The Sabers hit home with only seven points out of 14


Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) – The good defensive play of the last three games has been disappointed by the New York Rangers. Buffalo took only 7 points out of 14 in his homestand, which is not good enough.

In the first period against the Rangers, Buffalo had the best chances, but the blankets and the play in the defensive zone were horrendous.

At the first goal of the Rangers, Linus Ullmark made a circus stop on Connor Brickley, but Boo Nieves got the rebound and all Johan Larsson did was wave him. If it was the last three games, Nieves would have dropped well and would not have a chance to score. It all started because Marco Scandella's pass went straight to the Rangers.

At second base, Jack Eichel showed flexibility on the puck, allowing Vladislav Namestnikov to take a screenshot that was tipped by Jesper Fast in front.

Before this goal was scored, the Rangers looked like Harlem Globetrotters who were just skating around Vladimir Sobotka, Tagus Thompson and C.J. Smith. This line had a good first shift putting a lot of pressure on the Rangers. Sobotka almost scored, but a good shift does not excuse the rest.

Buffalo had a game of early power. Rasmus Dahlin has been prepared for a perfect one-timer of the right circle. He beat Alexandar Georgiev, but hit the post thoroughly.

Zemgus Girgensons found himself behind the defense, but attempted a breakaway and did not shoot.

For a fraction of a second in the second half, it seemed like the Sabers were going to have some life. Just 53 seconds back, Jason Pominville beat his man behind the net and found Jeff Skinner very open for his 35th goal of the season.

The shift after a goal is usually a schmazel for the Sabers and it was no different. Lawrence Pilut was overtaken by Pavel Buchnevich behind the net and Jimmy Vesey did the same with Jake McCabe on the goal side and New York regained his lead by two goals. Ullmark was also not squeezed to the post, which allowed the puck to pass.

As Dahlin did in the first period, Jack Eichel beat Georgiev off a ball but hit the crossbar.

The speed of the Rangers has baffled the Sabers at every turn. The Rangers were open throughout the match and Buffalo had no answer.

Buffalo got two power plays late in the season and Skinner was left open and he reduced the score to one.

The Sabers were playing a little better from the third, but Tage Thompson missed three gold chances, especially after stealing the puck and coming down to the end.

After the match, Phil Housley called his team "soft", he said they did not work and that the players had to understand that they did not manage the puck and they did not have the puck, they had to have an absolute urgency. He's absolutely right, he's coaching a very soft and fragile team that's way better than last year, but is probably not good enough to stay in this playoff race too long. This is not news for Jason Botterill, but he still has a lot of work to do to turn this team into a winner.


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