(WGR 550) – Saturday was just another in a long line of disasters lately, as the Buffalo Sabres were run out of the building by the Carolina Hurricanes, 6-2.
The game included the almost nightly bunches of goals scored against. Carolina scored two goals in 24 seconds and three in 7:58.
It seemed like the players really responded to head coach Don Granato both last year and early this season, but that seems to be over. Granato talks about not benching players, but when I see guys quitting on plays, that absolutely needs to be addressed and addressed fast.
It happened against the Seattle Kraken when four players were caught gliding back and Seattle scored easily. It happened on the first empty net goal against the Florida Panthers when Rasmus Dahlin lost the puck and just stopped chasing the player that scored. It happened Saturday when Sebastian Aho went in alone shorthanded and was stopped by Malcolm Subban. Casey Mittelstadt showed zero hustle to get back and Teuvo Teravainen had an easy shorthanded goal.
Zemgus Girgensons said after the game that they didn't give up in the third period, but admitted at times they need to work harder.
Another problem that has reared its ugly head lately is awareness. Ever since Granato took over last season, the team awareness got much, much better, but lately it's been bad. On Teravainen’s first goal Cody Eakin had no idea that Teravainen went by him and was wide open.
Before Martin Necas scored, Dahlin left his position to help Mark Pysyk who didn’t need help and had no idea that Necas was by him. The examples of no awareness have been plentiful lately.
I think Granato has shown us he’s a good coach, but there are issues on this team that are coming out on a nightly basis and the team seems to be getting worse, not better.
All of this could be helped if they could get a save in key situations. You can’t give up 20 goals in three games and expect to win, but the goaltenders aren’t the ones giving up on plays.
Subban was injured late in this game so, we don’t know what will happen Tuesday at home against the Anaheim Ducks. We don’t know how long Dustin Tokarski will be in COVID-19 protocols or how badly Subban is hurt.