The Bruins need to sign Thomas Vanek, or bribe some Western Conference team into signing him, because he absolutely kills the B's. He had 3 goals, 2 assists, and was +4.
As good as Vanek was, the difference in this game was the goaltending. Ryan Miller made some absurd saves in the 3rd period that kept the Bruins stuck at 4 goals. On the other side of the ice, Tuukka Rask wasn't responsible for most of Buffalo's scoring. But on Buffalo's 4th goal, scored by Alexander Sulzer, Rask's glove was just a little bit heavy. You're seeing teams attacking him high glove-side, and it's because he's somewhat slow.
To be clear, I'm not blaming the loss on Rask, I'm just saying the goaltending was a major factor in the outcome of this game. Ryan Miller was great, Rask let up a goal that was possibly due to a weakness of his.
Speaking of weaknesses, the Bruins were 0 for 4 on their power play. They didn't get much going.
Buffalo was skating like it was a playoff game, the Bruins were playing like it was the 7th game of the regular season. Buffalo had lost 4 straight, they were playing a team that's given them trouble in the past, they were motivated. This was Game #7 of the regular season for the Bruins, the Sabres played it like a Game 7.
The Bruins need to recover and regroup. The next two games are also within the division. They're in Toronto Saturday night then Montreal Wednesday night. And they have 2 more against Buffalo in the near future.
I love divisional games.
AP Photo/Charles Krupa