Neutral zone issues were a problem all night for the Thrashers, who seemed incapable of maintaining any semblance of puck posession. Outshot 42-18, the Thrashers couldn’t get the puck into Buffalo’s zone effectively. Ryan Miller, last season’s Vezina Trophy winner, spent enough time alone in his zone to make a grocery list several times over.
The Sabres, winless since their home opener against the Ottawa Senators, ended the Thrashers’ modest two game winning streak with their first win over Atlanta in two years and nine months. Atlanta coach Craig Ramsay was blunt in his assessment of the team’s play:
“Attention to detail was almost nonexistent. We had a couple of days off, we had two good practices and there’s no reason for them not to come and be able to play.”
Not all of the Thrashers neglected to show. Tobias Enstrom scored the team’s lone goal and set the Thrashers’ record for consecutive games played, and Brent Sopel blocked several (six, I believe) shots for an outstanding evening on his end.
Unfortunately, you can’t win when you allow the opposition over 40 shots on goal, and your team can’t muster 20. Friday needs to be a different tune against the Tampa Bay Lightning, or else the score will be a lot more lopsided than tonight’s game.