NOTEBOOK: KEEP IT SIMPLE
Thursday, 10.30.2008 / 11:09 PM ET / Features
Buffalo Sabres | Press Release
| Game Highlights
Lindy Ruff: Audio | Video
Ryan Miller: Audio | Video
Jason Pominville: Audio | Video
Audio: Clarke MacArthur
Player Tunes: Drew Stafford
Suffering their second consecutive loss of the season Thursday night at HSBC Arena against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Pominville believes that the Buffalo Sabres are, simply, trying to do too much.
“We’ve got to get back to simplifying things, especially at home,” Pominville said. “It seems like when we get home we try to make that extra play, try to make it a little too cute and it ends up costing us. We can’t do that against a team like [Tampa Bay] that has players such as Lecavalier, St. Louis and Prospal, who can make things happen out there.”
In the last two games – the team’s only two regulation losses of the season – the Sabres have allowed 10 goals.
In their first seven games of the year, only 13 goals were given up.
The Sabres don’t want to fall into familiar habits.
“We proved it last year that [being too creative] is not going to work so I don’t know see why we should continue to do it this year,” netminder Ryan Miller said. “Maybe we’re just a little stubborn and maybe we feel like we played some good tight games and we deserve a chance to free-wheel a bit.
“We have a lot of creative guys that want to break out and it’s hard to keep them reigned in sometimes. It’s hard to keep the horses in the stable. That’s going to have to be the way it is for us to win hockey games. We have to work as five men, we have to take the puck deep and then our creativity can come out as teams are making more and more mistakes.”
“There’s not a big difference between the teams at the top of the standings and the ones a little bit lower,” Pominville said. “You have to make sure you work hard, you battle hard and that’s what [the Lightning] did.
“We didn’t, and we ended up losing.”
It clearly wasn’t one of Ryan Miller’s best efforts on Thursday night, as the netminder allowed five goals on 40 shots against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
But Miller was thankful for at least one thing in 5-2 loss at HSBC Arena – he was able to finish it.
“I’m pretty sure the coaches had a nice long discussion whether to keep me in or not [after the second period],” Miller said. “To keep me in there and let me work through it is probably going to be a lot bigger benefit than pulling me out and letting me snap the stick over a concrete wall or something.
“I had to go out compete, stick with it and hopefully it pays off next game.”
“We considered [pulling Miller],” Head Coach Lindy Ruff said. “We discussed it in the room. I like to see somebody battle through it and I thought he did. I thought he played a sound third period for us, but there wasn’t a lot of help in front of him. Obviously he wants two or three of those back, but you can’t have them back.”
"They won more battles," Ruff said of the Lightning. "That’s all it comes down to. They won more battles and I’m not going to make any excuses. They were the better team, they won the battles they skated better and they were a lot better with the puck and that showed. They made a lot better plays."
The Buffalo Sabres coaches executives and players joined the NHL’s fight against cancer during the match-up, wearing commemorative lavender ties.
The color represents awareness for all cancers in the initiative’s 11th season. Hockey Fights Cancer was founded in 1998 to raise money and awareness for national and local organizations involved in cancer care and research. To date, Hockey Fights Cancer has raised more than $10 million.