Sabres Week 2: Comfortably Numb

This guy!!! - Photo via @ErieOtters

This guy!!! – Photo via @ErieOtters

I’d like to take this opportunity to applaud the city of Buffalo and the surrounding region – I haven’t heard back from Guinness yet, but I am fairly certain that this is the earliest a fanbase has given up on a team in a city that doesn’t rhyme with Boronto. And, given the poor showing of the first two weeks, this is no panic-driven, knee-jerk reaction. The bandwagon is officially on fire, picking up speed as it rolls down Washington toward the doors of the FNC, leaving gasping fans in its wake.

Foligno Scores - photo from

Foligno Scores – photo from

The week started well enough – as predicted, the Sabres ground out a shootout win in Carolina. Against my prognostication, the coaching staff split the Foligno-Girgensons-Stewart line, but those top-performing players were still able to find their way onto the scoresheet, with Marcus Foligno netting two. Getting the early win against a team that matches our caliber was nice, but we allowed two goals in the third to force the game into overtime before the Zee-Train ended an extended shootout in the 8th round. Also overshadowing the win was the fact that league-renowned tough guy and notorious skillless oaf, John Scott, scored a nifty goal and now has more goals than 16 Buffalo Sabres. The decision to put Hodgson between Foligno and Stewart seemed to have paid off, as Hodgson finally got his first point of the season.

Riding high on their Tuesday night victory, the Sabres brought their game back home to face fellow basement dwellers, the Florida Panthers. The buzz was definitely killed almost immediately, as the Sabres mustered only three shots in the first and barely made it into double digits by the end of the second, despite four power play chances. Panthers’ goalie Roberto Luongo had most of the night off, and was able to stay sharp to pick up his first win and first shutout of the year. Bright spots include the Sabres PK, who were able to fend off five Panthers’ power plays, and Jhonas Enroth nabbed 2nd star over Luongo, a tip of the cap to Enroth’s performance in the losing effort.

Lu gets his first shutout of the season - photo from

Lu gets his first shutout of the season – photo from

The next night was a Saturday showdown at the FNC against the much-loathed Boston Bruins. Going into the game, expectations were not high, and so thankfully, the lackluster performance was not too disappointing. So confident were the Bruins that they gave starting goalie Tukka Rask the night off in favor of Niklas Svedberg. The Sabres seemed to get some help from an undisciplined Bruins team, heading to seven power plays – five of them coming in the first two periods, but were unable to capitalize on any of the attempts. The PK was strong again, keeping the Bruins’ power play unit off of the board, and the Sabres produced one of their cleanest games of the year, going to the box only four times. The result was again one-sided as the Bruins bullied by us in a 4-0 win, with Svedberg claiming his first career shutout. This marks the first time in over ten years the Sabres have been shutout in two consecutive games, and over 25 years since it’s happened twice in a row at home.

How I spent my Saturday Night.

How I spent my Saturday Night.

It was a bad week for the offense, and it’s not going to get any better this week. Over the next four nights, the Sabres face the Ducks, the Kings, and the Sharks. Their goalies have a 1.86, 1.86, and a 2.70 Goals Against Average so far this season. If there is any solace, the Kings’ elite goaltender, Jonathan Quick, is tied with Enroth for the league lead in shots faced, and Enroth trails only Quick in saves. Week three could prove to be a bit more depressing than week two, but the good news is that this West Coast road trip means we’ll mostly be asleep for all of the shame. Our one hope is that the Sabres can continue their recent streak against the Sharks, as we went 2-0 against them last season. The definitely have the weakest goaltending of these matchups; hopefully the offense can kickstart a little confidence and we can snag a nice W before heading back east.


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