Nov 24, 2013; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers (57) looks to make a pass during the second period against the Detroit Red Wings at First Niagara Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Sabres - Flames: Rich's Three Stars

Ladies and gentlemen, Buffalo Sabres fans and Sabre Noise readers, I just want to point this out: Ville Leino was less than a second away from being named

Dec 14, 2013; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres left wing Matt Moulson (26) celebrates his goal on the Calgary Flames during the third period at First Niagara Center. The Flames beat the Sabres 2-1 in OT. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

your number one star of today’s game against the Calgary Flames.

I don’t care if someone on the Sabres had scored four goals; if Leino had put that puck in before the net had been knocked loose, I would have pulled rank and sent him to the head of the class!

Sadly, that wasn’t meant to be, so here are the players who actually earned three stars tonight.

Third Star: Matt Moulson

Moulson was in the right place at the right time, and notched the only goal of the afternoon for Buffalo.  As I told my eight year-old son, who many of you know plays hockey himself, “Sometimes, scoring a goal is as easy as knowing where to be and waiting for the puck to be delivered.”  Obviously, I’m simplifying things a little bit, but then again, I’m not: Moulson went to the front of the net, and good things happened.  Smart play.

Second Star: Zemgus Girgensons

Of course, Moulson’s strategic positioning wouldn’t have been worth the tie around Darcy Regier‘s neck had it not been for the wonderful individual effort of Girgensons, who sped down the right side of the ice, shielded the puck from a defender, and made a gorgeous centering pass that found Moulson more than Moulson found it.  That was a great play by a kid who has greatness about him.  Girgensons, as usual, busted his ass all day long – man, is he fun to watch.

First Star: Tyler Myers

Speaking of busting his ass . . . plenty of people enjoy busting on Myers, but I agree with super-fan Jes (and he’s not the only one, just the one who has been the most vocal about this): Myers’ play is much improved compared, not just to last season, but to the first month of the year.   Today, Myers showcased his complete game.  He joined the rush numerous times, and was inches away from scoring the first goal of the game, as his wrister that cleanly beat Flames goalie Karri Ramo pinged off the crossbar.  Kind of par for the Sabres’ season, right?  Can’t blame Myers for that bit of bad luck, though.  He was active on offense all day long, and even better, he was playing physical hockey.  He went down on the ice a bunch of times with the intention of blocking shots (the final stats say he only blocked one, but during one sequence it appeared as if he blocked two within seconds of each other) and guess what?  He wasn’t on the ice either time that Calgary scored.  Jamie McBain and Christian Ehrhoff were the blueliners on the ice for each of Calgary’s goals, whereas Myers was a rock all night long and earned my top star of the game.

Wanna argue?  You’ll be wrong, but you’re welcome to try!  Seriously, leave your comments below or toss ‘em my way @theamazingMrS!  Thanks!!!

Tags: Buffalo Sabres

  • Jes

    1st Star -Tyler freaking Myers – Dano I watched him play very close today and he was an absolute beast. He was everywhere on the ice.

    2nd Star – Girgensons – He brought the physicality today and he brought the offensive spark also. Didn’t get us the win but kept it close for us.

    3rd Star – Enroth – Made some nice saves and had a very solid outing compared to his last start.

    Honorable Mention

    McNabb – Huge Physical Presence. Still have no idea why he gets scratched before Weber and McBain?

    Moulson – Got the lone goal for the Sabres “Go Nowhere” offense. Other than that he wasn’t doing to much that I could see.

    • Richard Spalding

      Yeah, I went with Moulson only because he scored the lone goal. When a team scores so few, potting one automatically makes you valuable!

      • JHizzle75

        I agree with Myers and Girgs, but I would have put Ennis in there as 3rd star. Thought he played really well.
        I was also paying close attention to Myers this afternoon, after all the negative comments about him the other day I thought maybe I was missing something…maybe he isn’t as good as I think….
        Nope. I’m not missing anything. Lol
        All the naysayers need to actually focus on Myers for a game or two, and not just notice when he coughs the puck up or something. The guy is all over the ice…he had some great forays into the offensive zone and created some good chances.

