Saturday, October 18, 2008

Canucks Game Review and Game Preview for Thrashers

The Sabres beat the Canucks last night 5-2 at the Bank. The main achilles heel for the Canucks was backup goalie Curtis Sanford who basically looked outmatched all night. Main stars for the Sabres were Ales Kotalik and Thomas Vanek. Kotalik had two goals on the night which doubled his goal total for the year while Vanek had three points on the night with one goal and two assists.

The Sabres special teams looked really good again last night as well going 2 for 6 on the powerplay and holding the Canucks scoreless on their 5 powerplay shifts. The penalty kill so far on the year has been perfect while the powerplay has converted on 26% of their chances this year.

One issue that has come up in the last two games has been the play of Patrick Kaleta. Kaleta against the Rangers basically turtled against Mara and drew a five minute powerplay that produced the game winning goal. Again in the Canucks game, Shane O'Brien jumped Kaleta and didnt really give Kaleta a chance to throw a punch which drew a double major for O'Brien that led to the second goal of the game. While I was critical of Kaleta's actions in the Rangers game, the fact that he has drawn two powerplays that the Sabres have been able to convert on means that drawing the penalties have actually worked.

The Sabres play again against the Atlanta Thrashers who have struggled in their first four games. The Sabres may fall into a hard time with the first back-to-back game of the season. The Sabres travel down to Atlanta last night and may be a little fatigued from the Canucks game. A quick start for the Sabres will help here. Patrick Lalime should be in net for tonight. Here are stats for the game.


Stat Leaders
Goals - Vanek (6)
Assists - Numminen (4)
Points - Vanek (8)
Plus/Minus - (+4)
Penalty Minutes - Rivet (29)
Shots - Vanek (25)

Special Teams
Power play - 25.9% (7th in League)
Penalty Kill - 100.0% (Tied for 1st in League)

Miller: 3-0, 1.30 GAA, .945 SV%
Lalime: 1-0, 1.00 GAA, .958 SV%


Stat Leaders
Goals - Little (3)
Assists - Havelid (4)
Points - Little (5)
Plus/Minus - Exelby, Hainsey (+4)
Penalty Minutes - Boulton (22)
Shots - Schneider (14)

Special Teams
Powerplay - 13.0% (21st in League)
Penalty Kill - 80.0% (17th in League)

Lehtonen: 1-2, 3.04 GAA, .915 SV%
Hedberg: 0-0, 0.00 GAA, 1.000 SV%

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