Thomas Vanek wasn’t made captain of the Buffalo Sabres – but he played like the leader of the Blue and Gold in this afternoon’s contest against the Anaheim Ducks.
Behind the effort of Thomas Vanek, new Captain Jason Pominville, newcomers Luke Adam and Ville Leino, and a presence by the new additions, the Buffalo Sabres easily skated past the Ducks through sixty minutes of play. While the game was a far from perfect venture – it was the Sabres special teams that started the 2011-2012 season with a win.
Setting the tone is an important step for this team; last year they opened the season with a loss to the New York Rangers, and it turned into the worst three months of hockey a team could play.
In the first game of the season, the Buffalo Sabres appeared to be clicking quite well together as a cohesive unit. While there were some definite flaws to the game – they played a solid 60 minutes. They let off the gas a few times, and Anaheim failed to take advantage of that.
Anaheim was able to put some serious pressure on the Buffalo Sabres, and that caused more than a couple lines to be seriously depleted – getting caught on the ice for extended periods of time.
Ryan Miller, while looking good in the net, was very weak on the puck behind the net, and that caused two turnovers, that thankfully, the Ducks were unable to capitalize on. Don’t get me wrong, I am taking nothing away from the fact that the Buffalo Sabres played well. The puck bounced their way tonight, and they buried their chances. They scored goals that the team in the past few seasons wouldn’t have had a chance on.
Things look promising.
The Buffalo Sabres are on their way to Germany to play their second regular season contest with the Los Angeles Kings. The Sabres will then return home to start the North American leg of their season. Final comments? Only this: