Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Sabres Vs. Phoenix Coyotes Three Stars

Well Buffalo Sabres fans we have just witnessed a Christmas miracle, curtesy of Zemgus Girgensons and Mark Pysyk. What a game on the eve of Christmas eve. When it looked like the Buffalo Sabres would be in tough down 4 players due to a mysterious flu brought in by Linus Omark and dressing only 16 players, they did the unthinkable and dragged out a win.

Let’s take some bet’s, how long until Zemgus Girgensons gets the C?

Always remember December 23rd, 2013 as the infamous butt goal scored by Mark Pysyk!

Now on to the actual game and the 3 stars of tonight’s affair against the Phoenix Coyotes.

First star- Zemgus Girgensons 

Could this kid be any better?! Seriously, he may turn out to be the steal of the 2012 draft ahead of Mikhail Grigorenko. With several players out of the line-up due to illness and injury, Zemgus Girgensons took the Sabres, put them on his back and carried them on to victory. He may not have netted a goal himself tonight, but he was responsible for the only goal the Sabres scored in regulation as he played a season high 22 minutes.

I know I’ve said this before, but Girgensons is an absolutely beast out there on the ice. He registered 7 shots and 3 hits in 22 minutes of ice as he flied around the ice all night. The thing to love about Girgensons his his heart and effort, he gives it his all every single shift. He never quits and is always battling.

Everytime he’s on the ice the puck just seems to find him and tonight he certainly deserved a goal for his efforts.

Second Star- Ryan Miller

Ryan Miller can’t really be blamed for the lone goal he let in as it was deflected on a “high-stick” and he had no real chance to make the save. Aside from that minor blemish, Miller was perfect tonight. He made 36 saves in the win, including a break-away goal to bail out defenceman Christian Ehrhoff.

Miller is playing for a contract and the starting job for team USA and he certainly seems to be showing everyone his “A-game.” This was another solid showing by Miller this season, as he kept a depleted Sabres team in the game. Miller is now 5-0-0 against the Coyotes.

Third Star- Tyler Ennis 

Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

How much do you think Tyler Ennis enjoys playing with Zemgus Girgensons? The Latvian just generates offence and often times, like tonight, Ennis becomes the recipient of those chances.

Although in fairness to Ennis, he played a heck of a game on offence himself as he could have easily netted 3 or 4 goals tonight.

Ennis scored the Sabres lone regulation goal and finished the night with 5 shots and +1 in just under 22 minutes. Solid game from Tyler Ennis who certainly found his chocolate milk for this game.

Tags: 3 Stars Buffalo Sabres

  • Dano

    Good read CC!

    Yet again, the Sabres spread the cheeks and put..

    Gus is already better Girgorenko and will probably be better throughout their NHL days.. thats IF Grigorenko ever makes it full-time into the league.

    Buffalo is looking to pass Edmonton on the bottom of the standings. ( Take note Draft dreamers: nightmares approach as the Sabres start digging themselves into relevance ;) )

    For playing with a short roster, the team did a great job in short shifting and keeping the puck in the offensive zone on many occasions. PHX isnt a ‘ slouch ‘ team and they certainly had the advantage before the game started by the bench count. After Staffords gamer, it was an even shorter bench.

    Cant wait to see Shannabans call on that elbow. Probably ‘ less then 5 ‘ endless they call it a ‘ deliberate attempt to injure ‘ which calls for an office hearing.

    • JHizzle75

      Totally agree with the 3 stars. I’d like to give an honourable mention to the penalty kill ( if that’s allowed ). I thought they did a great job killing their penalties, especially Drew’s major.

      • Caitlin Campbell

        The penalty kill was awesome- generally we like to stick to players

    • Caitlin Campbell

      Thanks for the read Dano!
      One of the hardest working wins you’ll ever see from the Sabres… just 15 players… full effort and full heart.
      Looking forward to seein what Shannaban calls as well… considering he’s a Sabre…

  • Richard Spalding

    Can’t argue with the 3 stars! I am glad Larsson was brought back up, and again, I liked what I saw. Three blocked shots, some nice work on the boards, actively deflecting passes. He made a sweet feed to. . . someone . . . after battling for the puck on the boards in the second. I wouldn’t mind seeing him again Friday!

    • Caitlin Campbell

      I was really excited to see Larsson back up with the Sabres and he was certainily noticeable. My only common was that I needed him to be stronger on the puck. There were a couple of times in the game where he just fell when an opponent touched him

  • qwicwted

    I really like Girgensens and everytime I see him play I’m thinking to myself – there is the future Captain of the Sabres. I guess in a way I’m not soooo pissed about Grigorenko because we did get Girgensens – imagine if Grigorenko played with as much heart and desire how formidable our lineup would be. I really would like to see what Olmark brings and I hope they keep Larssen up for a bit. Knowing the situation with our shortage of players tonight, how stupid was Stafford. He needs to be suspended.

    • Richard Spalding

      Agree with everything you said. Stafford’s penalty was a true WTF moment. Dumb, and he should know better.

    • Caitlin Campbell

      If Grigo played with that type of heart it would be unreal. Hope he checks into the game soon.
      Dumb, dumb dumb move by Stafford

  • Jes

    I hope Girgensons does get an A in a couple seasons. Then the captaincy another 2 years after that. Giving him that type of responsibility early in his career could stump his growth. So we should just keep the captain talk to ourselves for now.

    • Caitlin Campbell

      For sure I wouldn’t consider giving it to him for another 4 years… he’s still just 19 and has so much room for growth and you would hate to stunt that growth. Right now the kid is insane hopefully he can keep it up.

  • Jes

    I’d switch 2 and 3 for stars then your good to go.

    I was pissed that we won though lol but kind of got happy once both Isles and Oilers won.

    • Caitlin Campbell

      Yeah 2 and 3 were pretty much tied IMO.
      It was probably the hardest earned win all season for the Sabres- just 15 players and 65 minutes of hockey.