I wish I had a better context in which to post this–ya know, like the kind of context featuring the Bills in a meaningful playoff game or–God forbid–the Super Bowl, but since that’s a good, long while away and this clip is so good, I must post it now. Maybe we can apply it to the Sabres somehow.
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Speaking of the Sabres, they won a fantastic game last night, in the shootout on a ridonkulous Thomas Vanek slap shot about 30 feet from the goaltender. Anyone lucky enough to be able to watch it knows just how positively the rule changes have impacted the game. Describing the overtime as “nonstop end-to-end action” doesn’t quite do it justice. I’d kill to see a playoff series between these Buffalo and Montreal at the peak of their respective games next Spring.
Until then, however, I would like to see Buffalo regain the form it had on display the first 10 or so games of the season: dominating opponents with their speed and special teams. The power play’s running on empty (3 for their last 30-something) and the forwards have taken to making the finesse play instead of attacking the zone and taking advantage of odd-man rushes. Too often the man with the puck will try to make an unnecessary, overly-fancy pass instead of just taking the zone and leaving the puck behind for the trailer to pick up. That tricky crap ain’t gonna work in the playoffs.
Getting back their injured blueliners should help a lot with that–Henrik Tallinder in particular is a big reason the power play’s suffered as of late. Teppo Numminen’s gonna be out for a while with a broken toe, of all things, so greenhorns Nathan Paetsch and Andrej Sekera will have to pick up the slack. Paetsch’s looked pretty good in the time he’s been up from Rochester, so we needn’t be too worried.
And speaking of not being worried, this guy is our goaltender: