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Knee Jerk Reaction: Buffalo Sabres versus Philadelphia Flyers

Jan 20, 2013; Buffalo, NY, USA; Philadelphia Flyers right wing Scott Hartnell (19) and Buffalo Sabres right wing Drew Stafford (21) fight during the second period at the First Niagara Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Sabres capitalized on the fact that the Philadelphia Flyers had tired legs and defeated them by a score of 5-2.  While it was not an easy game – the Sabres did not control the play for all 60 minutes.

The second period was still a mess – with the Sabres losing control and allowing the Flyers to not only get back into the game.  The Buffalo Sabres used the thir period to skate over the Flyers and capitalized on the msitakes made by a tired team.

Here are a few notes that I took away from the game.  Look for Rich Spaulding to file his full report on the complete game.

Drew Stafford is a beast.  The Buffalo Sabres went out this off season and get rid of Derek Roy, brought in John Scott and Steve Ott – in the hopes of making the team tougher to play against.  No one wanted to see a repeat of what happened between Ryan Miller and Milan Lucic from last year.

It wasn’t up to Scott and Ott to stick up for the team, but Drew Stafford embodied what the Buffalo Sarbes wanted to be about this year – and he took on Scott Hartnell after he hit Tyler Ennis from behind.

 

Scott Hartnell shoud watch the way he plays hockey this year.  Playing 48 games within your conference makes every game a potential 4 point game.  Putting your team short handed in just one game is dangerous when you think about how a team can change the complexion of a game when on the special teams.  Hartnell’s actions shoudl be reviewed by the NHL and he should receive at least a three game suspension.  Two times he hit a guy in the numbers, he was nabbed for two on his hit from behind on Jason Pominville, got away with one against Ennis, and made no effort to avoid contact with Ryan Miller late in the game.  Even if you conclude that his hitting Miller was a hockey play – the other two plays were dangerous and are the types of hits that the NHL is trying to get rid of.

Rookie Sensations.  Of course it was an NBC broadcast, so the Philadelphia Flyers were given much more face time than the Buffalo Sabres – there were two rookies on the ice in their initial five game tryout, Buffalo Sabres forward Mikhail Grigorenko and Flyers forward Scott Laughton.  If Grigorenko plans on making it more than five games in the NHL this year – he needs to be a little more active in the play.  The NBC announcers had nothing but great things to say about Laughton – and those were the things that Buffalo fans were hoping to hear about their first round draft pick.  It’s only one game, but unless you see Grigs get a little more face time he could be finishing this year with the Quebec Ramparts.  He was put in some key situations, won a key faceoff, and drew a penalty.  Not a bad night – but I think I was just expecting more.

The Philadelphia Flyers need to figure out whats going to happen with them in the 2012-2013 season, two games in a row they saw the score inflated to five goals against with the tap in of an empty net goal.

Thomas Vanek is in the form the Buffalo Sabres need him to be in all season long.  The hands he showed on his goal, as well as his ability to make plays – plus his rifle of an empty net shot that was more about Jason Pominville than Thomas Vanek.

Cody Hodgson seems to be picking up right where he left off in the American Hockey League with the Rochester Americans.

Tyler Myers was there to snap in a power play goal that went off Timonen – but I was not impressed with the towering defenseman tonight.  While there was a lot of sloppy hockey out there, it just seems that Tyler Myers is still trying to grow into his body.

Scott Ott makes his presence in Buffalo known quick – with the teams first goal of the year,a nd a physical presence throughout the night.

It is great to have hockey back again, its even better when the Buffalo Sabres win – its damn good when the Buffalo Sabres defeat the Philadelphia Flyers.

Topics: Buffalo Sabres, Knee Jerk, Philadelphia Flyers

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