Since the free agent hype is over, there has been a long lull in excitement about the Buffalo Sabres’ upcoming season. Yet, there are still days that when I think about this season and I’m giddy as a school girl. There are a lot of people that I’m excited to watch, but there are a few that stick out:
Gerbe started off the season slowly and his skill was often called into question. Many said, “he’s too small”, but the little spitfire decided to shut up the critics when he truly started producing. Gerbe was tagged as a goal scorer, but he was having trouble finding the back of the net, but ended the season with 16 goals in 64 games. Now a lock on the Sabres and more than likely playing on the 3rd line, Gerbe may have the chance to shine because of the depth on this team. I expect Gerbe to have a real nice season and I expect an increase in his numbers.
Believe it or not, I’m not focusing on Thomas Vanek’s offensive output. I’m excited to see Vanek continue to turn into an all-around player that he began to blossom into last season. When Vanek was called to become a leader, Vanek really stepped up. Honestly, I didn’t think he had it in him, but man, did he deliver. I like Vanek as the captain and I can’t believe I’m saying that. I think Vanek really showed that he can be a reliable player not only on the score sheet but also as a leader. Hopefully Vanek doesn’t recoil, but I expect good things.
Not a surprise, huh? I think the biggest thing I’m excited to see is if Ville Leino can really become what everyone expects him to become. There is no doubt he is talented, but that talent didn’t come about until the past season. If he pans out then Darcy will look like a genius, especially if he pans out at center and if he doesn’t at least the excitement from the free agency will be something, right guys?
Well, those are the guys I’ll be looking out for this season. Do you guys have anyone specific?