Despite the fact the Buffalo Sabres are the same aggravating team we left before the Olympic break, it was nice to see the blue and gold back in action tonight. Also look what happens when Ryan Miller actually get’s to play, he wins. Sorry team USA too soon?
Back on topic, the Buffalo Sabres returned from their two week break and Ted Nolan once again led his hard working team on to victory as they played spoiler against the Carolina Hurricanes. Let’s take a look at the Buffalo Sabres three stars from tonight’s 3-2 victory which kicked off the second half of the season.
3rd Star: Tyler Ennis
Not even a two week break can slow down the chocolate milk drinking Tyler Ennis. He has been hot since Ted Nolan took over and tonight was no exception. There’s just something about Ennis that makes one believe the Sabres are better with him. Should he be the first line centre? Heck no, but having him on the team to work hard and drive the net just makes them a better team.
Tonight he single handedly scored the team’s second goal by driving to the net after a rush led by him on the right wing. After his shot was denied he didn’t give up and went straight to the net to pop in the puck sitting just inches from the goal line. Ennis’ energy and spunk is something that could be pretty valuable going forward.
2nd Star: Ryan Miller
What Ryan Miller was able to do between the pipes tonight was quite impressive. Not only did he stand on his head for most of the night keeping the Sabres afloat, he also flew through roughly 8 different time zones on Sunday. Despite the fact he would be sleeping during tonights game in Sochi, Miller was awake and brought his A-game tonight.
Miller made 36 saves to ensure the win for the Sabres who managed fewer than 20 shots tonight. In fact after the second period the Hurricanes were outshooting the Sabres 27-9, yet the game was still tied. Miller came up big time after time, including a big stop on an Alexander Semin breakaway.
A lot of folks will point to the second Hurricanes goal as one he needed to have stopped, and while it made him look a little suspect, it was nearly a perfect shot. In addition to his 36 saves, Miller also potted two assists. Ryan Miller can drag out W’s and produce on the scoresheet, what team isn’t after a goalie like that?
1st Star: Christian Ehrhoff
Now don’t kill me for what I’m about to say, the Buffalo Sabres should consider trading Christian Ehrhoff. The guy has a nice long-term contract with a friendly contract and has been one of the Buffalo Sabres better defenceman all season. The Sabres should be able to net a nice return for the defenceman so why not give it a go?
Back to tonight’s game. Ehrhoff came up big for the Sabres tonight notching the first goal to open up scoring and the game winning goal after he owned the entire ice. He may have seriously upped his trade value with his efforts tonight.
Thank you for joining us for the first NHL and Buffalo Sabres game post-Olympics!