Like going to the Uniontown Mall on Friday night and accidentally parking by the entrance with the Beanery, the Sabres are kind of the actual worst ever.
They've scored one goal so far this season. They're basically mall goths. I kind of dare you to go to their roster page and not get unreasonably depressed and need a strong drink. Ryan Miller is the most talented person on the team and he wants out. Everyone else is just kind of languishing.
We have to give awards but really this awards show is, tonight, being held in the basement of a funeral home as a sign of solidarity with the Buffalo Sabres organization. Even the mediocre can apparently fall harder.
With Ryan Miller day to day, the #1 in Buffalo is at least briefly going to be Jhonas Enroth. The skeleton crew takes their positions around him. In the opening minutes, Sidney Crosby absolutely stuns Myers and McBain by charging the net to give birth to his own rebound in Enroth's face.
Once that happens, either the Sabres get it together, or the long slow march begins. In the Sabres' case, they decide to take a penalty when they realize they might be incapable on a personnel level of defending Crosby.
When the Pens get a power play, they fail to score because Enroth is doing the equivalent work of carrying a dying infant in his jacket through a snowstorm to the only hospital within 100 miles. But after the PP expires, a Kobasew deflection makes poetic justice of the first period.
Sutter's shot. Niskanen's assist. Niskanen has been involved in almost all of the Penguins goals somehow. It's 2-0 going into that first intermission.
MOST MISSING PEOPLE
No idea who the Sabres even are or where they are.
Pens go searching. They look in caves. They look under the ice. They look to the stars. Sutter sends the puck to look for them in the stands and takes a penalty. Crosby briefly discovers Kevin Porter living in a small bunker. But that about does it for the second period.
this pic is apparently from the first period but we think it truly captures the emotional truth of the second period so shut up
No one was found. We're not even sure who we lost. The milk cartons are strangely lacking in descriptions.
MOMENT YOU GRABBED YOUR SAC
Brooks shows up to remind you that nothing is ever over. According to Potash the Pens were disappointed in themselves for playing a poor second period in the season opener–but tonight they were slightly more okay. They must not have been taking too many chances, because sending out Brooks for an intermission interview is like the soberest of sober moves. You can imagine him resigning to do it when no one else will. Normally, we'd say "THIS CAN GO UP LIKE TINDER AT ANY MINUTE. NO ONE IS SAFE. WE'RE WINNING BUT IT'S NOT OVER" however it's fucking October 5th and the Sabres are pooling their resources outside the Spencer Gifts trying to buy one of those lightning balls
MOMENT YOU REALIZED CONSEQUENCES WERE MINIMAL FOR YOUR ACTIONS
Not that that's a good thing, boys and girls.
There was some drama with Kaleta and everyone started crying like it was a real problem. It wasn't. The penalty that didn't get called in this moment of shenanigans got called when Cock Cozy Vanek went off for hooking. Again, the Pens look like a real team and it's weird. The Sabres kill it. Enroth is the only thing standing between them and certain doom. Steigerwald has to change his pants after Tanner Glass blocks a shot.
Chris Kunitz, our most beloved adopted son, is interfered with by Weber while on a semi-kind-of-breakaway and a penalty shot is awarded. The referees are handing out penalty shots to everyone this season like mall cops trying to dish out lifetime bans for smoking in a non-designated-smoking-area.
Kunitz, of course, buries it using a head and shoulders fake that we would like to describe to our grandchildren as "sicknasty." Poor Jhonas. Putting up with this shit. Putting up with his stupid team. Putting up with Steve Ott being valued as a leader and all poor Jhonas is doing is absorbing rubber for no reward.
We can do nothing wrong. There is a godless terror creeping above us, but we have not been marked for the curse.
LEAST IMPORTANT BUT MOST IMPORTANT IN RETROSPECT
MAF needed to get that first goal behind him.
Thomas Vanek deflected a puck in. You blinked though and there were under five minutes left. Buffalo pulled Enroth, thinking they could really make a run for it, but Craig Adams gave us the empty netter insurance goal we needed to win 4-1, just because that single goal behind MAF reminds us like a small, shitty tattoo from youth that we are not perfect.
THE SMALLEST GIFT
The Sabres pull Enroth which seems like a futile gesture. MAF was pitching a shutout all game but was overwhelmingly not tested. The third period flew by and even up until the goal we had no illusions that this was actually an NHL test of an NHL team. The Sabres are that bad, which is really hard for us to deal with.
Craig Adams tops our sundae with an empty netter, and it's 4-1.
ALTERNATIVE THREE STARS
1. Enroth - total dick move not giving him a real one. Dude was working his ass off.
2. Kobasew - He has scored 20+ goals a few times in his career. He is clearly psyched to be in Pittsburgh.
3. Paul Martin - carrying the load for the Pens by quietly skating 25 minutes and having a gentle assist.
Maatta was good too. People are wondering whether he should stay. probably tbh