Sabres/Devils Game Reaction 1.24.12

All is well in Sabreland. For now.

The Buffalo Sabres ended their franchise record 12 game losing streak on the road. It wasn’t the prettiest win, but often times these streak breaking games are not. Ryan Miller was Ryan Miller. Captain Pominville was Captain Clutch. The future core of this team scored the decisive goal.

As the game went to a shootout, the same feelings that I have experienced over the past two months resurfaced. “Here we go again!” Ilya Kovalchuk breaks Ryan Miller’s near perfect game, followed by a rare Thomas Vanek miss. My stomach turns. Captain Zach Parise takes his turn, but is turned aside. Brad Boyes was next to shoot for Buffalo. Boyes had never been denied on a shootout attempt while wearing the blue and gold. Brodeur makes the save. I begin to freak out, as Patrick Elias takes the ice for New Jersey. Ryan Miller stops the ultra-skilled forward with a literal game-saving save. Up comes Mr. Pominville, the Sabres’ only consistent producer and on ice leader. He beats the legend that is Martin Brodeur to send the game to extra rounds. A glimmer of hope is born. Miller makes the save. I’m beginning to feel better. Kevin Sylvester announces Nathan Gerbe as the next shooter. Gerbe walks in on Brodeur. My heart pounds. “SCOOOOOOREEEEE!” Sylvester screams in relief. Joy is evident in his voice. The Sabres end the terror that was this losing streak. An enormous weight was lifted from my shoulders. I smiled ear to ear.

Now I am not letting my delight get in the way of my writing, but recently I made a “no trade” list that consisted of players on the current Buffalo roster that could not be traded for any player or draft pick. I posted on Twitter. Many disagreed, as it consisted of:
1.Tyler Myers
2.Brayden McNabb
3.Thomas Vanek
4.Jason Pominville
5.Nathan Gerbe
I fully believe that Nathan Gerbe will one day be the franchise’s captain. A pure heart guy that has the skills and potential to pot 35 goals, the Sabres cannot go wrong if they form this team around the likes of Gerbe, Myers, and McNabb. Zach Kassian is likely my sixth guy on that list, but if you can sweeten a deal and grab a star, go for it. Gerbe is everything I want in a hockey player. When he scores, there is no one that I am happier for. How could I pass up the opportunity to write about Gerbe? TJ and I just named our blog after him.

The Sabres now have exactly one week to reflect on this win, figure out how to fix this team, and attempt to mount what would be an historic playoff drive in the remaining 30+ games.

Oh, and they are now in a four way tie for 11th. Or 15th. However you want to look at it. Last place is much less lonely than it was yesterday.

Josiah LeRoy
The Gerbe Derby
Twitter – @JosiahDLeRoy

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