Sabres Vs. Oilers Review 1/15/19

                The first five minutes of this game were ridiculous. Connor Sheary opened the scoring by taking a bad angle shot that went short side on Koskinen. The Oilers then scored three unanswered goals in 4 minutes. It started when Bogosian tipped Kassian’s shot in past Hutton. Shortly after that, Jones shot a puck that went off Nugent-Hopkins and into the net. I don’t know if the Sabres have been walking under ladders lately, or playing with black cats, but the amount of unlucky bounces they are getting recently is remarkable. Finally, for Edmonton, Kassian scored an easy tap-in goal from Reider to make it 3-1. Halfway through the first, Rodrigues buried a nice shot, making it a one-goal game. Fortunately, the Sabres are only down by one goal, after the start that they had. It’s worth noting that Dahlin had several great scoring chances this period. He is developing into a great two-way defenseman.

                The second period started with Connor McDavid on a breakaway. He scored by shooting five hole, making it 4-2. The period pressed on until Scandella turned the puck over to Lucic. He scored the Oilers fifth goal of the game, and the Sabres finally put Ullmark in the net. So far, he saved every shot-on goal. The Sabres shot themselves in the foot this period. They need to somehow erase a three-goal deficit in the third period.

                The Sabres really fell apart in the third. The period started off well, and the Sabres were getting chances. However, Lucic scored to make it 6-2. Then Dahlin shot the puck over the boards, giving Edmonton a powerplay. Immediately McDavid drove to the net and Draisaitl scored of the rebound. At this point, the Sabres had no chance at a comeback. There wasn’t anymore scoring for the remainder of the game, making the final score 7-2 Edmonton.

                I don’t know what to think about the Sabres at this point. Since their 10-game winning streak, they have been lackluster. The Sabres had a mix of terrible luck and defensive breakdowns tonight. Rob Ray was talking about the Sabres practice this morning and he stated, “They were just going through the motions at practice. No one was really talking and that carried into today’s game.” I agree that they looked a little sluggish and out of place tonight. Eichel has been struggling a bit since his return. It seems that it will take him more time than expected to get up to speed. Hutton also wasn’t on his game tonight.  He was left out to dry a few times, but when Ullmark replaced him, things seemed to get better. At the rate Buffalo is losing games, they may be able to win the draft lottery. Forget about playoffs. If the Sabres aren’t dominant after the all-star game, I don’t see how they will even make a wildcard spot this year. Edmonton has been struggling this year, and the Sabres could have capitalized on that. With tonight’s performance, the Sabres lost out on two points. Two points that were very much obtainable.

Mitch KozlowskiComment