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Sports Then and Now



State of The Sabres: Comeback Kids 1

Posted on January 04, 2010 by Kevin Freiheit

Courtesy of Sabres Hockey Central

The Sabres played three games this past week, all of which were decided by one goal. Although Buffalo did not lose, they did not play very well, explained Head Coach Lindy Ruff.

The Sabres began the week by hosting Pittsburgh on Tuesday. Halfway through the game, the Sabres found themselves trailing 3-0. The team was not playing well at all, but they began to get some quality scoring chances. Former Sabre Jay Mckee fell on the puck in his own crease, allowing Buffalo a opportunity with a penalty shot.

Ryan Miller makes a save in the first period.

Ryan Miller makes a save in the first period.

Drew Stafford would get Buffalo on the board, but still trailing by two. Only a couple minutes later, Stafford would score again, and just like that Buffalo was back in the game. In the third period, Paul Gaustad tied the game up, and Buffalo was in business. In overtime, Jason Pominville would get the game winning goal, and the Sabres completed the comeback.

On Saturday, the Sabres took on an Atlanta team that they have not defeated in six tries. Buffalo got off to a similar start as the game against Pittsburgh. They fell behind by three, and needed a superb effort to get back into the game.

All of the Thrashers goals came in the second period, and Buffalo was down quick. Down but not out. Jochen Hecht got the Sabres on the board at the end of the second, but still trailed by two. Hecht would contribute again in the third, along with Tim Connolly, and Buffalo overcame another three goal deficit.

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Sabres Corner: Dirty Sens Blank Sabres 2

Posted on December 17, 2009 by Kevin Freiheit

Since the 2005-2006 season, the Senators have dominated the Sabres, winning 21 of 31.

Sabres beat again by Sens.

Sabres beat again by Sens.

On Wednesday night, it remained that way.

After the first period the Senators were only up 1-0. I say ONLY because of Ryan Miller. The game could have easily been out of reach for Buffalo.

Alexandre Picard was the one to finally get the puck past Miller in the first. Buffalo had trouble getting things going and could not generate any scoring chances. Shots were 11-5 in favor of Ottawa after the opening period.

The second period involved much more physical play. Both teams started to throw around their bodies. Then, Jarkko Ruutu deliverd a head shot to Patrick Kaleta, earning a five minute boarding penalty. However, Ruutu was not ejected from the game, only a five minute penalty.

I thought the NHL was trying to crack down on head shots. In my view, Ruutu should have been ejected along with the penalty. I’m sure the NHL will look into a possible suspension because it was a clean and deliberate shot to the head. This is not the first time Ruutu has aggrevated the Sabres. Last season, he bit Andrew Peters while they were in a scrum.

Kaleta left the game and did not return. I was disappointed to see that nobody went after Ruutu. Buffalo needs to start protecting their players. The Sabres did keep up with the physical play as Adam Mair, Matt Ellis, Steve Montador, and Mike Grier finished their checks.

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Sabres Corner: Young Guns Lead Sabres Past Habs 2

Posted on December 15, 2009 by Kevin Freiheit

Buffalo (19-9-2) vs. Montreal (15-15-3)

The Sabres have not played well in the Bell Centre. Ryan Miller has not won there in four starts. Buffalo disregarded those stats and came in and beat the Canadiens.

Tim Kennedy celebrates his goal that put Buffalo up 3-2.

Tim Kennedy celebrates his goal that put Buffalo up 3-2.

The game resembled a style similar to the Sabres’ 2006-2007 season. It was an offensive game, even with the league’s best goaltender in the net.

Montreal got on the board first with Andrei Kostitsyn’s seventh of the season.

That’s was it for the first period. Both teams had nine shots, but Montreal had the 1-0 lead.

As soon as the puck was dropped in the second period, Adam Mair and Ryan O’Byrne dropped the gloves.
Midway through the second, Buffalo got on the board with Andrej Sekera’s second goal of the season. Montreal would not see a lead for the rest of the game.

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Sabres Corner: Kaleta Caps Comeback With Career Night 2

Posted on December 13, 2009 by Kevin Freiheit

A two goal game may not be a career night for many players, but for Patrick Kaleta it was just that.

Buffalo was up for another big challenge on Saturday night. Although the Sabres had Ryan Miller in net, the Rangers have had a day off in between games. The Sabres played their third game in four nights.

Patrick Kaleta's two goals led the Sabres to a 3-2 win over the Rangers.

Patrick Kaleta's two goals led the Sabres to a 3-2 win over the Rangers.

The prior two games may have come as a shock to many fans. Buffalo played two elite teams: one from each conference. On Wednesday, Buffalo was able to shutout the league’s top scoring team. Then, on Friday, the Sabres held the Blackhawks to just one goal (with backup goaltender Patrick Lalime in net).

Nathan Gerbe was not in the lineup tonight, due to a sore groin. The team called up Mark Mancari for the game. Mike Grier was also out of the lineup due to his mother passing away. He is expected to be back for Monday’s game against Montreal.

As for tonight’s matchup…..it was only one week ago when the Rangers beat the Sabres 2-1. Tonight, Buffalo got revenge. They had Ryan Miller, who is coming off of a shutout, to help them find two points. Read the rest of this entry →

Sabres Corner: Buffalo Blanks Ovie, Caps 0

Posted on December 10, 2009 by Kevin Freiheit

Buffalo (16-9-2) vs. Washington (19-5-6)

Ryan Miller makes a save on Washington's Brooks Laich

Ryan Miller makes a save on Washington's Brooks Laich

It looked like a no-brainer. The Caps were easily the favored team against the Sabres. With Buffalo scoring one goal in their past two games, Washington looked like the best bet in this one.

The Capitals came into the game first in points, goals, and power play percentage.
Wednesday night, Ryan Miller and the Buffalo Sabres showed up to play.

Steve Montador led the scoring with his second of the season, giving Buffalo the early lead.

Just called up from Portland, Nathan Gerbe collected a goal and an assist on the night. Gerbe was extremly upset that he did not make the team at the start of the season. In his first game this season, he showed Lindy Ruff why he should be on the team.

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