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First-round exit?

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Old
04-04-2010, 10:23 AM
  #1
Kruschiki
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First-round exit?

Ugly:

WTF? Has this team won a 'must win' game yet this season?

Good:

Happy Easter Everyone!

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04-04-2010, 10:24 AM
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Placek View Post
Ugly:

WTF? Has this team won a 'must win' game yet this season?

Good:

Happy Easter Everyone!
Most of the "must win" games or "test" games for the first 60-odd games of the season they've won.

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04-04-2010, 10:27 AM
  #3
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How in the world was last night's game a must win?


As for the 1st round exit

I posted this in another thread but it fits here as well.


The problem right now is they need two of their best players back in the lineup and a momentum shifting bottom 6 player back as well. Not just to have them back but to get the lines back in order.

The lineup they are icing right now is way too small and is too inept defensively from a team defense pov and has little physical spark.

We can bash Connolly and Vanek all we want but the reality is they are far better NHLers than Gerbe or Ennis. It goes without saying that Kaleta adds a physicall edge no one else can.

Connolly back in the lineup puts Hecht back on the wing (where he is at his best) and reassembles a very good two way line. Something that line isn't close to being with Ennis on it.

Vanek back in the lineup reunites the Kennedy/Roy/Vanek line. They had been going good before Vanek's injury.

Kaleta back gives the bottom 6 more physical pop and also strengthens the forechecking abilities of that group.

Getting Gerbe and Ennis out of the lineup puts a bigger lineup on the ice and one that can actually forecheck against teams that are playing hard and battling for a playoff spot. Ennis or Gerbe as the first man in on a forecheck was painful to watch since neither of them was going to win a physical battle for the puck. If they didn't get there first with their speed they weren't likely to gain control of the puck.


Everyone was gushing over Ennis after he shredded a Tampa team that quite frankly put up no fight at all. I wanted to see what he could do against tougher defensive teams and ones that played hard from start to finish. Tampa and Florida were teams that gave up pretty much by the middle of the first period.

Against Boston/Montreal/Toronto, two teams battling for a playoff spot that play solid defense and one a physical team that plays hard from start to finish, Ennis and Gerbe were pretty much nonfactors. ENnis had an assist and was a -1, Gerbe had no points and was a -2 in those games.

Thats not a slight on either of the youngsters. They play hard but are overmatched for the most part physically. It would be one thing if we were a very big team overall but we are not. You can't expect Hecht and Pommer to overcome Ennis' lack of size and physical play every night. Connolly may not be a monster physically but he is light years better than Ennis down low and along the boards when establishing a forecheck and cycling the puck.


Last edited by joshjull: 04-04-2010 at 10:39 AM.
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Old
04-04-2010, 10:42 AM
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joshjull View Post
How in the world was last night's game a must win?

[/I]
I was watching the French feed, and they had a survey on their web site (HNIC) asking who Montreal fans would prefer to play: NJ, PIT, WAS or BFO, and I think Buffalo won by like 60%. This was prior to the end of the second. Everyone wants Buffalo in the first round.

The reason this game was a must win, IMO, is that the last thing you want it a confident Goaltender and opponent going into the first round. I had some solace prior to this game the Montreal was one of the few teams in the bottom 4 that BFO played well against, then we get two dud games in a row.

More Ugly:

Ruff is riding Miller right now for purely selfish reasons, Miller is trying to get win 40. In the meantime he's let in 3+ goals a game these last two.

4-10 goaltending. Elliot, Halak, Rask, Lundqvist are all goalies that are playing well really well right now. Philly is really the only team that is desirable from a match-up perspective. Even Hedburg can be problematic.

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04-04-2010, 10:45 AM
  #5
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p.s. ugly:

Remaining games: Rangers, Boston, Ottawa, NJ. Will they even get their 2 points to clinch the NE?

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04-04-2010, 10:51 AM
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Placek View Post
p.s. ugly:

Remaining games: Rangers, Boston, Ottawa, NJ. Will they even get their 2 points to clinch the NE?
you pick

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Old
04-04-2010, 11:08 AM
  #7
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Ugly- I went all in with my vcash on the Sabres.

