Canadiens Reeling, Sabres Heating Up
February 7, 2009 by Big Tony
The Montreal Canadiens’ woes continued Friday night losing 3-2 to the all-of-a-sudden surging Buffalo Sabres. Although they only gave up three goals they need much more from Carey Price now that Robert Lang is out for the remainder of the season. Price should not have to carry so much of the burden but if nobody steps up to fill the scoring void created by Lang’s absence Price will have to do it and based on his performance as of late he does not appear to be up to the Challenge. In reality the pressure should be more on Alexi Kovalev who is having a solid season with 36 points but has got to contribute more than 13 goals after posting 35 last year. Granted, there are other players who need to step their game up as well but they look to Kovalev as their leader and if he does not do the job then the rest of the team will suffer. They are still 4th in the conference but with a record of 2-6 in their last eight and a six game road trip starting next week Montreal is in serious trouble of a disastrous free-fall.
The flip side of Friday’s match-up, the Buffalo Sabres , are getting healthy and getting poised to roar into the playoffs. Thomas Vanek continues his tear through the 2008-09 season with 52 points including 32 goals. Roy, Pominville, Stafford, and Kotalik (among others) are also posting great numbers which combined with the spark Tim Connoly has provided makes for a very scary team should they make the playoffs. Despite the scoring the Sabres MVP is easily Ryan Miller who is having another spectacular season. In the end however it the Sabres are asking too much of Miller and I think he’ll wear down keeping them out of the playoffs.