Sunday, November 2, 2008

A Tale of Two Games

Thursday and Saturday night were the exact opposite for the Sabres in terms of result, effort, and overall play. The Lightning came into the Bank on Thursday and absolutely wiped the Sabres clean with their 5-2 win. On Saturday, Ryan Miller got his first shutout of the season as the Sabres just out hustled and out played the Ovechkin less Capitals.

The effort the Sabres put forth against the Lightning was just pathetic. No one seemed to really cared about their play as the Lightning took an early 3-1 lead and never looked back. Rookie Steve Stamkos scored his first two goals of his career in this game while Ryan Miller looked soft and just bad letting in at least two soft goals including one that dribbled five hole for a score.

The Capitals could not put together many scoring chances as the Sabres shut them down and Thomas Vanek scored twice on Saturday. Miller had his redemption game stopping all 29 shots that he faced.

If the Sabres play the system that they are set to play like they did against the Capitals, they will be a hard team to stop and be a playoff caliber team. The only issue with that statement is that they have to avoid playing games like they did on Thursday. The bipolar nature of this team was something they did a lot last season and if they continue this trend then the playoffs again will not be in reach. This team has the talent to compete, they just need the ability to play the way they should night in and night out.

The Blue Footed Booby award for the Lightning is going to be Ryan Miller just because of the extremely soft play during the game. For Saturday night it is going to be the Washington defense. Three goals within the first two minutes or final two minutes of a period will kill any momentum that the team could create.

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