In an exciting game, the Sabres put up a good fight against an eastern conference heavyweight in the Carolina Hurricanes. But they continue this season’s trend of winning, losing, and repeating the cycle. Here are 3 thoughts.
The Problem Isn’t Goaltending
The numbers may say goaltending wasn’t great tonight, but stats aren’t the end all be all. UPL was excellent tonight. He kept the Sabres in this game to the end, and if it wasn’t for the first goal going off of Jordan Greenway’s shoulder, I believe he would’ve had another win on his record. He and Devon Levi have made every single save they have needed to make this year, and for the first time since Ryan Miller, I feel confident in Sabres goaltending.
The Sabres are a young team, and that means there is much to learn. I have noticed that the defensive side of the puck is an area that will need some dedicated time in practice over the next couple of years. The young defensemen of this team are obviously talented, and most of the time they execute breakouts and play defense the right way. But when they make mistakes, they are crucial ones that often result in quality chances for the other team. The 2nd and 3rd goals were preventable and were caused by lapses in judgment. It will come with time, but it is something worth mentioning.
Carolina Is Legit
I don’t usually comment on the opposing teams in these, but I have to make an exception here. The Sabres played an excellent game, all things considered, tonight. For the most part, they were on the ball defense-wise. They generated quality chances and blocked 20 shots. But this Hurricanes team is a step above the rest. They were calm and collected, had multiple stretches of consistent pressure, and even with shaky goaltending, managed to win. I believe they are the favorites out of the East this year. But who knows? Maybe the Sabres will be the team to upset them this year.
Buffalo is back in action on the 10th when they face the Minnesota Wild. Go Sabres!