Were now two games into the preseason, and the Buffalo Sabres are now 2-0. Tonights opponents have dropped their second game. The Sabres have relied on third period heroics to finish off their opponents.
As I sit her and contemplate just the second exhibition game, I want to be enthusiastic for the upcoming season, but I also want to pull myself back and look at the bigger picture. The Buffalo Sabres are not going to turn things around in just one season and win the Stanley Cup this year. While I wish that would happen, it is unlikely. It would be nice to eat those words next June, but until I do – lets take reality in check.
In the Traverse City Tournament, our top prospects looked large and in charge. They controlled the play of games, and they dictated the outcome. In Traverse City, the NHL ready prospects looked poised and ready to challenge for a couple of roster spots in training camp. So far in the NHL preseason, the most NHL ready prospects of the Buffalo Sabres have done little to pull them out of a Rochester Americans uniform.
The team as a whole have not dictated games, which they are going to have to do in the regular season in order to gain the respect of some teams. Remember last year when no one respected us to the point where we played damn near a record number of backup goaltenders? We need to be the team that others game plan for, not rest their starters.
Goaltending is something that I don’t think the Buffalo Sabres are going to have to worry about. Ryan Miller looks ready to start the season, and Jhonas Enroth is already playing in midseason form.
Derek Roy tried on the role of Captain tonight. Gaustad was able to play that role in the first exhibition game. While I think that Derek Roy has earned the right to try on that role with the team, I think he has gotten himself a name around the league. I don’t think that he has ever shed that diver, whiner role. Captain’s get respect from other teams captains and from on ice officials. Personally, I don’t think that Derek Roy has earned that. I understand that Lindy is trying the captaincy on veteran players this preseason, I just hope he settles on one solid guy for the regular season. Captain by committee does not work in the NHL.
The Buffalo Sabres continue their compressed preseason with a home and home with the Toronto Maple Leafs this weekend. I was lucky enough to land some tickets for Saturdays contest, and will be taking my son to his first every hockey game.