The sky is falling! This team sucks! Fire Lindy! Fire Darcy! Trade Roy! Wait, what's that you say? Last team in the NHL to lose a game in regulation? Oh. Alright then. While it sucks that we've now lost six in a row to Atlanta dating back to 2007-08, we were bound to lose one eventually, and Atlanta happens to be off to its best start in franchise history.
I didn't think the Sabres played that poor of a game tonight from start to finish, but they did get off to an awful start that left them in a 2-0 hole and they never recovered from it. Both Buffalo goals pulled them within one, but both were also countered almost immediately, killing any momentum they might have created. Lindy was even forced to use his timeout in the first period at a point when the Sabres were being outshot 12-2. A 5-on-3 Sabres powerplay that lasted a full two minutes ended with just a single scoring chance and further deflated the team. Our old friend Max Afinogenov scored the backbreaker, turning Tyler Myers inside out on a rush and going top shelf on Lalime. Myers, who had his first bad game as a pro, later admitted he got caught staring at the puck on the play.
A special dishonorable mention goes out to Derek Roy tonight, who managed to go a full eight seconds after MacArthur's goal before deciding to hook a Thrasher around the hands so he could go sit in a box all by his lonesome. Then he whined like an idiot at the ref about it. Derek, that call has been made consistently since the lockout. You get a stick on a guy's hands, and they're going to call you. Every time. 49 seconds later, Lalime failed to steer a rebound into the corner, Atlanta went up 3-1, and the momentum train rumbled right out of the station.
Bullet point time:
- Johan Hedberg completely owns us - his lifetime record against Buffalo is now 11-2-1. I remember he was impenetrable when he was starting for the Penguins in the early part of this decade.
- Tim Kennedy is such a beast in the corner, and drives so well from the corner to the net. It's only a matter of time before he gets rewarded for doing so.
- Lalime was not awful, but probably would like those last two goals back. I didn't think he had much of a chance on Kovalchuk's first goal, but he disagreed, so I bet he wants that one back too. Not a great way to start the season.
- Steve Montador, for all his supposed grit and toughness, is taking too many bad penalties at inopportune times.
- Does anyone actually know what the lines are right now? Lindy's changing them every five minutes again. At least the defense pairs are staying the same.
- Welcome back, Adam Mair! Nice to see you out there again.
- There was a kid in the next section over who had a sign: "Max Afinogenov: All Rushin', No Finish". Russian, Finnish, get it? Hyuk hyuk. Well, it amused me anyway.
- And finally, a truly bizarre incident as we left: I'm not quite sure what was going on, but there was a small crowd in our parking lot and one kid was bent over the hood of a car as the police were holding him down, trying to cuff him. This brainiac decided it would be a good idea to take off running from the cops in a gated parking lot. Wow. Not sure what his original crime was - I suspect the charge will be public intoxication, because there was vomit on the ground - but his problems were just made worse a hundred fold by that stroke of genius.