I was able to catch most of the game last night, but was unable to give my immediate, unfiltered, gonna-regret-this opinions and takes on the game. So, instead, I had a night of sleep to refine the incredibly broad, sweeping statements that I am sure are about as accurate as a Christian Ehrhoff shot from the blue line (zing!).
This Columbus Blue Jackets team could be dangerous once they fit in a couple of pieces and play together for a bit. James Wisniewski was in his second game of the regular season, the major off-season trade acquisition of Jeff Carter is out with an injury, and for godsake their goaltender is an old defense attorney.
What I’m getting at here is that the Blue Jackets are a lot better than their current record of 1 – 8 – 1, and as they showed against the Red Wings on Saturday, they’re a team built to be underestimated that will beat the big guns of the league. The Sabres almost fell into the same trap, and were able to pull out of it with some tenacity.
- Thomas. Freaking. Vanek. What else can be said? He had 3 assists tonight and is second in the league with points, trailing only behind Phil Kessel who doesn’t count because he’s on the Leafs. Buffalo Sabres Nation‘s Scott Michalak put it best on his Twitter feed:
- For that matter, let’s give some love to Jason Pominville, who is right up with Vanek in scoring. When Pommer got named the captain of this team, a lot of people said “Nay!” (well…not quite everybody…*smirk*) With two goals and an assist last night, the captain led the way for the team’s first home victory. Between Vanek, Luke Adam, and Pominville, the Sabres have a top line reminiscent of the deadly Spezza/Heatley/Alfredsson line from the Senators’ dominant years.
- A note on Luke Adam; the kid looks like he has zero respect for the other team, in a good way. I don’t mean to say he looks like a jerk, but he looks like he could not care less who he’s playing against or who he’s shooting on. He’s got swagger. Pizzaz. Most importantly, he’s got the grit and skill to back it up.
- After two straight losses by Ryan Miller, backup goaltender Jhonas Enroth had a remarkable night where he made 41 saves. I’m sure this will elicit a mature response from Sabres fans who realize that this is not indicative of a goalie controversy.
- Cody Bass straight up got his ass beat. Twice.
- After starting the year like a drunk horse facing the wrong way, Brad Boyes had a power play goal last night as well as an assist, giving him 4 points in the last two games. Good thing they didn’t send him down to the AHL, right Bulldog?
- Pat Kaleta scored a great goal on the backhand, and fought tooth and nail to get the game winner. His entire style of playing seems to be more skill-based, the way he was 3 years ago. That’s awesome because hopefully he’ll be able to avoid injury this year, if he keeps it up.
- Columbus isn’t going to stay this bad. They’ve only lost one game by more than 2 goals, and they are a physical and speedy team. It also helps that they’re no longer coached by Captain Kangaroo.
Next up are the Florida Panthers on Saturday. They’re another team that’s going through a rebuild, having recently traded away star player David Booth for what amounts to two older guys that can show the team how hockey was played in their day. The Panthers are still a dangerous team that is second in a pretty damn bad Southeast division, so the Blue & Gold need to remember to play the full 60 minutes.
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Tags: Blue Jackets Buffalo Buffalo Sabres Christian Ehrhoff Columbus Blue Jackets Darcy Regier David Booth Derek Roy Detroit Red Wings Drew Stafford Eastern Conference Fansided Florida Panthers Free Agency Hockey Jason Pominville Jhonas Enroth Lindy Ruff Luke Adam NHL Northeast Division Ottawa Senators Patrick Kaleta Philadelphia Flyers Ryan Miller Sabres Stanley Cup Stanley Cup Playoffs Terry Pegula Thomas Vanek Toronto Maple Leafs Tyler Ennis Tyler Myers