The honeymoon of trade deadline didn’t last long for the Buffalo Sabres. While a timid squad unsure of its identity rolled out against the Dallas Stars ahead of the trade deadline – it seemed that an energetic underdog squad flew out and surprised a still shocked Tampa Bay Lightning Squad.
Tonight against the Florida Panthers – the Buffalo Sabres seemed like a squad unsure of its identity, running around in circles chasing their own shadows and unsure of how to play the game because of inconsistent referees.
Still, here are your three stars for the Buffalo Sabres for tonight.
Third Star – Drew Stafford. On a night where offense should have been able to get something going, the Buffalo Sabres found themselves playing defense quite a bit. While his play has been elevated in recent games – Drew Stafford made a couple of plays in his own end that broke up scoring chances. Stafford may turn into a solid player and a leader after all now that he doesn’t have the shadow of another player to hide behind. I still wouldn’t mind seeing him traded though.
Second Star – Michal Neuvirth. In his first appearance in a National Hockey League crease since February 4th more than a month ago – Neuvirth was peppered by the Florida Panthers for a normal amount of shots against the Buffalo Sabres, and a relatively high amount. Before tonight his season high shots faced was 45, tonight he faced 44.
First Star – Nicolas Deslauriers. Sure it was his first NHL game, only Matt Ellis and Marcus Foligno had less ice time – but Deslauriers was second on the Buffalo Sabres in shots tonight with 4 (the entire team could only muster 25). He beat out John Scott and Mike Weber for the team lead in hits as each guy was credited with four collisions, and Deslauriers was given five hits.