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Post Game Analysis 3/8-Sabres

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All I have to say about this game is how the heck did Ryan Miller not get the #1 star on the night? He single handedly earned them a point tonight.

I did laugh listening to the radio after the game when the guys on 99.9 said 'Sergei Samsonov is proving that the Blackhawks have the dumbest management in the entire NHL'. Seriously, how do you pick someone like him off waivers? He'll be a staple to this franchise for years to come. Thanks, ChiTown.

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Miller definitely stole the show as the game went on, and I think pretty much stole a point for buffalo.

Canes were more physical, better on faceoffs, and had more scoring chances. Despite a weak game by Ward, and great shot blocking by the Sabres, the Canes were able to finally extend a winning streak to 4 this season.

Wallin and Gleason seemed to step their games up tonight with Wesley out. Corvo continues to be a solid contributor whether its on the PP or at even strength.

Also Cole was everywhere tonight creating scoring chances, he looked fantastic.

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Nice summary, TSA. Overall I thought that the team played well and that even though we had some soft spots we fought thru it and keep fighting for the victory. Cam Ward had an off night but that's ok 'cause he made some big saves at the end to give us a chance at winning the game; Ryan Miller was phenomenal tonight and he really kept the Sabres in it for the most part. Our PP was also off tonight but I think the Sabres PK was mostly at fault, as they did a great job of blocking shots and staying in shooting lanes...it didn't seem like we had a lot of room to work with really. Anyways I'm proud of the team and they keep showing that they're for real now and don't just wanna make the playoffs but instead wanna get there and make a deep impact. IMO, there is something special about this team...and I hope it keeps showing in every game here on out.

My Three Stars of the Game:

1st- Sergei Samsonov; TSA said it best not only is he showing up on the scoresheet but he's also making incredible defensive plays...literally playing like a Selke candidate right now.

2nd- Ryan Miller; Two remarkable saves that kept the game in-reach for the Sabres in the third period...he was just awesome tonight in a OT losing effort.

3rd- 'Canes third line; Walker, Aucoin, and Bayda just keep going along every game outplaying and outworking every team they come up against...the BEST line combo we've had all year long IMHO. I almost don't want anybody returning from injuries 'cause I feel like the line will get mixed up...or team chemistry will go down...they're all playing so well right now.

Honorable Mention- Nic Wallin; had a nice hit in the first and also some good defensive plays throughout the game...saved a goal at one point. His best game in a while.

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Two words to describe this game: Momentum and goaltending

Carolina controls the first. They break through Miller once, and use the momentum from that goal to strike again. When Buffalo scores their first, we answer with Samsonov's goal to kill any momentum they may have gained. They score their second, momentum shifts and suddenly, we're struggling to stay afloat. The referees start taking over the game, and kill off any momentum Buffalo has at the end of the 3rd. If there's a perfect example of what momentum can do, this game is it.

Miller outplayed Ward, plain and simple. Ward looked shakey from the start, but made saves when we needed him to. Unfortunately, 2 of their goals are at least partly his far. He misplays the puck, and Roy stuffs it home. He commits to the shot on the second, and just leaves a wide-open net for the deflection. Both goals were probably 70% him, 30% the defense. That's not even mentioning the sure goal Samsonov saved. Meanwhile, Miller stones Staal and Samsonov on 2 wide open nets. Just ridiculous.

Staal, I thought, had a great game. He had almost 30 minutes of icetime tonight. 30 MINUTES for a forward. Those are Brindamour numbers. And he was out there, fighting for the puck and creating chances all night. Great night for him.

Kaberle has really improved since Corvo arrived. You can tell by his play. Something in the N&O this morning said he's got 8 points in his last 13 games, compared to 9 points in the 55 games before that. He's learning when to jump in, and he's not so nervous with the puck anymore. He'll make a mistake here or there, but overall, he's improving.

Our PK, despite giving up the game-tying goal, continues to impress.

The goats of tonight:

Our powerplay - I'm not sure what happened tonight, as far as the PP goes, but we just couldn't keep it in the zone. Our shots were getting blocked, or we'd make an errant pass, or something would happen where the puck would end up heading towards Ward. Yeah, it converted tonight to win the game, but considering the chances we had tonight to win it in regulation (including the last 4 minutes of regulation), it was not a good night for them.

