Sounds nice, but professional sports teams obviously don't think like that. Instead, we're left to find actual reasons for the Sabres' 4-2 loss to the Coyotes, and a failure by the top six forwards to bury numerous chances would be a good place to start.
In a nice change of pace, the Sabres came out flying at home. Even before I made it to my seat, I think I counted three posts hit as I stood in the aisle waiting for a stoppage. Those posts and a whiff by Thomas Vanek on an empty net were as close as the Sabres would come, though, before Phoenix opened the scoring on a Shane Doan slapshot that Jhonas Enroth probably should have stopped. The Sabres fought back with goals by Luke Adam and Patrick Kaleta, but the Coyotes would suck all the air out of the building in the middle of the second period by scoring two goals in 66 seconds to take the lead for good. Although the Sabres continued to pour shots on Phoenix goalie Mike Smith - 45 in total - none ultimately proved threatening for him in the third period, thus continuing the maddening trend of the Sabres making bad goalies look good.
One might have expected that the Sabres, playing their sixth game in nine nights, would be as flat as that bottle of orange soda at the back of my fridge. Although the exact opposite was true, by the end of the night they had nothing to show for it - not even a loser point.
- I have no idea how Kaleta found that loose puck in the crease, nor do I have any idea how he was able to elevate it over Smith's pad from such close range. A real goal-scorer's goal by a guy who shows flashes of that ability every four months like clockwork.
- Speaking of goal scorers, that was a fantastic deflection of a Jordan Leopold point shot by Adam for the first Buffalo goal. Given his recent reduction in ice time, I bet he's quite happy that his stick stayed just barely under the crossbar.
- Once again the trio of Leino-Boyes-Stafford skated well, but unfortunately had nothing to show for it on the scoresheet. If this trend continues I'm going to have to start putting this item in the Minuses section.
- A rather forgettable game for Jhonas Enroth. The third goal was partially excusable thanks to a bad bounce - Andrej Sekera slid to block a pass and it ended up on Bissonnette's stick, catching Enroth out of position - but the other two were unscreened shots he had plenty of time to square up for.
- I didn't see the Myers injury, but reportedly it's some sort of wrist or hand problem and hopefully of the non-serious variety. I'd hate to see his good play as of late derailed by this.
- As has been mentioned, the Sabres had chances to bury and they failed to do so. Smith made 43 saves for Phoenix, but how many times did a Sabre whiff on a great scoring chance or miss the net? And for that matter, how many times did a Coyote get a stick in the shooting lane just in the nick of time? I think a lot of us were ready to blame Enroth until Lindy Ruff pointed the finger squarely at the forwards in his postgame comments, and he's absolutely right.
- On a personal note, this was the first game my three-year-old daughter and I attended together as solely a daddy-daughter combo without either mommy (who was working) or little brother (who was terrorizing Grandma). So for us, this was a bit of a special night - and unbeknownst to us, we were about to receive a commemorative gift of sorts. As we got to the top of the escalator a gentleman approached me and asked if it was just the two of us, and when I said yes, he handed me a pair of tickets in the 11th row of Section 116, right on the aisle. This is a far cry from my usual seats two rows from the top of Section 308, so naturally I was incredibly excited. You forget sometimes how much louder and faster the game is up close - even the shovels of the ice crew that comes out during TV timeouts is louder than you'd think! So despite the tough loss, I'm grateful to have been in such great seats. If you're reading this, mystery benefactor in the suite above 116, the guy in the Myers third jersey thanks you profusely for the gift that made a special night even better.