Well, if anything we learned that Carter Hutton can stop the puck on a breakaway.
That’s a good thing because if Thursday’s season opening loss is any indication of the Sabres defense he is gonna to have to do that a lot this season.
The Boston Bruins, fresh off of a 7-0 drubbing at the hands of the Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals on Wednesday, strolled into KeyBank Center and handed the Sabres a decisive 4-0 loss.
It wasn’t just that the Sabres lost, it was the fact of how bad they looked in the process. There was no flow to their game. They had no urgency in their puck pursuit and the defense was two steps behind as they were sleepwalking on every goal.
“Obviously our compete level needs to be a little bit higher,” said Sabres captain Jack Eichel.
“It’s tough to win games in this league . They’re one of the best teams in the league and we knew they’re compete level was gonna be high after last night.”
Any fan who expected miracles that this team would magically turn into a Cup contender overnight deserved to be disappointed. But most fans weren’t expecting such lofty goals. They just wanted to see a sense of compete and exciting hockey. Not a lot to ask for.
When they didn’t see the quality effort fans didn’t hide their displeasure as they sent the Sabres of the ice with a chorus of heavy booing.
“It’s not easy obviously,” said Eichel. “We want our fans to appreciate our effort, but in the same sense we gotta be better for them and put a better product on the ice.”
The Sabres talked about how their effort needed to be crisper. They waited back on their heels and allowed the Bruins to dictate the pace of play.
Zdeno Chara scored what turned out to be the game winner at the 6:33 mark of the first period. Charlie McAvoy and Brad Marchand picked up the assists. It was the first of four helpers Marchand would tally as the Bruins said they came in knowing they had to make a statement after Wednesday’s unacceptable showing.
“We knew we had to compete harder. Come back harder and win more pick battles,” Marchand said.
Sabres coach Phil Housley said that for the most part his team’s effort was ok.
Carter Hutton agreed.
“It wasn’t from lack of effort. That’s for sure,” said Hutton. “I think sometimes we’ve just got to make a little bit better puck management.”
Next up: Home Saturday against the New York Rangers, 7:05pm pick drop.
Feature Image Credit: Getty Images
BUFFALO, NY – December 19: Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand (63) breaks in on goal during an NHL game between the Boston Bruins and Buffalo Sabres on December 19, 2017, at KeyBank Center in Buffalo, NY. (Jerome Davis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)