More Nails In the Sabres Coffin
Since November the Buffalo Sabres have played themselves out of a playoff spot and with their 16th loss in the last 19 games on the road they may have made it next to impossible to make the playoffs. If you're counting, that would be the eighth straight year out of the playoffs. Those words from Terry Pegula are ringing pretty hollow these days - "the reason for the Buffalo Sabres existence is to win the Stanley Cup." That's damn hard to do if you can't even make the playoffs.
Tuesday night in Philadelphia the Flyers dominated the Sabres on the ice, in toughness and on the scoreboard 5-2. Carter Hutton had a busy night in goal facing 45 shots and with the Flyers buzzing with ease into and around the Buffalo zone he did his best to keep the score somewhat respectable.
Jack Eichel and Casey Mittelstadt had the Buffalo goals and the Sabres did generate a few other scoring chances but just flat out botched a number of them. Secondary scoring for Buffalo? It doesn't exist. If it doesn't come from their top two lines it's not going to come at all.
Newly acquired defenseman Brandon Montour made his Buffalo debut and his most noticeable moment came when the Sabres were down a goal and he fanned on a pass allowing the Flyers to go the other way and score to make it a two-goal game. That effectively put the game out of reach for this Buffalo team starved for scoring.
So with other teams ahead of them in the Eastern Conference all winning the Sabres now are eight points out of a playoff spot with just over a month of hockey left to play. And with their win the Flyers move past the Sabres in the standings, dropping Buffalo into 12th place. It's been a long, dismal nosedive.
The Sabres are back home on Friday against Pittsburgh.