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Old
04-04-2010, 11:45 AM
  #8
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Once Connelly and Kaleta comes back and they keep playing like this I will call chicken little to tell him the sky is falling. Other than that it's idle speculation to say that they will be exiting in the first round when such key portions of the team are injured and should be back for the play offs.

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Old
04-04-2010, 11:55 AM
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Placek View Post
I was watching the French feed, and they had a survey on their web site (HNIC) asking who Montreal fans would prefer to play: NJ, PIT, WAS or BFO, and I think Buffalo won by like 60%. This was prior to the end of the second. Everyone wants Buffalo in the first round.

The reason this game was a must win, IMO, is that the last thing you want it a confident Goaltender and opponent going into the first round. I had some solace prior to this game the Montreal was one of the few teams in the bottom 4 that BFO played well against, then we get two dud games in a row.

More Ugly:

Ruff is riding Miller right now for purely selfish reasons, Miller is trying to get win 40. In the meantime he's let in 3+ goals a game these last two.

4-10 goaltending. Elliot, Halak, Rask, Lundqvist are all goalies that are playing well really well right now. Philly is really the only team that is desirable from a match-up perspective. Even Hedburg can be problematic.
just from reading these boards, everyone from Montreal, Boston, Ottawa and Philly wants to play Buffalo in the 1st round.

edt: and Joshjull, that is a great post. Gerbe and Ennis have been very good fills in, but there comes a point when you need your top 6 guys back. This team will be much much better with Connolly and Vanek in the lineup.

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Old
04-04-2010, 12:05 PM
  #10
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FWIW, we're 13-13-5 this season against teams currently in the Eastern Conference top 8. I guess I don't have much analysis to go with that stat but it's interesting.

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Old
04-04-2010, 12:09 PM
  #11
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On the one hand, I'm a big believer in the school of thought that says that the playoffs are a completely different beast than the regular season.

On the other hand, going into the playoffs losing games and possibly having confidence issues concerns me.

Bad time for a skid, Buffalo; don't let it happen.

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Old
04-04-2010, 12:59 PM
  #12
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The Ugly:

We won! We Rock! Bring em. on
We lost! We Suck! Playoff Fail.

We iced a forward set last night smaller than MTL, let it go.

Ta,

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Old
04-04-2010, 01:02 PM
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sabresfan129103 View Post
just from reading these boards, everyone from Montreal, Boston, Ottawa and Philly wants to play Buffalo in the 1st round.
I believe it and for obvious reasons: it's become common knowledge that all any opponent needs to do is crash the net and block Miller's vision. Running the goalie hardly presents any risk since the Sabres rarely score on the power play and the only physical retalitation, if any, will come from Gaustad or Rivet, both of whom are hardly intimidating. Any decent scouting report on the Sabres this season has surely noted how easily the Sabres can be forced into turnovers with the slightest of forechecking pressure - games against Ottawa, Montreal and Pittsburgh, among others, have shown that.

Add in that the underachieving forward group is largely the same one that has been so erratic and incapable of winning in the clutch the 2 years prior and that no player on the roster has ever won a Cup and it's easy to see why no one is afraid of Buffalo.

As the Olympics showed, the only x-factor in the Sabres' favor - and one that very often becomes the reason for playoff upsets - is goaltending. Miller is the only reason I can see a playoff opponent being nervous.

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04-04-2010, 01:09 PM
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Placek View Post
Ruff is riding Miller right now for purely selfish reasons, Miller is trying to get win 40. In the meantime he's let in 3+ goals a game these last two.
I doubt very much that getting Miller 40 wins is any kind of motivator for Ruff to play him - it's really just habit more than anything else. No matter what he says to the media, it's easy to read between the lines that Ruff doesn't trust Lalime (or any backup since Biron) in any type of important game. Most of the reasons he gives for using Miller over Lalime often are big flip-flops. He said he he used Miller against a weaker opponent (Toronto) in the second of back to back games because of Miller's dominance over the Leafs - yet, a week before, in an identical situation against another weak opponent (Tampa) in the second of back-to-backs, he used Lalime, even though Miller was 16-3 lifetime against the Lightning.

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04-04-2010, 01:22 PM
  #15
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Before this 2 game skid, how many games did the Sabres win in a row?? That means nothing however...

