Ron Rolston coached the first game of his NHL career Thursday night in Toronto. He left the ice still needing 571 more wins to catch his predecessor Lindy Ruff.
Through no fault of his, Rolston’s players disappointed over the last two periods as the Buffalo Sabres scored the first goal before allowing the Maple Leafs to follow with three unanswered and win, 3-1 to spoil Rolston’s debut.
Tyler Ennis got Buffalo on the board with a goal on a nice play from Drew Stafford as Buffalo led after one.
It didn’t last very long. Dion Phaneuf and James van Riemsdyk scored in the second to give Toronto a 2-1 lead.
With Kevin Porter and Jochen Hecht both in the penalty box, Riemsdyk struck again with 5:32 left in the third to give Toronto its final margin of victory.
Toronto scored two power play goals against the Sabres after entering tonight just 2-for-35 with the man advantage at home all season.
As has been the case most of the season, Ryan Miller played well in net for Buffalo but got little help. He made 33 saves and many were of the difficult variety.
It doesn’t take an expert to conclude the Sabres aren’t very good. They’re a three or four man show offensively and the drop off after that is hilarious. Dave Davis (Sabres Observer) pointed out a ridiculous yet true statistic on Twitter after this contest was over, noting Nathan Gerbe, Hecht and Patrick Kaleta have combined for two goals in their last 109 combined games. These aren’t guys that see the ice sparingly either.
Oh, Drew Stafford? The “sniper” has one goal in 18 games this season.
Don’t even get me started about the defense. To quote a Buffalo News reporter Mike Harrington favorite, they can be described in one easy hashtag— #joke.
The Sabres have now lost three in a row and are just 3-8 in their last 11. They’re now nine points behind Toronto in the standings and just three points ahead of pace of having the fewest in the entire NHL.
Get those NHL Entry Draft study guides out for top prospects this summer, Sabres fans. Buffalo is headed towards picking very high.
For now, they’ll try to rebound at home against the New York Islanders on Saturday.