The Buffalo Sabres were looking like the team in charge against the Leafs tonight in the first period.
Then Tyler Ennis hit the crossbar on a breakaway.
From thereon in, it was all Toronto. The Leafs played smart, they played hard, they played like they would not be denied. Heck, if they had played like this for the greater previous portion of this season, they’d be a hot playoff team.
But, the Leafs are not a hot playoff team. And neither is Buffalo. The Leafs will continue to sell, rebuild, and then sell and rebuild – and the Sabres will continue to perplex the Hockey News by being a forgotten team that somehow finds a way to charge the standings every season.
There is no reason to fret. NJ did Buffalo a grand favor by defeating Carolina 3-2 tonight, so the standings, as far as Buffalo is concerned, have not changed.
The 8th spot is still up for grabs – as is the 7th.
The idle New York Rangers are just 4 points ahead of Buffalo, and are clinging desperately onto that 7th seed. They now sit only 4 points ahead of the Sabres, while the Sabres still have 2 games in hand after tonight’s loss to the Leafs. The Rangers are 3-6-1 in their last ten games.
Take a deep breath, Sabres fans. The Blue and Gold isn’t going to win every game. The Sabres are not going to defeat the Leafs 99 straight times at the HSBC. Ever.
But the Sabres are a hot team, and the surge continues. Math and momentum, as mentioned previously, remain on their side.
Oh, and Ennis isn’t going to hit the crossbar on every shot.