I'd rather this team lost 2 games in a row now than in 2 weeks. They come home for the next game, perhaps that helps, but let's not go crazy--what this team did in the last 2 games doesn't make the first 76 games disappear.

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Old
04-04-2010, 01:25 PM
  #16
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Old
04-04-2010, 01:27 PM
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sabresfan129103 View Post
just from reading these boards, everyone from Montreal, Boston, Ottawa and Philly wants to play Buffalo in the 1st round.
Who wouldn't...outside of Miller our proven playoff performers are the likes of Connolly, Roy, Pominville, and Hecht. I get the feeling that goals are going to be hard to come by:

I'm not really sure about Boston. They lost a lot of offense (Savard, Kessel), but I think they have the right personnel on D and could grind out a first round upset provided Thomas plays well.

Montreal is kind of a tough team to predict since they completely overhauled their roster. On the other hand guys like Gionta, Markov, and Plekanec don't have great playoff numbers and many of their other players are still unproven (Cammalleri). I'd like our chances in a series against them though...

Ottawa kills the Sabres so I want no part of that. Kovalev usually brings his best in the playoffs. Goaltending is a question mark I guess, but they added some great role players. Ottawa looks dangerous to me.

Philadelphia only really has two players who have dominated in the playoffs (Briere, and Pronger) and awful goaltending. I think we could probably handle them.

Anyways I don't see Buffalo as being head and shoulders above any of these teams so we'll just have to see. I don't see a first round win as something I'm counting on that for sure.

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Old
04-04-2010, 01:31 PM
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveDaSwords View Post
Before this 2 game skid, how many games did the Sabres win in a row?? That means nothing however...

I'd rather this team lost 2 games in a row now than in 2 weeks. They come home for the next game, perhaps that helps, but let's not go crazy--what this team did in the last 2 games doesn't make the first 76 games disappear.
The point that I think frustrates most is the rollercoaster - since January, it seems that the Sabres lose a string, then win a string....then lose a string, then win a string. Sure, they had 7 wins in 8 games in mid-March but look at the patterns since the Olympic break:

Lose 2
Win 3
Lose 3
Win 4
Lose 1
Win 3
Lose 2

With that kind of pattern, it's not a stretch to think they could win one series as a sweep or 4-1, only to lose the next one 4-1 or get swept.

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04-04-2010, 01:35 PM
  #19
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Inability to establish forecheck largely due to smaller forwards + Poor breakouts due to forwards not getting back to show for their defensemen against a strong forecheck = lots of time spent in our zone, players trying to do it all themselves, and a probable loss

These last two games are the first two games where I really thought we played poorly in quite a while.

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04-04-2010, 02:01 PM
  #20
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I just didn't think Buffalo was sharp. They lost the puck too often just trying to stick-handle, the passes were hardly ever tape to tape, and the call-ups were ineffective.

*shrug* it happens, especially when the team you're playing against is still worried about the playoffs - which will be the case for the rest of the year, unfortunately, except the Ottawa game.

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04-04-2010, 02:24 PM
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joechip View Post
The Ugly:

We won! We Rock! Bring em. on
We lost! We Suck! Playoff Fail.

We iced a forward set last night smaller than MTL, let it go.

Ta,
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duddy View Post
panic mode: on
Hey- I've been consistently negative.

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Old
04-04-2010, 03:30 PM
  #22
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Are you serious with this thread title??? Give me a break.

Two losses in a row in the regular season =/= first-round loss.

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04-04-2010, 03:57 PM
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duddy View Post
panic mode: on
Does an 'off' mode exist?

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Old
04-04-2010, 04:39 PM
  #24
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Does an 'off' mode exist?
apparently not, unless we win every single game by at least 4 goals

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Old
04-04-2010, 04:42 PM
  #25
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I don't understand why some are getting so upset and shocked that a team basically waiting for the playoffs to begin lost to a team fighting to make the playoffs.

That's just how it is. Detroit finished last season 3-6-1 and still made it to the Cup Finals. Because they suck and are first round exits? or because they already made the playoffs and eased up a bit at the end of the regular season? You be the judge.

Buffalo is 7-3 in their past 10, hardly any reason to panic.

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