Readers, I hope you believe me when I say that, even in the face of great calamity, I am resolved to be as positive as I can about this year’s iteration of the Buffalo Sabres.
Unlike certain negative Nancies (or should I say, calamitous Caitlins?), I refuse to dwell on the bad – sorry: less-than-impressive – play of Tyler Myers. Or Thomas Vanek. Or Steve Ott. Or Drew Stafford. Or . . . .
See – I stopped!
Despite the 0-4 start, the Sabres have been competitive in three of the losses, and there have been signs of life from many different players. Tyler Ennis has played with an energy and passion that I cannot recall seeing from him last season. Even though I still have my reservations about him – he still has yet to score, and to me he is not the sort of guy the Sabres need on their power play – I cannot deny that he is working incredibly hard to help this team win.
Out of all the rookies, Zemgus Girgensons has had the biggest impact on the gameplay of the Sabres. For starters, he is the only rookie to net a goal, and one of only four players on the entire roster. His energy SHOULD be contagious at this point, and I think we saw some flashes of players being inspired by his hustle Friday against Ottawa. His game is still developing, and he’ll have many rough patches this year, but so far, he is one reason to tune into Sabres’ broadcasts.
Less flashy than Girgensons, but no less worthy of discussion, is Mark Pysyk. He’s been playing a lot of shifts, and hi +/- of 0 is greatly appreciated when you consider the Sabres are – 6 for the year so far.
Last, but clearly not least, we have the goaltending dynamic duo of Ryan Miller and Jhonas Enroth. Both of these guys have played so well that there is no way I can single out one from the other. These two guys combined have faced 149 shots – the most in the NHL, second only to Toronto’s 138 shots against. That’s right – for the second year in a row, the Sabres’ goaltenders are on pace to face more shots than any team in the NHL. Miller kept the Sabres closer than they had a right to be in games against Detroit and Ottawa, and Enroth tried his damnedest to fend off the Pittsburgh Penguins.
So – who do you give the nod to in our happy happy, joy joy poll? Cast your vote, and you know I love a good discussion, so leave your comments (including players you feel should have been on this list) below!