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Video Review: Sabres @ Blackhawks 1/18/12


EDITOR’S NOTE: David is Black & Blue & Gold’s newest member and he’ll be doing something I didn’t even know I wanted on the blog – he’ll be doing goal-by-goal video analysis from each game. It’s like having our very own Robi-strator without Roby flipping off the viewing audience every clip!

My name is David and I’ll be bringing you video review of the Sabres games. Most importantly, I’ll try my best to cover what the coaches would in their audio/video meetings with the players. A little about myself: I live in Rochester and played hockey for 19 years before being forced to stop due to injury. I enjoy watching hockey, am an Amerks season ticket holder, and like analyzing why things happen. Was it a mistake, or was it just a good play? I went to college at Niagara University and have a degree in Computer Science. Enough of me, lets get to last night’s goals!

Goal 1 – Jason Pominville from Jochen Hecht (Sabres 1 – 0)

The video starts with Chicago in the corner cycling and Pominville blowing his coverage on Hossa. Hossa has an excellent chance in front, but Enroth is there to make the save. After the Hossa chance, he chases it into the corner and the Sabres start to collapse. All 5 sabres are below the hash marks. Sekera pressures Hossa in the corner, and Hossa moves towards the half wall. In the bottom corner, you can see Duncan Keith raising his stick asking for the pass from Hossa. As Hossa moves towards the blue line, Brent Seabrook vacates his point position and heads in deep. Even worse, Seabrook decides to go down the middle of the ice towards the net. Hossa is now being heavily pressured by both Sekera and Vanek and needs to get rid of it before he brings the puck over the blue line. He backhands the pass, but no one is there. Seabrook should’ve just moved in on the half wall to receive that pass. Seabrook is in no mans land now. Three Blackhawks are caught down low. Pominville see’s this from the high slot and begins to sprint out to the neutral zone. Hossa then curls back around, not realizing that he’s to cover Seabrook who went deep into the offensive zone. Hossa is thinking puck pursuit and not coverage. As the puck hits the blue line, Hecht zings a pass to Pominville who’s sprinting on the wing. Keith is now the only man back and is in the middle of the ice, which isn’t a bad position – forcing a cross ice pass. Pominville goes in and shoots a rocket passed Crawford.

Goal 2 – Andrew Shaw from Duncan Keith and Steve Montador (Tied 1 – 1)

Buffalo is on the penalty kill. Patrick Kane makes a great play getting the puck in deep. If you pause it at 8 seconds, our defensive coverage is okay at best. All 4 Sabres are against the boards. They have a “whoopsy” moment when Ben Smith gets the pass from the boards and all the Sabres are no where to be found. Luckily, Smith hits the post. The puck moves to the point and Weber looks over his shoulder at the situation in front. As Montador passes it to Keith, Stafford is in no mans land at the high slot. He’s not covering anyone and just a general zone of ice space. When Keith receives the pass, Weber and Leopold are forced to cover 3 men down low. The shot gets through, as Stafford is still doing nothing. Shaw puts away the rebound. NBC last night falsely put the blame on Leopold on Weber. The blame here is on Stafford, not covering the point or forcing the puck to the boards during a PK.

Goal 3 – Jonathan Toews from Andrew Shaw and Brent Seabrook (Chicago 2 – 1)

On the PK again. Here is what Lindy Ruff is talking about where physical play doesn’t matter when you don’t recover the puck. Myers completely rocks Montador in the corner, but Montador makes the play on the puck poking it to Shaw. Pominville is the odd man out here. He’s in the same position as Stafford was on the 2nd goal. You’re not going to block a shot being so far away from the shooter. Seabrook notices it and moves in for even a better shot. Pominville stands there with a deer in the headlights look. Not surprisingly, the shot gets through and Leopold is overpowered down low 2 on 1. I also would’ve liked Myers moving over to help Leopold once he realized the shot was coming.

Goal 4 – Jason Pominville from Brad Boyes and Tyler Myers (Tied 2 – 2)

On the PP. Chicago is in pretty good position. Forwards are pressuring the defensemen. The key for Buffalo here is moving it laterally. Pominville passes it cross ice to Myers, and then Boyes to Pominville for the one timer. Vanek in front screens Crawford pausing him moving from the Boyes pass to save the Pominville one timer.

Goal 5 – Marian Hossa from Duncan Keith (Chicago 3 – 2)

Before starting – this goal is victim of poor communication. Leino drops it to Stafford, who misses the pass. If there was some sort of communication, Stafford would’ve at least been there to receive it. The goal scorer, Hossa, is coming on from a line change from Patrick Kane. Terrible time to make the change, except it became an excellent time with the turnover. Another thing to note is that Brennan leaves Leopold with 3 men to cover as he joins the rush. Not a good decision there. Hossa beats Enroth 5 hole, his weakest spot. Looks like Hossa did some homework.

Goal 6 – Jimmy Hayes from Andrew Brunette and Niklas Hjalmarsson (Chicago 4 – 2)

NBC pointed out the Sabres brutal line change, so there’s no point in going over it again. That’s not what is wrong here though. Weber completely neglects Hayes coming in on the right wing. Doesn’t even see him until he turns around and skates backwards at the top of the circle. Weber still completely ignores him focusing on Dave Bolland coming down the middle, who Stafford has – you can see this at the 9 second mark. Hayes doing what I’m sure he was coached to do since he was a kid, heads to the net/near post. Brunette makes the pass and Weber does his best swipe to block it. I would’ve liked to see Weber make his turn backwards instead of forwards at our own blue line. Collect your inventory on what’s going on. Direct Stafford (who actually slowed down) on Bolland and cover Hayes.

Goal 7 – Dave Bolland from Jimmy Hayes and Nick Leddy (Chicago 5 – 2)

Sabres are okay defensively. Maybe Leopold could’ve been more towards the left boards to cover Hayes coming down the wing. Once again, its a communication issue. Adam has Brunette well covered. Brennan becomes the odd man out here. Brennan should’ve seen everyone covered except Bolland and picked him up. He doesn’t and Bolland rips one past Enroth.

Goal 8 – Jonathan Toews from Dave Bolland and Brent Seabrook (Chicago 6 – 2)

Sabres on the PK 5 on 3. Not much could’ve been done here. Roy could’ve not gone out to the blue line to keep the puck on the outside. Enroth should’ve saved this as well.

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