Different players, the same result

The Bruins just smothered the Sabres at every turn

Paul Hamilton
October 04, 2018 - 9:18 pm

Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig - USA TODAY Sports


Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) - The Sabres were so bad after 40 minutes, they got booed off the ice. Boston gave up seven goals to Washington on Wednesday and they were determined to play nothing but defense against the Sabres on Thursday.

After 40 minutes, Boston choked off almost every rush and the Sabres did just what the Bruins wanted, they started forcing plays and getting frustrated.

The passing has improved in practice, but was just as bad in this game as it was for the past seven years, horrendous.

In the first period, Jaroslav Halak had to make one decent save. Jason Pominville found Evan Rodrigues alone in front and Halak robbed him.

In the second, Jack Eichel ripped an off angle shot that Halak juggled, but Zdeno Chara just pushed the puck under his goalie in the crease.

The Sabres' defensive zone coverage was way out of position on the first three goals. Marco Scandella lost his man on the first two and Rasmus Dahlin didn’t seem to realize David Pastrnak was all by himself next to Carter Hutton and David Krejci found him for a layup.

It’s not just rookies that are the problem. In one shift, Kyle Okposo gained the blue line and then did a drop pass into traffic. Later, he got behind the net and made a blind backhand pass to the Bruins and they just started up ice.

The Sabres were told by the coaches that Boston was going to come out with some pride in this game and really play it tight. It seems like the players didn’t listen.

After 40 minutes, that’s really all there was to talk about because Boston took away all of Buffalo’s time and space and nobody was fighting through it.

In the third period, Halak had to make a great save on Pominville after Rodrigues set him up and then on Sam Reinhart as he walked in.

Phil Housley made it clear after the game that the reason things went so poorly were bad decisions with the puck. The Bruins wanted the Sabres to take the puck to the middle and they fell right into the trap. Housley said, "I thought our younger players played pretty well. Our veteran players need to play the right way...for the most part we were our own worst enemy."

The other thing was that Halak pretty much saw every shot. There wasn't any traffic in front of the goaltender and he made the difficult save when he had to.

Housley stated very sternly in the post-game that this is not happening again. We'll see Saturday against the Rangers.

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