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Sabres Central

Ottawa Gladiators lay Buffalo to waste

It mattered not that their feared opponents were without King Alfredsson, Prince Spezza and Knight Nick Foligno. It mattered not that their backup goalie was thrust into action to man the crease. Nay, the Buffalo Sabres bowed down and kissed the rings of their conquerors for the 4th time this season and will do so again and again for eternity....or so it seems.

Once again, the Sabres turned their swords into plowshares as they lost to the Mighty Senators from the North in a shootout. If it weren't for old Braveheart, Ryan Miller, in the first period, the Senators would have devastated Sabre Nation. The Senators fired their mighty weapons nineteen times at the Sabres net with only Miller preventing their conquerors from Ottawa from laying them to waste quickly in that first period.

Behold, the Roman Centurions attacked swiftly in the first period and Miller was left defenseless in the Senator onslaught. Yet he bravely battled the Gladiators and kept them off the scoreboard in that period.

Being outshot 19-1 is an embarrassment, especially after a horrid first period in Washington on Wednesday. Just like Wednesday when the Sabres were put into a 2-0 hole by quick Capital goals and didn't have a shot for 17 minutes, against the Senators Saturday, the Sabres got their first shot on goal 17 minutes and 23 seconds after the opening faceoff.

The Sabres were given a huge mock cheer when they finally recorded their first shot on goal and were roundly booed as they went to the dressing room for the first period intermission.

Unlike the Caps scoring in the first period, the Senators took a quick 2-0 lead early in the second stanza and even Braveheart in goal could not prevent them from lighting the lamp twice. The Sabres finally battled back and tied the game late in the second and the two teams battled through the final period without any goals. Same in the overtime, and for the second week in a row, the Sabres lost a Saturday shootout at home.

Miller could not stop Alex Kovalev and Mike Fisher in the shootout and the Sabres shooters, Thomas Vanek and Tim Connolly were blanked by backup goalie Pascal Leclaire.

The Sabres are now 0-4 against the Sens this season and have a 4-23-4 record against Ottawa since the lockout ended. It is a disgraceful record and something has to be done immediately to break this through this mental block.

Ruff to blame for Sabres listless play

Lindy Ruff is a great coach. He has proven that in the past. His biggest fault is his inability to get them motivated to play inspired hockey game in and game out. The team takes long vacations in periods and in entire games. They can beat the likes of Calgary, Detroit, Philly and the Caps, but then lay a rotten egg on the ice against teams they should beat. The Senators were a team minus Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza and Nick Foligno. Throw in a backup goalie who hadn’t played in ages, and it is a perfect way to finally get over the Senator mental block the team has. Instead of coming out with fire in their eyes and determination to end this Senator domination once and for all, the Sabres waived the white flag in the first period.

Ruff has to pull out all stops in order to get the team over this Aisne Senator slump. There is no reason for it except that they are scared of anyone in a Senator uniform. Ruff also has to take the blame for the team not being able to play consistent hockey. Ted Nolan was able to get the Sabres to play at 110% on a nightly basis. When was the last time one of Ruff’s teams has played at that level for a long period of time?


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