Thursday, November 8, 2007

Ailing Sabres Come Away with Win!

The Buffalo Sabres were fortunate to walk out of HSBC Arena with a victory last night because for the majority of the game they played uninspired hockey. The Sabes were without star play maker Tim Connolly and gritty forward Adam Mair. The absences were apparent last night as the PP lacked puck possession and scoring chances, something that Connolly can provide in a flash. Buffalo earned the two points with a 2-1 OT victory over the division rival Boston Bruins last night, compliments of recent Rochester call up Clarke MacArthur. MacArthur buried home a pass from Drew Stafford 3:16 into the extra frame. You have to commend Lindy for giving his young guys a shot in crucial situations. MacArthur has been great in Rochester this season and hopefully he can provide a much needed spark and help this team turn things around and get back into the Eastern Conference playoff picture.

Without a doubt the best Sabre on the ice yesterday was Paul Gaustad. He was determined to walk out with two points and let his game speak for itself. Paul was instrumental on shutting down the B's PP and creating havoc for Chara and the other Bruin defenders. If you are unsure as to whom the captain should be, look no further than "Goose". The fans know it, let's just hope the coaches take notice and make it happen. Lydman and Hecht are solid players, yet lack the ability to speak up and get the most out of each individual player. Plain and simple, Paul will do whatever it takes to win.

Ryan Miller was good in goal tonight earning his fifth win of the season by turning away 25 shots. Due to the Sabres adopting a 1-3-1 system scoring chances were kept to a minimal and while it did not make for the most entertaining game, they came away with the points so I expect to see more of this moving forward.

The Sabres will look to continue their success on Friday night when they face their rivals the Toronto Maple Leafs. Expect the building to be rocking, especially considering that both teams need these points desperately. It will be interesting to see how the Leafs bounce back from the performance against Ottawa the other night. I expect an inspired effort from the Leafs and it will take everything Buffalo has in the tank to earn another victory. It is unknown if Spacek, Pratt, and Connolly will be available for the game. Mair will be out so you can expect to see Clarke MacArthur again for Buffalo. Should be a great game, get your popcorn ready!


Eggshmeg said...

MacArthur is a fantastic hockey player. I had the chance to see him play dozens of times here in Hamilton, and he has definitely stood out to me. Good to see him getting a chance.

Do you really think Gaustad should be the next captain? I've never really seen him as a leader, just a 3rd or 4th line grinder.

Max to the House said...

I have been impressed with MacArthur each time he has been called up throughout his career.

I was at the game last night and Goose was without a doubt the hardest working player on the ice. During the post game show quite a few people phoned in and expressed the same thoughts that I have. He is a grinder but he is also a leader. He is somewhat similar to Drury although I do recognize there is a significant talent drop off. I think the "C" must go to either Goose, Campbell, Lydman, Hecht, or Connolly.

Ron Guillet said...

Excellent blog, Max. This is bad news for the Leafs. After an uninspired game, the Sabres will be playing harder on friday, espiecially against a division rival so the Leafs won't be able to sit back at all. Prediction: 4-3 Sabres.

Guastad is showing some consideration for captain for sure. He's gritty and plays with heart. But I still think Tim Connolly should attain the ''C''. He's a Pk'er and he's crucial to the Sabres offense. Let's not forget he's one of the best dekers in the league ;). If he can shake this injury bug of his he'd be dynamite as captain IMO.

Max to the House said...

RG, I totally agree in regards to Connolly the only issue I have with him is what you stated, he misses far too many games due to injury. If he can stay relatively healthy than I would have no problem with him wearing the C. Here is my ideal captain situation for Buffalo:

Captain: TC or Goose

A's: TC or Goose (which ever is not captain) and Campbell. I like Hecht as well but not vocal enough.

RG, I think they Leafs need this one badly and therefore I think they take it 4-3 in OT. We just can not match their scoring right now.

Eggshmeg said...

Congrats on writing the 100th blog in the history of the site as well Max ;)