Friday, December 20, 2013
Under No Circumstances This Season Is A Loss to the Sabres An Acceptable Result
There are bad losses and then there is losing to the worst team in the NHL, in a game where you had the lead in the second period and controlled play for most of the night. The stinkbombs in Detroit and Vancouver will be remembered more since they were more dramatic but Boston's 4-2 loss tonight to Buffalo at the First Niagara Center was plenty depressing enough.
This should have served as Brad Marchand's turnaround to a crappy season (for him) since he scored both goals for the Bruins (23-10-2) but instead, Chad Johnson (19 saves) allowed another backbreaking goal on a cheesy wraparound that should never work in the NHL. The Sabres (9-23-3) aren't having a tough campaign, they are a horrorshow. That's what makes a loss to them so hard to swallow.
Ryan Miller (34 saves) is still toiling away for the Sabres and he's plenty good enough to make him vs. Johnson a complete mismatch. Former University of Maine Star Brian Flynn (a native of Lynnfield, MA) gave Buffalo a 1-0 lead with a pretty shorthanded goal at 16:27 of the first period. He skated in on a breakaway and lifted the puck to the top shelf with a nifty backhander.
Marchand responded with a shorthanded goal for Boston at 1:50 of the second period. After a pass from Johnny Boychuk, he had an open lane and drove down the wing before wristing the puck through Miller's five-hole. It was Marchand's sixth goal of the season.
Just 1:14 later, Marchand gave Boston its first lead at 2-1. This time he one-timed a pass from Patrice Bergeron. The shot wasn't scorching since he seemed to have mishit it but it still worked.
Buffalo had some good luck (probably the first time in history that's ever been written about the Sabres or Bills) when Jamie McBain's shot bounced in off Marcus Foligno's chest. The timing was tough too, 17:11 of the second period so it was a new game.
Stafford's goal came at 14:19 and Tyler Myers (remember him?) added the insurance tally 1:20 after Stafford's game-winner. The B's have a chance to take out their frustrations on the Sabres this Saturday (7, NESN), their next contest. You have to believe that Boston will beat hapless Buffalo at TD Garden but with all these injuries, I guess we shall wait and see.
Shoutout to rookie defenseman David Warsofsky who made his NHL debut for the Bruins. He grew up in Marshfield, MA and went to BU so you have to believe he was a huge Bruins fans growing up. It's always fun to see a local person going somewhere in professional sports.