        • Richard Spalding

          Ennis was an option as was Enroth, although I feel like Ennis is the stronger of the two.

    • Dano

      “ano I watched him play very close today and he was an absolute beast. He was everywhere on the ice.”

      Saw him live. When off the camera, he was picking his nose.. and eating it.. ;)

      He ( Myers ) FINALLY showed up for a game! Lets see if he can make it 2 in a row.

      • JHizzle75

        That snot funny, Dano ( hee hee).
        Seriously, though, is anyone seeing what’s happening in Toronto tonight? All the fans who want us to trade Miller to a cup contender should be paying attention to Chicagos situation. Who do you think we could get for Miller?

        • JHizzle75

          7 goals now….

        • Dano

          Who do I think we could snag for Miller? From which team?

          Its not just Miller. The Sabres could take miller and put on a pick or a prospect or eat salary cap space. They could even agree to something *IF* Miller were to re-sign with said team ( conditional pick ), ANY player could come to Buffalo outside of a no-movement clause.

          Theres just so much that can be done and it needs to be explored.

          From Chicago? They signed Crawford long term, big bucks. They havent a need for Miller ( the scoreboard for them at this moment says differently though! ;) )

          • JHizzle75

            Yes from Chicago. I was under the impression that Crawford was hurt…

          • Dano

            Crawford IS hurt, I dont know if its long term or not. Crawford signed for something over 6 million a year.. They certainly dont want to have 2 highly paid goaltenders.

            *IF* they didnt have Crawford, I would look to try and pry Seabrook or Keith from them. I dont like either of them but they are much better then what we presently have.

            The team I would look to trade with is San Jose. They have sooo many nice centermen! Miller would probably take a nice discount to to go to Cali near his wifes profession..

          • JHizzle75

            So which Sabres center men do we keep? If we get one from San Jose we have to make room, right? Or are you on the side of ” no one is untradable?” Just picking your brain, since you brought up nose-picking. Lol

          • Dano

            My reply disappeared? Hmm..

            Which do we keep? None, all, a few? It depends what Buffalo can pull in.

            If SanJose offered Logan Couture for say.. Hodgson, Miller and the Islanders pick, I would jump on it. Some would say its too large a pricetag BUT, Miller would go there, Hodgson isnt a capable first line Center and we still have Moulson to trade away.

            What about the same deal but instead of the Islanders pick they take Moulson? He would SURELY want to go to a contender like that! The Sharks would LOVE to have him too!

            Buffalo would have a centerman ( Couture ) to gauge their prospects with. A Solid 2 way guy with a proven record. We could put ANY forward on a line with him to evaluate/compare/see what they are capable of.

            Thats what Buffalo is really lacking right now. Theres really no way to gauge where the younger players are in their development. Everyone knows I dont care for Grigorenko, but to his favor, what other forwards can you have him Center to even see if hes a bust or not? ( Jes : Dont dirty your skivvies, I DID in fact just defend that Russian. ).

          • Jes

            Lol no worries Dano I’ve buried that hatchet hope you do the same.

          • Dano

            I did a long time ago. ;)

            The article Mark Huss wrote really had me thinking. I was out in the Barn sharpening my skates and talking to a few locals getting ready for the pond this year and I realized ( from watching them argue ) how bad the whole Sabres Organization really is.

            I can see why some of the *fans* have way varying opinions on things as theres absolutely NOTHING for any of us to agree upon. Look at recent articles from this site alone :

            Does Myers stay? Trade him? Miller wants to go? Stay? Be traded? Sold his home? Moulson worth a first rounder? Can be convinced to stay? Send the Rookies down? Keep them up?

            Whos doing our player development? Who(m) is even going to be at the draft this coming year? Will the team even have a GM by then? Whos looking into doing the trades of assets right now?

            There is just absolutely ‘ nothing ‘ outside of knowing Pegula will own the team next year! Theres no ‘ constant ‘ or foundation for anything. Just who the Owner is.