Hedican - His mind was elsewhere tonight. From what I understand, his personal day had something to do with cancer, so I don't blame him for being distracted.

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We played a very good 50 minutes or so and still pulled out a win,and a huge 2 points at that.Not our best but it was good enough tonite!!!Way to go boys

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This is NOT the thread to discuss the fans at the game. If you dont have anything to add about the game played on the ice, please do not post in here.

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This is NOT the thread to discuss the fans at the game. If you dont have anything to add about the game played on the ice, please do not post in here.

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1st:Another playoff atmosphere.

2nd: Great game by the Walker, Acuoin, Bayda line :)

3rd: I must add this but Buffalo is very lucky that Miller saved those 99.99% Chance to go in shots..

4th: Cam came up BIG! on those late shots on goals and during the game...

5th: Our offsides have not been a problem here.. thats good.

6th: Eaves; Had a good game, got some big hits, and some scoring chances, cant wait for him to get his first Hurricanes goal.

Final: 2 Points! And now were back to 7 points ahead of the Caps...

Question of the day for me is... Are ATL and FLA Out of the Race? :unsure:

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What a game.

We came out and played a perfect 1st- pressure from all lines. Cam was sharp.

Buff breaks thru in the second, we answer quickly, Serg batting in a rebound- then Miller goes into "the Zone".

we give up a crucial one at the end of the 2nd-momentum shifts.

They tie mid way thru the 3rd- and Miller steals the point. Canes pressure back- forced some penalties, but the PP looked aweful.

4-3 in OT and Scotty finally tips one past Miller's incredible performance.

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Two words to describe this game: Momentum and goaltending

Carolina controls the first. They break through Miller once, and use the momentum from that goal to strike again. When Buffalo scores their first, we answer with Samsonov's goal to kill any momentum they may have gained. They score their second, momentum shifts and suddenly, we're struggling to stay afloat. The referees start taking over the game, and kill off any momentum Buffalo has at the end of the 3rd. If there's a perfect example of what momentum can do, this game is it.

Miller outplayed Ward, plain and simple. Ward looked shakey from the start, but made saves when we needed him to. Unfortunately, 2 of their goals are at least partly his far. He misplays the puck, and Roy stuffs it home. He commits to the shot on the second, and just leaves a wide-open net for the deflection. Both goals were probably 70% him, 30% the defense. That's not even mentioning the sure goal Samsonov saved. Meanwhile, Miller stones Staal and Samsonov on 2 wide open nets. Just ridiculous.

Staal, I thought, had a great game. He had almost 30 minutes of icetime tonight. 30 MINUTES for a forward. Those are Brindamour numbers. And he was out there, fighting for the puck and creating chances all night. Great night for him.

Kaberle has really improved since Corvo arrived. You can tell by his play. Something in the N&O this morning said he's got 8 points in his last 13 games, compared to 9 points in the 55 games before that. He's learning when to jump in, and he's not so nervous with the puck anymore. He'll make a mistake here or there, but overall, he's improving.

Our PK, despite giving up the game-tying goal, continues to impress.

The goats of tonight:

Our powerplay - I'm not sure what happened tonight, as far as the PP goes, but we just couldn't keep it in the zone. Our shots were getting blocked, or we'd make an errant pass, or something would happen where the puck would end up heading towards Ward. Yeah, it converted tonight to win the game, but considering the chances we had tonight to win it in regulation (including the last 4 minutes of regulation), it was not a good night for them.

Hedican - His mind was elsewhere tonight. From what I understand, his personal day had something to do with cancer, so I don't blame him for being distracted.

Yea good job spotting out Kaberle's play of late, and in this game. He has been picking it up, and hopefull he'll continue to get better and more confident.

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Effort on powerplay tonight wasn't all there, turns out we didn't need it. I know everyone has said it already, but hats of to Ryan Miller, who, as his commercial suggests, reacted in only .5 seconds. Playing the best hockey we have played all season since October, without roddy and j-will. Scottie and the rat pack continue to get it done and what can I say about Sergei. Keep up the hard work boys, and let's see the powerplay develop some more down the stretch.

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Miller outplayed Ward, plain and simple.

If Miller so outplayed Ward and the Canes scored 4 goals to the Slugs 3, I guess the Canes in general greatly out played the Slugs.

