DON’T GET ME STARTED imagines that the off-season, and probably for a few years hence, the Sabres in the suites and offices will be preaching PATIENCE, as offered by Ted Black in a Buffalo News article earlier in the day.

Certainly, the play of the Sabres Thursday night was another ho-hum affair.  Some fans wondered what Steve Ott would do if he had to pay to see the game and sat in the stands and watched the Buffalo players get overwhelmed by the visiting Montreal Canadiens.  Earlier in the week, Ott chastised fans for booing the Sabres when they played poorly.  That certainly didn’t sit well with many fans.  The only excitement came as a couple of fights broke out.

The 5-1 loss, coupled with the New York Islanders victory over Boston put the Sabres 8 points behind the Isles while the 8th place New York Rangers were idle and benefited by gaining a game-in-hand on Buffalo, maintaining a 6-point lead over Buffalo.  Winnipeg was also winning its game against Florida.  That moved the Jets 4 points ahead of Buffalo. Washington also won its game.

In essence, the teams that Buffalo needed to leap over picked up valuable points.  The Sabres now have 7 games left.  Winning them all would give them 52 points.  They do play both New York teams, Pittsburgh and Boston and it’s practically unlikely that they will make the playoffs.

Earlier in the day, the article in the News had Ted Black preaching Patience while the team is in the total rebuilding stage.  He also implied that the person to rebuild the team will be Darcy Regier.  Fans wonder if Black researched the feelings of the fans on Regier, the one who was responsible for assembling the team that has performed so woefully this season…..capped off by yet another big loss 4-0.  That probably was the nail in the coffin as far as playoffs are concerned.  That makes it 7 out of the last 11 seasons that the Sabres won’t participate in post-season play as the legacy of Darcy Regier keeps building.

Montreal overwhelmed the Buffalo Sabres in the first period, scoring a pair of goals to lead 2-0 after one.   With just under 7 minutes played, Buffalo began pressing in the Montreal zone when a pass was mis-played and the Habs broke out on a 3 on 1 resulting in a goal on a tip in by Brian Gionta off a Plekanec shot at 6:43.

Less than 4 minutes later it was 2-0 when Alex Galchenynk pumped a wrist shot behind Ryan Miller at 10:26.

How dominating were the Canadiens in that opening period?  They outshot the Sabres 16-7.  If that seems out of whack, forget it.  Montreal poured 16 more at Miller in the second period to score two more goals, while the Sabres managed only 4 shots on Budaj.  The totals after 40 minutes saw the visitors outshooting Buffalo 31-11.

At 4:36 of the second period, the undisciplined Sabres – all of them – converged on the puck along the wall and in the left circle as the disc slid behind the Buffalo cage.  The only player there was Brendan Gallagher, who skated around the net, came out in front and while Miller sprawled to the ice, Gallagher simply put it into the net to make it 3-20.

Then came undisciplined penalties.  First Weber went off for delay of game at 16:05.  He was followed into the sin bin by Jochen Hecht for high sticking, putting the Canadiens on a 5 on 3.  Certainly the 4th goals came shortly thereafter when Markov, stationed in front flicked it over a prone Miller at 17:54 putting the game virtually out of hand.

That was enough for Ryan Miller.  Coach Ron Rolston moved the goalie to the bench and replaced him with jhonas Enroth to start the final period.

With Montreal on a power play, the Sabres broke out of their zone on a two-on-one with Porter and Flynn.  On the give and go, Porter sent the pass to Blynn who took a wrist shot that beat Budaj at 6:45 to ruin the shutout as the score became 4-1.

The Canadians answered on another power play goal when P.K. Subban tipped in a shot by Markov ending the scoring and for all intents and purposes will have the Sabres playing out the season before heading to the golf course – early as usual on Don’t Get Me Started.



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