Poll: The Best Player for the Buffalo Sabres So Far This Season Has Been . . . ?

 

Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

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!

Who has been the best player on the Sabres so far?

View Results

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Topics: Buffalo Sabres, Jhonas Enroth, Ryan Miller, Tyler Ennis, Zemgus Girgensons

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  • Dano

    The teams is trying to find their niche. I believe they actually played ‘ ok ‘ against TB last night. There was a good effort by *half* the team. If the other half shows up, they might be on to something.

    • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

      I agree – especially in the second period, when the Sabres started to take the fight to Tampa Bay for some extended stretches of time.

  • erico

    Honestly, I know this start is bad but this team hasnt been horrible. Girgensons, pysyk, weber, mcbain, foligno have all been impressive. Its not like this team hasnt had the chances. they just arent getting any lucky bounces. the team could easily be perfect but the luck just isnt there. really who are the disapointing sabres? obviously stafford… kaleta… myers.. . these are the guys who have been in that category a lot and need to be removed

    • Benjamin M Taylor

      though I completely agree with your assessment of the young guys, lucky bounces don’t win games. hard work and skill win games, as proven by the LA Kings the last several years. I love watching them play (the Kings that is), and they remind me of the Sabres’ teams of the late nineties. A different hero every night!

    • Jes

      Myers has played well so far. He’s not gonna put up an all star performance every game. If you actually watched Myers, he’s played well so far. As has Grigorenko.

      Foligno has played one game so he shouldn’t even be judge worthy as of yet. McBain’s been good on PP but on 5 on 5 he disappears. I’d take Myers’ 5 on 5 performance over McBain’s any day.

      Kaleta hasn’t doesn’t do much because he gets 4th line mins. He’s paid for being a pest and killing penalties and he has done just that. So ya he has played pretty well considering why he is here. Stafford as usual is horrible, hopefully a buyout is coming his way soon.

  • lamarred1118

    Gotta go with the goalies so far and I have seen improvement in the guys that I am always most critical of, Stafford, Ennis and Kaleta. I don’t see how anyone can be surprised or did not expect this outcome given the fact that Darcy did ABSOLUTELY nothing to improve the scoring chances by doing what he seems to do best, put on his horse blinders by deciding that the only course of action for the team was to rely solely on the draft. I will stick with the “glass is half full” outlook and am encouraged that the players seem to be buying in to Ron Rolston’s methods.

    • qwicwted

      lamarred1118 – I’ve said it before and will say it again – who or what asset do we have to trade and for whom. You still have to have something someone wants in order to make a trade and Bflo just doesn’t have any assets. Miller and Vanek both become free agents next year. Stafford – can’t get a bag of pucks for him. Ennis – too small to play. Leino – always injured. Really like Ott, but he is pretty much a 3/4 line guy. On to the D – Meyers – has played crappy the past two years – too much, too long. Tillander – too old. Erhoff – too much and too long, Sulzer – too average. So, we need to develop our youth, help increase the value of certain players and see what we can get at the trade deadlne for our “stars”.

      • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

        I mostly agree with you, but there were free agents available. I’m glad Buffalo didn’t get involved with the first day idiocy that most NHL teams jumped into, but players like Dustin Penner and Mikhail Grabovski were still available after that first day. Penner would be a big help on the power play. But, it is what it is!

  • Jes

    by far goaltending.

  • Benjamin M Taylor

    If not a goalie, then Christian Ehrhoff.
    I agree that Mark Pysyk has done well, but that’s the same as saying how well Tyler Myers did with Henrik Tallinder.
    Tyler Ennis is turning into Maxim Afinogenov, IMO. Skates fast, gets the puck, then….
    I think our young crew has potential to be great, and I don’t totally disagree with Darcy staying quiet in the offseason. If Leino has taught us anything, it’s to sit and wait for the opportunities to come. I think we shoot for the basement (as tough as it’s going to be), let the young kids get ice time, let the Vanek and Miller situations go as they may, and then we start building veterans once we have some youngsters on lines already in rhythm. Colorado is playing amazing hockey already this year, and they were horrible last year. The game late in the year against Buffalo showed how much they improved (if you remember their epic comeback). Be patient. It’s the Regier way of doing business. Don’t say he didn’t warn you!

    • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

      +1 for bringing up Colorado. They look strong out of the gate (although I still would LOVE to see them let go of ROR).

  • davidmuscalo

    Miller is the MAN! I still have grave reservations when Enroth is in the net. The first goal he allowed last light should have be stopped, but, as is too often the case, he just wasn’t quite positioned properly. He is making a case for backup, though and Miller should get some relief this season.

    As for the others, I agree, Pysyk and Girgensons are fun to watch as they develop. As for Ennis, he worked his tail off last night, but he just can’t stay on the puck when pressured. He will do well when gets on a team with large line mates who can do the muscling for him, I wish him well and hope he signs with the right team next season.

    I find it almost enjoyable to be able to sit back and watch this team develop knowing that there is no danger of them making the playoffs. It almost doesn’t matter whether they win or lose; only that they are competitive. What does bother me is the thought that next season could be even worse when Miller, Vanek and Ott are playing elsewhere.

  • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

    Good to see Tyler Ennis got a little love here!

  • Doofensmirtz

    Rich did you happen to watch the game tonight? Vanek was the only player on the ice tonight for the Sabres. Ennis can’t control a puck crossing a blue line, no place for him here other than Rochester, Meyers is awful, Stafford is worse. We have no centers no coaches the worst GM in the league, and when Vanek is gone who is gonna score there is no one else who can…… There is always next decade, Pegula will be dead before this team makes the playoffs again…

    • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

      I posted this poll on Wednesday, so by now answers are not necessarily accurate! Vanek (and Hodgson, to be fair) are the only hope the Sabres have on offense right now . . . but then Vanek plays phantom defense and helps to create the Nick Foligno goal that was really off of Weber’s skate. The whole team is a mess, which is why I cast my vote for the ice girls as the three stars of last night’s game!

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