like that. That’s just bad decision making.