What Stockman Saw: Sabres fall to Blue Jackets, 7-4

Buffalo Sabres

Columbus Blue Jackets center Jack Roslovic (96) scores a goal against Buffalo Sabres goaltender Dustin Tokarski (31) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Monday, Nov. 22, 2021, in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/Joshua Bessex)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – It was a tough loss on Monday for the Sabres, as they fell 7-4 to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Here are some things I saw in Buffalo’s third straight loss.

Punches in Bunches

Obviously the biggest reason for Monday’s loss was the stretch early in the second period where Columbus scored three goals in 3:41. This isn’t the first time that’s happened. It’s not even the first time in the last week that’s happened. It’s the third straight game where the Sabres have allowed three goals in a short span. They gave up three to New York on Sunday in a span of 5:26, and against Calgary on Thursday they allowed three goals in 1:37.

“Obviously the start to the second there is unacceptable,” forward Dylan Cozens said. “We can’t allow that to happen and a team to gain momentum like that that quickly. I think we started out really well in the first and we’ve just got to find a way to not let that happen.”

Tokarski’s Tough Night

Not sure if it was poor defense, a bad night for the goaltender, or a combination of both, but Dustin Tokarski once again had trouble stopping the puck. His last time in the crease, he allowed five goals to the Calgary Flames. Monday, the Blue Jackets netted four. Don Granato pulled him and put in Aaron Dell in the second period. Tokarski’s started in three different games where the other team scored five goals this season.

“I think everybody can see it was odd that [Tokarski] didn’t look like himself,” Granato said. “There were some simple bounces and things that happened and so I don’t know that you can explain it. It happened and you’ve got to respond and we worked from that point, but we couldn’t overcome it.”

Swiss Cheese

This is the seventh time in the last 10 games the Sabres have allowed five goals. Not all of that is on goaltending, and their number three goalie started two of those games, but the point is still the same: they have to find a way to keep the puck out of the net. They can score, but we have to see if they can consistently stop people from scoring. They’ve played like swiss cheese at times in their own zone, just full of holes.

Tage Thompson Shines Again

One positive to take from this one, Tage Thompson netted two goals, his seventh and eighth of the season. That eighth goal matches a career-high for a single season. There are still 64 games to go. Moving Thompson to center this offseason raised a couple of eyebrows. Now Tage is raising the eyebrows in a different way, as fans are pleasantly surprised by his improved play.

The Sabres get ready to play the Boston Bruins next at home. Puck drop is set for Wednesday at 7 p.m.

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