Rabid Habs

Sabres On Parade

Habs vs Sabres

“No game is easy. We have to come out with another great performance.” – P.K. Subban

After a well needed four day break, the Montreal Canadiens were back to take on the Buffalo Sabres after their devastating 5-0 loss against the New York Rangers on Sunday. The last time Buffalo and Montreal met, the Canadiens had an overtime win, beating Buffalo 2-0. But with the Sabres being last in the league at 6.3 percent with the man advantage, would it be just as easy for Montreal to claim victory over Buffalo again? Just in case there were any issues, the Canadiens brought a bull with them named Eric Tangradi, who was acquired by Montreal and will be replacing Drayson Bowman. Tangradi played a career-high 55 games for the Jets last season and showed some offensive skills when he was captain of the Belleville Bulls so there was a good chance that when the Habs used him on the ice (he’s lined up with Manny Malhotra and Dale Weise), they would have a slight advantage of outscoring the Buffalo Sabres and possibly avoiding another overtime with the team. While Buffalo has as many wins as the Canadiens have losses so far this season, the Sabres have picked up the pace lately, and both teams own identical 3-2 records in their last five games. Coming off a strong loss from Sunday night, the Montreal Canadiens would be looking to bounce back with a valiant performance at First Niagara Center on Friday night.

The Buffalo Sabres are a quick transition team, which usually means that with quick transition comes multiple turnovers which we saw in the first period. However, three minutes and 67 seconds in and Tyler Ennis (assisted by Zemgus Girgensons and Matt Moulson) slipped one past Carey Price, giving the Sabres their first goal of the night. With great defence coming from both the defence and offence and six saves by Price, the first period looked somewhat bright for the Montreal Canadiens. But despite keeping Buffalo from grabbing another goal, the Sabres lead the way to the end of the first period.

The second period was left scoreless but the Canadiens got the spark that they needed only one minute and 75 seconds in when P.A. Parenteau got help from P.K. Subban, David Desharnais, and Max Pacioretty to push in a nice power play goal past Jhonas Enroth. The rest of the period was left tied 1-1.

Despite the Montreal Canadiens’ effort in the first two periods to get their first goal of the night, their patience paid off and brought back enough confidence for them to start putting the pressure on the Buffalo Sabres. However, the Sabres put themselves at 2-1 as Matt Moulson (assisted by Tyler Ennis and Rasmus Ristolainen) slipped one past Carey Price, who was out of the net at the time of the goal and tried to block Moulson’s shot with his stick. Unfortunately for the Montreal Canadiens, their fight in the last minute of the third period for a tie goal was dissolved and the Buffalo Sabres took victory over the first back-to-back game.

Here are my thoughts on tonight’s game.

  • The Buffalo Sabres are in last place in the league, so it makes sense that they would get a win here and there to make up for their reputation as one of the worst teams in the NHL. The fact that they were able to be stable without defenseman Josh Gorges (who in my opinion plays excellent overall) shows that the Sabres will work hard to get what they need. For any Montreal Canadiens players on Twitter talking about how much “Buffalo sucks!” and how “The Habs stink”; Buffalo’s win over the Canadiens tonight proved that they’re a team that’s capable of not being the worst out there, and why does Montreal suck every time they lose a game? Every team in the NHL loses games, but that doesn’t mean they suck. Now, calm down and get ready to drink a tall glass of victory tomorrow when the Montreal Canadiens win (which they will) over the Sabres.
  • Buffalo cheers for P.K. Subban falling down. Cody Hodgson gets a penalty for tripping P.K. Subban. Now who’s laughing, Buffalo? The one thing I cannot stand is obnoxious fans, especially ones that cheer for any player on the opposite team to get hurt. I didn’t notice any fans cheering for Brian Gionta’s face smash, brought to you by Alexei Emelin’s shoulder, so why is it okay to cheer when someone’s down on the ground? I at least have the decency to wonder if an opposite team member is okay after having their face smashed (by accident just to clarify), so you should have the decency too.
  • A great thing about the Montreal Canadiens losing a game against any team is that they always come back with a vengeance the next night, even if they’re not facing the same team they lost to. In this case, I’m excited for Saturday; I’m beaming with joy for Saturday. Why? Because Saturday night is hockey night in Canada, and that makes Saturday night alright (better than alright, actually but you get the pun…hopefully). I also hope to see another power play goal, hopefully by Tangradi.

The Montreal Canadiens face the Buffalo Sabres tonight at the Bell Centre at 7:00pm.

Find Jessica-Lyn on Twitter: @strucxtures