Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Sabres 3 Stars Against the Washington Capitals

Well are you entertained? While that wasn’t exactly the greatest game either team has played this season, it was pretty exciting for the fans of both teams. The two teams combined for 9 goals tonight and the Buffalo Sabres notched 4 of them! The 30th placed Buffalo Sabres took the “playoff” Washington Capitals right down to the wire tonight.

If this is how the Sabres are going to play the remaining 29 games, I wouldn’t complain. They didn’t fold like a cheap tent at the first site of adversity and instead battled back showing the character of this team.

While Jhonas Enroth complained earlier it was tough to win with the team in front of him and their lack of scoring, the team who scored 4 goals for just the 3rd time this season might be saying it’s a little difficult to win in front of Enroth. He complained about the goal support and has gotten goal support in his last 3 starts, at some point he’s got to make a save.

Anyways, my job tonight is to bring you the positives by looking at the Buffalo Sabres 3 stars from tonight’s game.

3rd Star Chad Ruhwedel

I had a really difficult time picking the third star for tonight’s game. I knew who I was giving the first and second star to, but didn’t know who had done enough for the third star. Sure Christian Ehrhoff scored a goal tonight, but he didn’t look great on the blue line. After some debate I settled on Chad Ruhwedel.

Ruhwedel flew under the radar for the most part tonight, but when you’re a defenceman that isn’t exactly a bad thing. Sometimes a defenceman who goes unnoticed means he’s played a sound game.

2nd Star Phil Varone

Since being called up I have really liked what I’ve seen from Phil Varone and tonight I liked it even more when he scored his first NHL goal. I’m not sure whether his goal or his reaction after was better, but it was nice to see Varone pot his first NHL goal tonight.

He was a guy who got passed over many times in the AHL and now that he’s gotten the call he’s making the most of it. He hits, he battles hard for every puck and he’s formed solid chemistry with Marcus Foligno and Brian Flynn.

Phil Varone officially has more goals this season than Ville Leino. You knew I couldn’t pass that one up right? I truly hope the Buffalo Sabres give this kid a chance next season, he hasn’t disappointed since being called up and deserves a fair shake.

1st star Cody Hodgson 

Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Man I really, really like this new Cody Hodgson. It’s like his latest injury has brought back a completely new player who the Sabre can build around going forward. I’ve always liked Hodgson game, mainly since I’ve known him since I was 12, but none the less I’ve always liked his game. His game was just missing something and I think he’s finally found that missing piece.

He looks extremely comfortable and confident out there every night, more so then he did playing alongside Matt Moulson. Maybe he’s not first line centre material, he’ll be one heck of a second line centre if he continues playing like he’s showing he’s capable of.

He potted 2 big goals tonight and was a big reason the Sabres were able to force OT. Cody Hodgson is playing like a beast right now and I hope this new Hodgson sticks around.

Tags: 3 Stars Buffalo Sabres

  • Vic Soga

    I agree with your three picks C.C. but everyone is still shaking their heads with Enroth and Weber and Leino. They were the three stars on Washington’s site with Ott an honourable mention.

    • Caitlin Campbell

      Enroth had a shaky game I thought personally, Weber has been having a bad season and do we even need to bring up Leino? lol. I did think Ott played a solid game and was super energetic for his team

      • Vic Soga

        CC, then why the -22 for Ott. Maybe he should have Hodgson and Omark on his line and move Leino to the fourth line. Last chance for Omark. Ott cannot strictly be a shutdown player against Ovechkin and Crosby. The puck needs to be headed to the other end.
        Moulson, Hodgson and Ennis need to get their points on the PP. Leino with Ellis and Konopka would be a very good fourth line.

  • Michael McBurney

    Maybe it’s not Hodgson who isn’t cut out to be a 1C but, say, Moulson, who isn’t cut out to be a 1st line winger?

    Really, before this “new Hodgson” turned up, I was also thinking he’d top out as a quality 2C, but these last 9 games of the new kid? And combined with the fact that after spending his rookie season consistently producing with 3rd and 4th liners on the Canucks, and has continued to perform offensively with revolving linemates since going to the Sabres… well, I’m thinking he’s a guy who can plug into the lineup anywhere – including as a premier 2C or solid 1C, depending on linemates, chemistry, etc.

    Mouslon on the other hand has just not impressed. After showing some sparks with Hodgson he faded, and has done the same routine with Ennis. Also getting really tired of watching how easily he’s pushed to his butt or stomach in the offensive zone. It’s all great that Moulson is willing to go for the gritty crease goals, but he hasn’t shown either the body strength of a “power forward” who pulls that duty to perfection, or the hands or shot of a sniper either. I sure don’t see either Hodgson or Ennis riding on his coattails, but Moulson (and his measly 0.59 pts/game despite the ice time, choice offensive opportunities and best linemates the team can muster) riding on theirs. Just sayin’.

    • Caitlin Campbell

      I fully agree on Hodgson he’s going to be a top line 2C or a pretty solic 1C if he keeps this up and obviously line mates. Good call on Moulson. He shows flashes of being dominate but then fades out