Unfortunately, 2 of their goals are at least partly his far. He misplays the puck, and Roy stuffs it home. He commits to the shot on the second, and just leaves a wide-open net for the deflection. Both goals were probably 70% him, 30% the defense.

I disagree. I'd say that 70% was Ward, 29% the defense and maybe 1% was the effort and play of the Slugs. (See Forslund comment below.)

Our powerplay - I'm not sure what happened tonight, as far as the PP goes, but we just couldn't keep it in the zone. Our shots were getting blocked, or we'd make an errant pass, or something would happen where the puck would end up heading towards Ward. Yeah, it converted tonight to win the game, but considering the chances we had tonight to win it in regulation (including the last 4 minutes of regulation), it was not a good night for them.

Forslund on the 99.9 post game show, said that we are too quick to criticize and find fault. Sometimes what appears as poor play is just the opposition playing well. I suppose if one is only basing his assessment on the score, then it was not a good (PP) night for them. However, I doubt Lavi will try to fix something that ain't broke. And our PP is not broken. Sometimes very good teams have off nights and sometimes not so good teams have great nights. Teams of championship ilk win some games when they have off nights. It pleases me no end that the Canes don't have to be firing on all cylinders to win. That gives me great hope for a Cup run.

Hedican - His mind was elsewhere tonight. From what I understand, his personal day had something to do with cancer, so I don't blame him for being distracted.

Given the closeness of this team, I wonder if some or even most of them were not somewhat distracted or didn't have 100% concentration. I'll take that as a positive, not an negative. When teammates care about each other, magic happens.

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Did I say the powerplay was broken? No, so please don't put words in my mouth. I said they were off tonight, which I don't think you can disagree with. I also said I wasn't sure the reason as to why it was off. Could be because of the Buffalo PK, but Minnesota has a better PK than they do, and our PP didn't look anything like it did tonight against the Wild.

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Absolutely beautiful game... The boys actually came out of the gate running this time and just kept it coming... I was very impressed with Bayda tonight. He really worked his tail off along the boards that set up the first goal... The guys were getting really pooped by the end of the game and I was proud of Cole for standing in front of the net and taking a beating without retaliating. Great atmosphere again and was thrilled to be there... Let's make it 5 in a row boys!!!

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It was a great game to watch.

Bad:

Not playing full 60 minutes.

Cam Ward with customary softie.

Good:

1nd and 2nd lines

Better:

Ryan Miller and

walker.jpg

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I only saw the 3rd and OT because I was out to dinner (it's dvr'd - i'll watch the highlights later). Great effort by the good guys and Miller absolutely made some remarkable saves. I was really impressed by the buffalo PK - they were so aggressive on the PK - something I would like to see more of from the 'Canes. Great win - Cole looked awesome tonight (for the little I saw anyway). Keep it up fellas - we are gaining momentum and it looks like we may be peaking at the right time of the season.

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i don't think the PP was that bad by the way. Sabres just did a really good job, including miller. they blocked shots, took away shooting lanes, and they clear the puck to open ice, very underrated PK the Sabres have.

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Hedican - His mind was elsewhere tonight. From what I understand, his personal day had something to do with cancer, so I don't blame him for being distracted.

His best friend died due to a brain tumor I believe, so he was attending the funeral.

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Did I say the powerplay was broken? No, so please don't put words in my mouth. I said they were off tonight, which I don't think you can disagree with. I also said I wasn't sure the reason as to why it was off. Could be because of the Buffalo PK, but Minnesota has a better PK than they do, and our PP didn't look anything like it did tonight against the Wild.

Minnesota PK wasn't better the other night, now was it? Buffaloe and Miller in particular made our PP look bad.

No, Froggy, you didn't. I have what you said in quotes. 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it' is an expression and a comment that Lavi won't be tweaking the PP just because Miller was ridiculous in the crease tonight.

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Faceoffs looked much better, Staal still needs to get better for the playoffs.

Matt Cullen was 19-26 @ 73%

Trevor Letowski was 7-10 @ 70%

Eric Staal was 9-19 @ 47%

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Faceoffs looked much better, Staal still needs to get better for the playoffs.

Matt Cullen was 19-26 @ 73%

Trevor Letowski was 7-10 @ 70%

Eric Staal was 9-19 @ 47%

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