But without Torey Krug and Charlie McAvoy on defense, It’s already clear things are looking a little haywire on the backcheck. The defense gave up the middle with opportunities for the Sabres and Marcus Johannson to test Halak in the slot and on top of the paint. Seven of the Sabres’ shots were in the middle lane, Johannson accounting for three of them.
It seemed that the 2nd and 3rd pairings were the biggest offenders of the night for leaving the slot open, but both did recover their game as the nights went on.
Of course there will be adjustments to be made while Krug and McAvoy, and now Clifton are out of the lineup, but the defense seemed to play it smart over the past two, minus the slot coverage. John Moore pinching in and taking some shots from the blue line created chances. Steven Kampfer played his game safe and played the puck and body into the corner boards. It can’t be easy jumping into a lineup that’s seen regular play when it’s only your fifth game this season, so for that I applaud him.
How do you feel the D pairings did over the past two games? How much do you think goaltending has made up for Boston’s struggles now that their injuries are coming to roost? What did you like and hope to see carry over for tomorrow’s game?