Game 55: How to process an ugly loss
Rivalry games always feel like big games, and they feel worse after a terrible start doomed the Buffalo Sabres in a 6-3 defeat against the Toronto Maple Leafs
BUFFALO — When a team loses a game in ugly fashion the gut instinct by fans and some pundits is to get the cutlery razor sharp and start swinging. Losses by nature are bad and when a team is in contention for the postseason any loss can be the one that crushes playoff dreams.
The Sabres 6-3 loss to their bitter rival Toronto Maple Leafs that featured former star Sabres forward Ryan O’Reilly scoring a hat trick and Mitch Marner piling up five assists was about as ugly of an outcome as it looks in the box score.
The Leafs chased starting goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen after putting four past him in the opening 12:09 of the game and were down 5-0 after giving up a power play goal to William Nylander in the second period. The Sabres made it a little interesting in the third with three straight goals from Jack Quinn, Alex Tuch (his 100th career tally), and Jeff Skinner. But O’Reilly’s empty-netter nullified the comeback bid and had the hordes of Leafs fans in attendance hucking their hats to the ice.
But what’s the proper reaction to a loss like that?
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