It was a night to remember for the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday.
It took a while but the Buffalo Sabres finally won a game of hockey last night. Yes, you read that right, this is no April Fool’s joke because the Sabres finally snapped their 18-game winless streak on Wednesday and they did it in style by crushing the Philadelphia Flyers 6-1.
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You could have been forgiven for wondering if Buffalo was ever going to win a game of hockey again given the plethora of problems they have on their plate currently, and we certainly pondered that question here, but after 36 long days, the Sabres finally recorded a W in the NHL for the first time since February 23.
And there was no doubt that it was worth the long wait given that the Buffalo Sabres absolutely crushed the Philadelphia Flyers, who appear to be entrenched in their own crisis but we’ll get on to that later, and we can only imagine the feelings of joy and relief in that Sabres locker room after the game.
Granted, this is just one game and the Sabres are still likely to finish as the worst team in the National Hockey League given that they will be sellers at the Trade Deadline, but losing 18 games in a row can’t be fun at all for those players who give their all to the game on a daily basis, so it was nice to see things click for a franchise that hasn’t had a lot go right for them over the last decade or so.
Relief all round as Buffalo Sabres finally snap lengthy winless streak
But maybe just playing the Flyers is the answer and the Sabres certainly took full advantage of playing a fellow struggler in the loaded East Division, displaying a ruthless side that has been missing for pretty much all of the 2020-21 season so far.
It was also a rare game in which Buffalo’s offense exploded into life as they scored more than five goals in a game for only the second time this year, and ironically enough it was the second time this season that they have put six past Philadelphia.
Perhaps most impressive about this splurge was the fact that a number of role players stepped up for the Sabres with big hitters in the ilk of Jack Eichel and Dylan Cozens out of the lineup due to injury ,while veteran center Eric Staal was traded to the Montreal Canadiens last week.
Sam Reinhart did get Buffalo on the board in the first period but after that it was all down to depth as defenseman Brandon Montour lit the lamp twice, Curtis Lazar scored, Casey Mittelstadt recorded just his second goal of the season and Steven Fogarty scored his first career NHL goal while also adding an assist.
Fogarty’s milestone night was perhaps a perfect representation of what was just a solid team effort by the Buffalo Sabres, who were also certainly helped by netminder Linus Ullmark with a 31-save game, giving Interim Head Coach Don Granato his first career win as an NHL Bench Boss.
It was just a special night for the Sabres who had probably forgotten what winning was like after going 0-15-3, and the fact that they were able to engineer a huge blowout made the win even more impressive and it was a moral victory that Buffalo fans can certainly make the most of because they haven’t had a lot else to get excited about in 2020-21.
Now, again, it is just one win and it doesn’t mask just how bad the Buffalo Sabres have been this season and it doesn’t erase the fact that more wins may be hard to come by when you consider that the likes of Taylor Hall will probably be gone by the Trade Deadline, but it isn’t fun to see any team struggle as much as the Buffalo Sabres have this season when you consider that those players are human beings too, so you have to be pleased for them that they finally snapped a franchise-record 18-game skid, which was also the longest in the NHL in 17 years. Let’s see if they can build on it now.