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  • Minnesota Wild vs. Buffalo Sabres: Game Recap


    For Buffalo perspective, please visit Die By The Blade

    Tough loss, but being down 2-0 and in a game where they frankly looked like they were going through the motions all night against a team with whom there is no history or animosity on which to build, I guess you take the loser point and go home.

    The rest of the first period was more of the same. decent pressure by the Wild, but the Sabres collapsed well and turned any Wild attack into a nice counter.

    The third period was a bit of a chess game, with each side looking to take advantage of the limited opportunities, and being silenced in each and every one. The Sabres collapse when the Wild had numbers better than just about anyone else I've seen this season. Every time the Wild came in with numbers, the Sabres defensemen know when to take the shooter and when to break off to cover the passing lanes, and the Wild are stymied. It's fabulous.

    As the third period went on, it appeared more and more that the Wild were content to get to OT and take the loser point. It wasn't so much that they were outmatched, but they were dropping back into coverage unless they had numbers. It turned into a bit of an up and down game, as each team tried to get the home run shot, but didn't want to get caught out of position.

    On the Sabres: This team should not be in the position they are. Look at this roster and tell me what they're missing. I just don't get it. Is Lindy Ruff losing it? Are they trying to play a system for which they lack the personnel? Seriously, it makes no sense to me. They look technically strong, they have an elite goaltender, good offensive talent, they could use another puck-moving defenseman, but even then they shouldn't be outside the playoffs looking in. I mean, it's the East, it's not like the competition is that much better than they are. Anyway, it must be frustrating to be a Sabres fan, because these guys should be fun to watch, but they aren't getting the wins.

    Bryan's Take:

    Another game, another first period nap followed by some great hockey. The Wild were completely out played for about 25 minutes to start the game, came out roaring, tied the game, and then went into a prevent defense that the Steelers would be proud of. The Sabres looked like they wanted it the whole game, and they proved it by taking home the extra point. Not having Ryan Miller in net wasn't an issue as Jhonas Enroth performed admirably, joined by Drew Stafford and Thomas Vanek. It was most certainly clear who wanted it more tonight.

    Pushing the "Every Game Counts" meme in the arena and out, the game ops folks may want to show that to the players. For a team fighting for their playoff lives, the effort certainly was not there like it should have been. They will now need to re-group and find some points on the road. Welcome to the Minnesota State Hockey Tournament, hockey fans.

    Hockey Wilderness Three Stars

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