The Buffalo Sabres opened up play with other teams tonight, hosting the Toronto Maple Leafs in preseason exhibition play at HSBC Arena.
The road weary Maple Leafs left town on the coattails of a 3-1 loss. I say road weary because the Toronto squad was playing their fifth game in five nights. When I heard that, the only sentiment that came to mind was, oh well…you must sleep in the bed that you make, and teams are left the option of setting their preseason schedule – after being the laughing stock of the Northeast Division for as long as they have, you would think they would not want to wear out their players before the regular season. But then again, with as many personnel changes as they are making in Toronto, they may need as may game type situations to evaluate as possible.
I had completely forgotten about the game, the only thing I like about preseason games is the absence of advertising on the dasher boards, takes me back to old school hockey. So what can we take from tonights game, well absolutely nothing because it meant nothing.
The good news is Rob Niedermayer scored for the Sabres, as did rookie prospect Tyler Ennis. Both good signs – Niedermayer to show his new teammates he is still committed to playing offense and winning, and Ennis to prove he can stay in the NHL this year. Of course, for Tyler Ennis its only preseason game number one, lets see how he fairs in an 82 game NHL schedule.
It was not hard for the Sabres to look dominant. With very few roster changes and even fewer positional battles, the Sabres are using the preseason this year to build chemistry and gather steam for a playoff run, as opposed to figuring out who is going to be playing on their team come October.
The Buffalo Sabres and Toronto Maple Leafs will play again on Monday to close out the home and home preseason battle. The game will be in Toronto, and will be seen only at the Air Canada Centre and the NHL Network.