The Sabres are officially out of the playoffs

This marks the eighth straight year of no postseason action for the Sabres

Paul Hamilton
March 24, 2019 - 1:00 am

Photo: Eric Bolte - USA TODAY Sports

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Montreal, QC (WGR 550) - If Carolina makes the playoffs this season, the Sabres will have the longest playoff drought in the NHL. Buffalo was officially eliminated from the playoffs on Saturday for the eighth straight year. For me, it’s not that they’re out, it’s they weren’t good enough to play any meaningful games in March. Considering they led the NHL on November 29th, that is completely unacceptable. There are too many players that don’t listen to their coach and their coach can’t find a way to get them to execute his game plan.  

How many times have I said this season, “The Sabres gave up four goals in the second period?"

Buffalo is one of the worst second period teams in the NHL. They did fight back and tied up the game at three when they got two goals in 1:15, but Sam Reinhart over handled the puck out at the blue line and they’re behind again after Montreal converts a 2-on-1. That goal came 1:55 after the Sabres had tied the game.

I asked Phil Housley after the game why his team couldn’t sustain the momentum after tying it up at three and he tersely told me they did sustain the momentum, but then turned the puck over to give up the fourth goal.

The same thing happened in the third period after Jack Eichel pulled them to within one at 5-4. Montreal took its two-goal lead back just 2:17 later.

This team scored four goals on the road, but gave up four in the second period and three in the third, that’s not sustaining momentum. If they score four on the road, they should almost always win.

Carter Hutton was hung out the dry again as the Sabres gave up 44 shots. Montreal scored 2-on-1 and even 4-on-2. There was a goal where a defenseman was afraid to get hit and turned the puck over, there was a goal where they tried to flip a puck out but didn’t and Max Domi skated around the Sabres zone like he was Connor McDavid, Domi was allowed to pretty much do whatever he wanted.

Eichel failed to cover his man in front on one of the late Canadiens goals. He took responsibility for that and added, “There's a lot of pride on the line, there's a lot to play for. We represent our city, we represent each other and this organization. That should be enough right there."

I know that is what he’s hoping for from his teammates, but pride has not been in big abundance with this team since November 29. They get another chance Monday in New Jersey.

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