I don't mean to take anything away from Buffalo. They knew the Canes would be tired and built a game plan around that. It has worked beautifully.
I really hope that Peter Laviolette makes the whole team skate their asses off. Immediately following the game. In front of the Sabres fans. Herb Brooks style.
It got started early, and it was probably a harbinger of doom. Ales Kotalik beat Crackers with a shot from above the left circle trough a screen. Time of that goal was 1:32 of the first.
Tim Connolly got the
Adam Mair scored at 15:32 of the second to make it 3-0, then Max Afinogenov bombed one in from North Tonawanda at 16:28. This just seconds after Tripp Tracy (Canes color commentator) criticized Afinogenov for not having any finish. The onslaught almost continued just a few seconds later when Drew Stafford was awarded a penalty shot at 16:58. He made one move too many, then couldn't get his shot past the downtrodden Grahame.
Derek Roy had a shorthanded breakaway goal at 1:16 of the third, then Tomas Vanek followed with his own breakaway goal at 6:48 of the third. Already, it was 6-0, and at this point, Peter Laviolette had decided that the game was a lost cause. John Grahame was forced to finish the game.
Ales Kotalik added another power play marker at 10:34, tucking in a rebound from close range.
Jaro Spacek scored the eighth and final Sabres goal at 12:03 of the third.
Honestly, at this point, I was hoping that it would get worse. The Sliding Pokecheck and I thought that 10-0 would be a fine end to this game. We also agreed that the boys should be bag skated right there in HSBC Arena immediately following the game.
The only bright side to this game was that Michigan State alum Ryan Miller wasn't allowed to have a shutout. His Spartans beat the ever living crap out of NC State in the ACC-Big Ten Mens Basketball challenge this year, and his Sabres certainly beat hell out of the Hurricanes tonight, but he wouldn't get the shutout.
Ray Whitney finally got one past Miller on the Canes seventh power play of the night. From the left circle, he beat Miller high on the glove side at 18:05 of the third.
Thankfully, the game ended and there wasn't any unnecessary rough stuff.
The "official" three stars went to Ryan Miller (third), Ales Kotalik (second) and Maxim Afinogenov (first). There were so many Sabres players to choose from, and mine are completely different. The RBH three stars:
THIRD STAR Derek Roy, BUF -- 1 goal, 1 assist, +6
SECOND STAR Ales Kotalik, BUF -- 2 goals
FIRST STAR Jaro Spacek, BUF -- 1 goal, 2 assists, 4 hits.
After the boys skate until their legs fall off, they'll head to MSG to play the Rangers.
Fortunately for the Hurricanes, the Kitties also lost tonight, meaning the Canes still have a six point lead atop the Southeast Division.
Something needs to be done. This team needs a shakeup. They're flat, lifeless, uninspired, and they play like they're bored.
Maybe tonight was a wakeup call. In the year of the Cup, there was a game where the Canes got smoked 9-0 by the Thrashers in Raleigh. There was also a huge loss in Phoenix. I think that one was 8-2. After each of those, the Canes bouced back and got their game into shape. Hopefully they'll do the same here.
Also, now might be the perfect time to send Andrew Ladd and Frantisek Kaberle to San Jose for Matt Carle and change. Or maybe to Denver for J-M Liles and change. This team definitely needs to make some changes. The status quo sucks.
Carolina played terribly tonight, but credit has to be given to the Sabres. They took advantage of their opportunities and they didn't let up. They might have actually done the Canes a favor by whipping their ass so bad. We'll see.