Chalk up another loss for the boys in blue and gold tonight; at what point do we stop counting the number of losses and just waive the white flag? For the majority tonight’s game was not pretty, in fact there were times it looked downright awful, but my job is to find the positive and name the three stars from tonight’s affair.
Let’s get ‘er going.
First Star- Cody Hodgson
Hodgson was one of the best forwards for the Buffalo Sabres tonight and he opened the scoring when they trailed 3-0. It was only Hodgson’s second goal of the season, but he seems to get better each and every game. He and Thomas Vanek are starting to generate some solid chemistry and it’s only a matter of time before the two start connecting more often.
One could argue that Hodgson has carried the Sabres offence this season as he leads the team with 7 points. If and when Vanek departs, the weight will fall squarely on the shoulders of Hodgson and seem’s to be able to lead the way.
Second Star- Marcus Foligno
I can’t say enough about Marcus Foligno as he’s quickly turned into one of my favourite players for the Buffalo Sabres. From his toughness to offencive ability there’s not much he can’t do. He scored the second goal for the Sabres tonight in addition to his 3 shots and 3 hits.
Foligno is the type of player his teammates can rally behind and he plays the role of motivator quite well. He still needs to get more experience and mature a little more as a hockey player but he could be a real solid leader for the Buffalo Sabres in the future.
Third Star- Nikita Zadorov
I had time giving out the third star for tonight’s game. With only 2 goals on the scoreboard there wasn’t an obvious third star based on offence. Ryan Miller deserves a stick tap for once again being the only Sabre to show up in the first period and holding the team in the game. Steve Ott deserves some credit for the edge he brought to the game and the late penalty he drew. Tyler Ennis was also another candidate for the third star with the energy he brings and the chances he generates, but his selfish play in the third made me think twice. Finally I landed on another Buffalo Sabre rookie making his debut this season, Nikita Zadorov.
Before the game Rasmus Ristolainen was sent to the Rochester Americans to make room for Zadorov and while many were upset at the demotion, the replacement didn’t look too bad. While he didn’t contribute on the scoreboard, he did have 3 hits in 11 minutes of ice-time. Zadorov played a defensively sound game and showed great speed and puck control. Solid debut for Nikita Zadorov.