'Atlanta built its first lead of the night two minutes before the break on a giveaway by Ales Kotalik. The Sabres winger was carrying the puck out of his zone, and when he neared the blue line he tried to send a pass to Rory Fitzpatrick. Patrik Stefan intercepted, skated in alone on goal and beat Noronen. "That's bad timing," Kotalik said. "It's a crucial goal, 2-1. I feel bad because those guys worked really hard. Everybody did."'
Archives for January 21, 2004
'"We're going to market the Poor Man's Aud Club to the blue-collar crowd that loves hockey, wants a good seat but doesn't want to pay an arm and a leg for it," DiPofi said. "They want to talk about hockey, have a beer or two and maybe a roast beef."'
‘Never mind passion, how about the players simply earning their huge salaries. Let me be clear, there are a number of Sabres who do show a solid work ethic every night, but they are overshadowed by the half a dozen players who don’t. As I write this I’m watching the team get smoked by Atlanta, and realizing even if a trade is made tomorrow it’s probably too late. Something should have been done in December, when the team was going through their worst losing streak in franchise history.’
'Kozlov erased the Sabres’ 1-0 lead at 13:31 of the second period, capitalizing on two slick passes to tip in an easy power-play goal. He finished off Buffalo with 3:28 remaining, knocking in a rebound with goalie Mika Noronen sprawled face down on the ice.'
'In allowing three goals in two games, he appears to have accomplished that. He looked sharp on some poke-checks, knocking the puck off Buffalo forwards behind the net before they had the chance to assume a more dangerous posture, and smothering other Sabres chances.'
'“Halfway into the game, we had it going for us,'' Noronen said. “But we started to take penalties, and suddenly things turned around.'' Indeed, the Sabres were short-handed much of the final two periods. The Thrashers had seven power plays in that span, converting only one but preventing Buffalo from mounting much offense.'
'"Tough calls tonight," Ruff said. "We were controlling the game and tried to battle through that, but it caught up to us. I'd like to see the same calls called on them that were called on us. It was a game where we consumed a lot of time and a lot of effort killing penalties."'
'It was a different town, a different team, but it appeared to be the same game. The Buffalo Sabres continued their downward spiral in the second game of the five game road trip, this time in Atlanta, losing 4-1. The effort was remarkably similar to Saturday's game against the Islanders when the Sabres lost 4-2.'