            All any of us can really have is speculation and what we as individuals would do. Nobody can be wrong or right in that situation. Nolan doesnt even know if hes going to be here or if hes what they need/want and hes behind the bench every night!

            What kind of message does that send to the present players? Is it a ‘ winning ‘ environment? A ‘ healthy culture ‘ to grow players in? *I* wouldnt believe so.

            I didn’t think deeply on it till reading Marks article and now the disarray he ( Regier ) let the Organization fall into is.. I didnt realize things could be THAT bad. Pegula let it happen as he kept the guy on when they were spiraling downward.

            ” Shame on Terry Pegula “, thats what it all comes down to.

          • Jes

            Agree with everything.

            Pegula was way to into the “Old Sabres” so he kept the old blood around like Regier and Ruff. Then he decided to keep them through a rebuild then decided to fire them through the rebuild. Regier was fired weeks after he traded our best commodity (Vanek.) Still do not know what Pegula was thinking with that. But it was a good trade.

            I still remember when he bought the team and Ted Black declared us hockey heaven, I believe we’ve gotten shittier and shittier ever since he declared that.

          • JHizzle75

            We got a good return on Pominville, too. But I would reverse that trade if I could. I think the team misses him more than Vanek, and so do I .

          • Dano

            Look at the exact content of your message. He wanted to keep, then he wanted to trade, then he fired, then he..

            Its Pegula. *IF* he wanted to make this HIS team, he would have put HIS people in there right away.

            The reason you dont know what Pegula was thinking is because to this day PEGULA doesnt know what hes thinking. Why should anyone expect you, me, Rich, CC or anyone else here to try and figure him out? Hes the owner!

            This lends creedence to why I think Burke would be the right guy for Buffalo. He would put Pegula in his place. ” Your the owner, go to your nice box and watch the game. The rest is on me “. I think he would be one of very few people whom would do so.

            Since Pegula Bought the Franchise and made his declaration, the team has moved even further away from snagging that cup. Its going to be at LEAST 5 years before such a thought should be on anyones serious thought lists.

          • Jes

            That’s way to much IMO for Couture if you are talking about the Islanders 1st round pick anyways and not the 2nd. We could have 2 picks in the top 2 this year or maybe even next year if they end up deferring it and then we have 2 shots at getting McDavid. But I believe they’ll play it smart and just give us this years draft pick as next years draft is much deeper already. So Reinhart and Ekblad in one year sounds real good to me.

            I’d love to make a pitch for Thornton or Boyle. Thornton would be a great leader for the young guys and will bring in a winning atmosphere.

          • Dano

            Big Joe has age going against him and is a UFA at the end of the year. I think he will probably be one of those ‘ discount ‘ players that wants to stay in SanJose where his roots presently are. Cant Blame him.

            If by ‘ Boyle ‘ you mean Dan Boyle, hes 36. Hes still solid, but for how long?

          • JHizzle75

            Jumbo Joe is getting up there in age. I would love it if he came to Buffalo, but I think he’s at a point in his career where he would want to go to a contender. Not 100% sure, but I don’t think he has a Stanley cup ring yet, so….

          • Dano

            No ring for him! :)

          • Dano

            “We could have 2 picks in the top 2 this year or maybe even next year if they end up deferring it and then we have 2 shots at getting McDavid. ”

            Buffalo could have 2 shots in the draft OR they can have a proven legit centerman, right now to start helping develop the young guys.

            The ‘ draft dreams ‘ were sold to everybody by Darcy Regier ( they should ban that name from these forums! ;) ). Darcys plan failed. Why continue with it?

            Theres a fork in the road.
            1.) Just keep grabbing picks from the draft, all these top prospects and have nobody to show them the ropes ( edmonton ) and have them go through the first 3 years of their contracts losing and having nobody to help them along ( so they wont want to stay or go elsewhere ).
            2.) Look to get some SOLID or established players to help those we have now and others in the near future.

            Reinhart, McDavid and all those other prospects for the ‘ draft ‘.. any one of them could take a drastic injury and not even make the draft.

