Ottawa - December 30, 2014 - Following every Sabres game, we’ll be taking a little look at the previous night’s action with a little segment called “good, bad and ugly”. Expect a loooooooot of ugly.
Let’s get right into last night’s 5-2 loss in Ottawa to the Senators.
It’s really been an underrated quality of the Sabres as a whole, but this team fights and doesn’t give up. They’ve been quite resilient all year long and showed it again by coming right out in the second period to not only tie the game, but take the lead before the halfway point.
Both Mark Pysyk and Zemgus Girgensons’ goals were earned in the muck, putting back rebounds. For a team that knows it isn’t the most talented in the fight, they make the most of their opportunities and keep themselves in games through sheer fight and determination. Sure, the score was 5-2, but this was a game until Clark MacArthur made it a two-goal lead with about eight minutes left.
The Sabres have the foundation down for a successful future. It’s just a matter of developing the talented kids in the system and turning a few of those unlucky, blown leads into wins. That will come with time.
Remember in the preview how I said Bobby Ryan was the picture of inconsistency? He hadn’t scored in five games prior to last night’s, where he broke out for the hat trick. He’s got just two goals in his last 15 and had seven coming into the game.
Ryan’s M.O. is pretty simple: he’s as talented as anyone, but for some reason, he’s just not scoring the way he did in Anaheim. Some might say it’s the lack of stars around him (Getzlaf and Perry can make most look good), some might say he’s just never been a consistent player. Either way, he’s having an impact for the Senators. Last night, it was the good kind. Most nights, he’s a ghost.
At 27 years old, he’s probably what he’ll be for the rest of his career: a pretty good player who will never be quite what anyone thought he would. He’s a quality power forward in a league that lacks depth in that category. Still, you watch him and wonder what he would be when he puts it all together. Then you get nights like this.
When I say this is an ugly, I’m not necessarily slamming the subject. That said, man, Jhonas Enroth looks human as it gets these days. Maybe it’s fatigue, maybe he is just regressing back to the mean. Whatever it is, he went from looking virtually superhuman for a 13-game stretch in November and December to looking positively pedestrian over the last two weeks.
I don’t think anyone had delusions that Enroth had suddenly become a Vezina-caliber goalie, but his performance in those two stretches is like night and day and the results have definitely swung in the other direction for the Sabres.
I’m not sure what this means going forward, but it’s a tad disheartening to see Enroth’s play drop off so hard. It was good to see a guy who never really got any credit for his solid play finally catch fire. Now that he’s cooled off, it feels like he’s back to obscurity.
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