O’Byrne Helps The Sabres Rally

I’m not going to mince words here. What went wrong in Montreal’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Buffalo Sabres? It was Ryan O’Bryne’s penalty with three minutes to go in the game with the Habs winning 2-0 and Carey Price working on a huge shutout that went wrong. For me, the blame goes to O’Byrne.

When a player is an NHL’er and his team is on the bubble to make the playoffs and they’re playing in probably the biggest game of the year and they’ve almost got it in the bag, you stay out of the penalty box. Plain and simple. Stay out of the box. That’s the strategy and it’s not complicated.

Is Carey Price pissed off? Are several million Habs fans upset? Is this a setback to the team’s chances? Yes, yes, and yes. How nice would it have been to see Price earn a shutout tonight? He hadn’t played in a month, Jaroslav Halak has been playing well, and this was a big night for young Price. But it went from beautiful to bust, all in two minutes. Price seemed in a hurry to get to the dressing room when it was over and I don’t blame him. He deserved better. And the team has managed just two points in their last three games, at a time when they’re supposed to be doing the opposite.

It was Montreal’s game to be had. The team was playing a solid road game, nothing fancy, just winning faceoffs and stifling whatever Buffalo had to offer. Andrei Kostitsyn had put the team in front with two big goals, and in hindsight now, would a hat trick ever have been the answer. Two wasn’t enough on this night.

Dominic Moore played an important role, working hard, winning draws. Marc-Andre Bergeron was a breath of fresh air. Mike Cammalleri was back.

Blah, blah, blah.

Then O’Byrne took his penalty, the Sabres pulled Ryan Miller and popped one with 1:59 left in the game, and again with Miller at the bench, tied it with 48 seconds left. Then it was won in the shootout for the hometeam. I need one of those sponge bricks like my dad used to have, so I could throw it at my television.

All because Ryan O’Byrne took a penalty with three minutes left. And I don’t care if it was a bad penalty, or good, or borderline, or unfair. He took, it gave the dead Sabres life, the Habs ended up losing, and the season is just that much closer to going down the drain.

Montreal’s just lucky Atlanta’s still a big five points back in ninth spot. But that gap could be closed quickly. 

Random Notes:

Florida in Montreal Thursday night. I’ve nothing to add to this.

17 thoughts on “O’Byrne Helps The Sabres Rally”

  1. And we probably won’t see him play again until the next Buffalo game ’cause Coach is a jerk like that. Frankly he’s been playing better than Jaro has since the Olympic break. He was busiers, that’s for sure. He didn’t have the luxury of the team keeping the puck away from his end. This wasn’t the Oilers in a shootout either! The Sabres are one of the last teams you want to go to a shootout in! They did the same thing to him in the Sharks game. He held them in the Bruins game before they woke up. He could have been better in the Ducks game but seriously? The scoring chances were 9-2 for the Ducks (on their 11 shots), and those were former Cup champions and recent gold medal winners there, not some kids on the Islanders.

    If Martin had any balls, he’d play the kid tomorrow. And for a defensive coach, he sure knows how to screw that up by putting AK46 and Cammy on the ice with 2 minutes left to protect a lead…

  2. Sophia’s blouse is still intact, the chastity belt has been applied and Diane must be having second thoughts.

  3. Right on, 31. Price hasn’t got a break, and he needs the coach to show more faith in him. What a shame about tonight.

  4. Dennis, once again they laid back, and were surprised the opposition didn’t just stop and rub their belly. The forecheck completely disappeared. When the Habs dumped the puck out, the completely hung back and allowed the Sabres to easily re-enter their end. The wrong Kostitsyn was on the ice at the critical time. And come on Martin, give Cammalleri a break on his first game back. Is it unfathomable to expect he would be a bit rusty. Why put him on when Gomez, Moore and Metropolit are all sitting on the bench.

  5. And Chris, those three guys you mention would be the perfect three guys. All good defensively. This whole thing stinks. I need a sponge brink. Martin and O’Byrne didn’t remind anyone of Scotty Bowman and Larry Robinson tonight.

  6. Perhaps this explains why Martin has a poor playoff record? He doesn’t seem to understand momentum. He doesn’t understand shutdown. And for a defensive coach this team sucks at defence at the WORST possible times. Never saw a pack of veteran defencemen freak out so much when they face a little pressure. (Hamr, for one, scares me the most). If they make it through the first round, it’ll be a miracle.

  7. Blaming the coach seems rather odd looking at what he has done over the years as a NHL coach. I blame the players, all of them, goalie included.
    How many times now has Price let the game get away from him in the last 5 minutes? How hard is it for 4 players to clog up the shooting lanes to defend a lead?
    Anyway, Florida today and a chance to get back to winning with any luck at all. Halak to start, the rest of the players we have to play, can`t bench the entire team as much as they deserve it.

  8. i also blame the players. they took more than one stupid penalty. a high sticking call is at a crucial juncture in the game is unforgivable. STUPID. i’d blame martin but he is shit anyway so i won’t go there. price should be pissed at his team mates and at himself. the big boys get it done anyway.

  9. Dennis, I’m not bailing on the team. Tell you what, though, Let me lie low and not be an open supporter. if you win against Florida, that seals being a quiet supporter and not angering the hockey gods. You know, in Greece, they would never openly taunt the gods. Let’s try that approach and see if it helps. I don’t want the season to tank becuase of me. :) So let me chant, “lose Habs lose” and see what happends.

    P.S. Gionta is happy I’m an admirer and like his manly chest.

  10. I’m surprised I’m the only one mentioning O’Byrne. He was the one who woke up thye Sabres. He was the one who couldn’t stay out of the box with only three minutes left. He’s the biggest reason of all.

  11. Hobo, that’s right. Sure Martin can be questionable, but the fact of the matter is, if O’Byrne hadn’t taken the penalty, things probabler would have ended a whole lot differently.

  12. Diane, you’re a saint. But it’s not your fault, it’s Ryan O’Byrne’s. Anyway, when you go to heaven, (in fifty years or so), you’ll have a special place beside the Rocket. It’s very sad that they lose three when you become a fan. Very, very sad. But about this? They squeak into the playoffs and end up winning the whole thing? How about that?

  13. Dennis, I’m sticking with my theory of being a supporter but with the reverse wording. Look, it worked last night! Naturally, the B’s lost. So wouldn’t you rather have me openly cheer the B’s while they lose and be a closet Habs supporter while they win?

    I’m only doing this so WE can win. I like that the Dalai Lama is a fan too! Good karma!!

    I know, a halo is begining to form around my cranium, all for the team!! Lose Habs Lose.

  14. If it works, go with it, Diane. But I’ve never heard of a Habs fan openly cheering for the Bruins. It defies nature. Like me being an Olympic gymnast.

  15. When the Habs are hoisting Cup #25 (yes, I know they actually have won 25 already, but officially counts as 24), you’ll thank me for being a reverse supporter. Trust me on this one. The B’s will tank, the Habs will WIN and I’ll give you knowing wink that I’m cheering from within. It’s the right thing for the team. Remember, there is no I in team, so I’ll suffer silently.

    One more thing, when I get my promotion 50 years from now or thereabouts, I’d like be with Mr. Dryden in the clouds (it’s not his time yet, I know.) Love those goalies.

    No offense to Richard Rocket, you can be his side kick.

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