The Sabres are a no show against the Leafs

Carter Hutton holds Buffalo in the game

Paul Hamilton
March 20, 2019 - 10:24 pm

Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig - USA TODAY Sports


Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) - The Sabres spent 40 minutes playing as bad as they could possibly play, yet they only trailed Toronto 2-1. Buffalo spent two periods in their own zone and got out shot 38-15.

Carter Hutton played one of his best two periods, making save after save and, pretty much, standing on his head. He had no chance on any of the Toronto goals.

The Sabres blew numerous chance to clear the puck out of their zone, they would turn it over and Hutton had to clean up the mess.

In the first period, the only thing that saved the Sabres was Hutton, the penalty kill and the power play. Buffalo did a good job off killing off two penalties, and actually had a shorthanded breakaway by Johan Larsson.

Jack Eichel stole a puck from Nic Petan and had another shorthanded breakaway in the second period.

Buffalo got a power play and Casey Mittelstadt somehow got one by Sparks from a bad angle. The Leafs had been giving up over five goals per-game in their last six, but the Sabres didn’t even have five scoring chances in the first two periods.

The Sabres didn’t move their feet, they didn’t hit anybody and didn’t make smart decisions. They got completely run over by a team that played in Nashville on Tuesday night.

It took only 22-seconds in the third period for Tage Thompson to lose the puck to John Tavares and it was 3-1.

Buffalo was still playing poorly, but got their first good chance to score in the third period and took advantage of it. Vladimir Sobotka found Alex Nylander in the slot and he wasted no time ripping one past Sparks. At that point, the shots were 44-19 Leafs, but the score was still only 3-2.

Brandon Montour has struggled for, maybe, his last three or four games and struggled mightily in this one. However, he did almost tie the game when he hit the post.

Buffalo was better in the third period and, at least, made Sparks join the game a little bit, but they can’t be proud of one pretty good period and two absolute train wrecks.

I said on Howard and Jeremy’s show a few weeks ago that folks might want to get comfortable with Phil Housley being the coach on opening night next year. That was before three straight shutouts against and game after game of awful hockey, except for the St. Louis game. There are too many nights lately where this team just throws their sticks out there and it may leave no choice for the Pegulas and Jason Botterill other than to fire Housley. I know they don’t want to be firing coaches every two years and Botterill did a poor job constructing this roster to help youngsters like Casey Mittelstadt, but again, the fans are revolting. All the Pegulas have to do is take a look at their building being filled with about 70-percent Maple Leafs fans. I've been here for a lot of these Toronto games, and this, by far, was the worst I've seen it. The fans have spoken.

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