            The draft IS important, but its just 1 item of many. If you look at our young players now, are they any more developed then when they were drafted? Theres Nobody to help them. Sending them down was the best thing for them ( IMO ).

            What I would Offer SanJose for one of their centermen.. one of 3 packages :

            1.) Miller : We eat ALL of his salary for the rest of the season. *IF* he re-signs with them, we will give them a 2014 second round pick as a bonus. Ontop of Miller and that conditional pick, They can choose a roster player thats not a rookie ( Girg, Foligno, Pysyk.. ) if they wish to.

            ( Reason: Playoff run. Having 2 better then most goalies cant be beat! )

            2.) Myers : We eat his salary for this year. We also give them NYI’s first round pick.

            ( Thorton, Boyle and Marleu are all UFA’s. They cant afford all of them. Myers will be a cheaper replacement for Boyle whom is 36yrs old.. Myers doesnt carry the category 4 contract like Boyle does. )

            3.) NYI’s first, LAK’s 2nd straight up

            ( They can draft and decide their own fate. Buffalo would bring some 6million of cap space to their door. )

            I wouldnt offer Buffalos first rounder endless they gave up 2 centermen ( which isnt going to happen and it couldnt be both their UFA’s coming up ).

            Buffalo hasnt had a Legit centerman since the days of Drury and Briere when they were in their primes. Thats 6 or 7 years ago! Its the *key* component on the ice they have been missing for the last half decade.

            By snagging one of SJ’s centerman, Buffalo would still have the ‘ dream lottery ‘ for the draft with a top end pick ( their own ).

            Burke was smart. Some thought he overpaid for Kessel and everyone laughed when Boston snagged Seguin with Torontos pick. Where are they now? Boston dumped Seguin and Kessel is ripping it up for Toronto.

            *IF* Buffalo was GUARANTEED to get the pick that scores the players your speaking of, I might see things differently. The problem is I watched Brett Hulls ‘ No Goal ‘. It was the last time I cried. Earlier in that decade I also saw Norwoods ‘ Wide Right ‘ with my own eyes. Both of them.. The Lottery will be the 3rd strike IMO. Buffalo picking first overall? ROFLMAO! CGB Spender doesnt think so ( smoking man, x-files ).

            Buffalo is a town that can be guaranteed a top 3 pick with the NHL lottery and wind up picking in the 4-10 range. The Albatross is that heavy! There will be some ruling or event that will happen. Im being optimistic in saying such. ;) . With the ways suspensions are being handed out and Buffalo being a supposed ‘ dirty ‘ team, they might just kill off Buffalos pick the way they did NJ’s as a ‘ fine ‘ of sorts.

          • Jes

            I think NJ got there pick taken away because of the Kovalchuck contract.

            I know what you are getting at but in all honesty Couture isn’t Kessel, nor will he be. He’s performing great on a stacked team, in a system where offense is number one. Under Nolan’s tutelage I doubt he’d get anything over 50 PTS. A real number one should have 70+ in any given season + all the intangibles like defense and such. McDavid is considered to be as good as or better then Crosby by some analysts Seguin didn’t even come close to that talent level. Second rounders and so on can go but if we have a top 5 pick you keep it.

          • Jes

            I’d go after Kane. Miller won’t be in San Jose. Only Californian team that needs a goalie upgrade right now is Anaheim

          • Dano

            Would the ‘ Son of the CIty ‘ wish to come to Buffalo though? Home town for sure, but he likes the part scene in Chicago. His ‘ Cabbie ‘ incident didnt fair to well with the locals. He would be a fan favorite or the kid everyone kicks the hell out of ( probably the latter ).

            How is/what is your take on Kane without a top tier centerman?

          • JHizzle75

            Do you mean Evander or Patrick?
            Are we still talking Chicago players?

          • Jes

            Yup he’s out for awhile. They just made a trade for Labarbera today.

          • JHizzle75

            I actually heard that, must have forgot … Rough night last night.
            So much for that idea. Lol