For the second straight game, the Buffalo Sabres were shutout on Sunday in a 3-0 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. Another game, another loss, another step back in the playoff race.
Even with captain Jack Eichel returning to the lineup after his one game injury absence, the team still couldn’t find the back of the net, as Flyers goaltender Carter Hart recorded his first shutout of the regular season.
For the first seven minutes of the game Sunday, the Sabres did not allow a single shot while keeping the pressure on Philadelphia. After that, it all fell apart. Defensemen Rasmus Dahlin said in a postgame interview, “It’s the worst, it’s embarrassing, someone has to make a play, fight, do something. This team is too talented to be losing like this.”
Yeah, I’d say so too. This team, with the names of Eichel, Hall, Skinner, Olofsson and Reinhart to name a few, should not be 6-10-2, last place in the division and plummeting towards last place in the NHL. There should have been no talk right now of “lottery odds” for this team. It is just unacceptable.
Ralph Krueger made some lineup changes after Saturday’s defeat, scratching Dylan Cozens, Colin Miller and Tage Thompson and playing Brandon Davidson and Matt Irwin. Backstop Jonas Johansson made 35 saves on 38 shots in Sunday’s game, with two of the three goals being deflected. There is no shorting his effort and compete in this game, as there was just no offensive help to be had.
I’m not sure what’s to come after this. Ownership hasn’t said a word and we haven’t heard from GM Kevyn Adams. The most common things we hear from this team is Ralph Krueger encouraging the team to stay positive and the players expressing concerns and disappointment.
One of the most confusing moments over the weekend was Eichel’s injury and when exactly he got hurt. Krueger said that Eichel got hurt during pregame warmups. But during the postgame interview Sunday, Eichel stated that he got hurt during a game in New Jersey during the week. I don’t understand the logic of Krueger here. There is certainly some explaining to be had there.
This teams needs a boost, this team needs to score, this team needs to win. Bottom line. As a Sabres follower since five-years-old, I cringe at the comments about blowing the team up again, even the crazy thought of trading Eichel. I try to keep these bias thoughts out of these posts, but something has got to happen.
Will the Pegula’s come out and say anything? Will Adams make a trade to help this team out? I don’t have the answers to these, but it is clear that something has to give here. The Sabres are looking at a nine-year playoff drought, with year number 10 in the rear view mirror if they don’t turn things around.
They’ll have their chance to start making up some ground with a five-game road trip, which began on Tuesday night. Score a goal, get in a fight, show some toughness, play connected and together and they’ll put themselves in a position to win. We’ll see what happens.