The Sabres Observer
by @DaveDavisHockey on 03/30/11 at 11:16 AM ET
Well, that’s one Shaone Morrisonn and Ryan Miller would like to forget.
The Leafs took advantage of some shaky defense and goaltending in their 4-3 win last night over Buffalo. Miller had an off night, which isn’t a reason to panic considering how much better he’s looked overall in recent weeks.
As far as Morrisonn goes, well, you’d think it would be pretty difficult to be a -3 with only eight minutes of ice time, but he found a way to do it. Morrisonn and Mike Weber are gritty guys that you really want to root for, but their hijinks last night as the 5-6 defensive pairing had to be uncomfortable for Sabres fans to watch.
If I’m Lindy Ruff, my top four defensemen (Myers, Sekera, Montador, Butler) are getting the brunt of the ice time on the blue line tonight against the Rangers, with my third pairing only playing 10-12 minutes or so. This tactic didn’t work last night, but it has in the past and I would try it again. You need your best guys out there and this game is too important.
I’d also strongly consider giving Morrisonn the night off and allowing Marc-Andre Gragnani some power play time.
Nervous fans in Buffalo need to keep in mind that this team is still on a 4-1-1 run, and mathematically they’re in very good shape for a playoff spot. And while you’re complaining that the team looked awful last night, I actually didn’t think the forwards collectively were that bad.
Tonight is a huge night in the East, with 7th at 8th (NYR-BUF) and 6th at 9th (MTL-CAR) on tap. Enjoy the ride.
Update 11:02 am: Per Mike Harrington tweet- Gragnani, who can play forward, and Matt Ellis will be in for Jochen Hecht and Mike Grier (both injured).
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About The Sabres Observer
Dave Davis has covered the Buffalo Sabres for various NHL accredited websites and newspapers since 2003. He was the senior writer and Sabres correspondent for The Fourth Period, covered hockey for Western New York Sports and Leisure Magazine, and has had articles featured on NHL.com, FOX Sports, Yahoo Sports and in New York Sportscene. Sabres news and notes can be found on his Twitter page.
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