Observations, elucidations, annotations, and my two-cents worth on the first 5 games for our beloved Buffalo Sabres:
- Christian Ehrhoff came as advertised. He’s not shy about firing the puck (even from 200 feet away, just ask the Montreal Canadiens), as his 12 SOG in 5 games demonstrates. It’s only a matter of time before he starts connecting with the back of the net on a regular basis.
- Tyler Ennis has a recurrence of the “dipsy-doodles, try and stickhandle past seventeen guys, Max Afinogenov syndrome”. It’s like watching him try to maneuver a meatball through a plate of spaghetti, only to watch it roll off his plate. It’s maddening, and getting old…fast. Tyler, make your sweet move, then PASS THE PUCK. No wonder why Brad Boyes looks so frustrated.
- Ville Leino is understandably still trying to find his way, but he’s not off the hook, either. He may have the coolest Sabres name since Vaclav Varada, but with 1 goal in 5 games, playing a perimeter game isn’t going to elevate that total very much. I’m not sure it’s such a good idea to have Leino and T-Ennis on the same line (see above). Too much flash and dash, and not enough goal-mouth cash.
- I’ve said before that Jordan Leopold had the chance to be one of the best number four defensemen in the NHL this season. With 2 points and a +3 rating in 5 games, he’s making me look awe-some!
- Rag on Andrej Sekera all you want, but Reggie is a +5 through 5 games, and given his propensity for inconsistency in the past, that’s gotta count for something.
- Luke Adam may be the hottest rookie in the league right now, but it’s unrealistic, and unfair, to think he can keep up this pace (3 goals, 3 assists in 5 games) for an entire year. The kid has arrived on the scene, however, and if I were him, I’d look for permanent residence somewhere in WNY…but don’t get too comfy, Luke.
- You don’t notice Robyn Regehr too much out there, do you? Trust me, that’s a good thing. Regehr is all business in front of his net, and a tough opponent to play against down in the corners. Another rearguard who came as advertised. Thank You, Calgary.
- A struggling Tyler Myers will be fine. ‘Nuff said.
- Looking at the Sabres top to bottom, the team only has four “minus” players. With a nice mix of “plus two’s, three’s and four’s” so early in the season, 4 wins can turn into 20,30, and 40+ very quickly if those trends continue.
- Drew Stafford is starting to play some damn good hockey, and his quiet determination begs a sigh of relief from fans who were worried. Me? Nah…
- How long must I wait until Marcus Foligno is up with the big club? We’re two weeks in. Isn’t that long enough?!?
- Give Thomas Vanek a corner, and about ONE solid second to shoot, and it’s all red lights flashing. I don’t care who’s playing goal for the other team.
- Finally, if the goaltending tandem of Ryan Miller and Jhonas Enroth continue their strong, and often times outstanding play, and if the offense musters up 3 goals per game, we’re going to be in for a fun ride this season…as long as the Sabres don’t have many repeat performances reminiscent of that coronary-inducing circus we saw against the Canadiens.
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Topics: Andrej Sekera, Buffalo Sabres, Christian Ehrhoff, Drew Stafford, Jhonas Enroth, Jordan Leopold, Luke Adam, Marcus Foligno, Max Afinogenov, Robyn Regehr, Ryan Miller, Tyler Ennis, Tyler Myers, Ville Leino