Sabres/Flyers Stanley Cup ECQF Game 6 Late Recap: That Wasn’t So Awesome
Nobody likes when the home team with a chance to clinch the series loses in overtime…unless you’re the visiting team or their fans.
When bad goaltending cost them another early deficit, the Flyers summoned their superior forward and defensive depth to wear down the Sabres.
The Sabres won their games by displaying superior desperation. The Flyers won their games by displaying superior talent. It’s a sobering realization for Sabres fans who were drunk on the surprising 3-2 lead the team had through five games after Tyler Ennis scored in overtime. When the Flyers want, they can just pour it on until the Sabres break.
The Sabres are greater than the sum of their parts. When they go balls out in the defensive zone, they take away prime shooting lanes, play well along the wall, and sweep away any rebounds after Ryan Miller makes the initial save. Unfortunately, the forwards don’t always show up and 4 of the 6 defensemen in the lineup are under 25 and still learning.
It’s going to take a Herculean effort in game 7. They’ll need to be more desperate than they’ve been yet, more than the Sabres faithful may even realize they can be. Ryan Miller will need to be possibly the most light’s out he’s ever been, the defense need to be able to clear the zone (a crippling weakness all series) and put shots on net from the point, and the forwards need to be able to get into position to pounce on the massive rebounds the Flyers’ goalies and take away the neutral zone when the Flyers’ breakout springs a forward on the rush. Most importantly, the Sabres have to keep special teams clicking. Too many missed opportunities on the power play are a killer.
The Sabres played with their backs against the wall just over half of the season. They’ve got one last chance to do the same.