Apr 8, 2014; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres goalie Matt Hackett (31) reacts after getting hit in the mask with a puck during the third period against the Detroit Red Wings at First Niagara Center. Detroit won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Sabres vs Detroit Red Wings: Reactions

Watching the Buffalo Sabres at this point, I feel like an out of shape runner trying to finish a long-distance marathon.

It has already been a trying season, as it is, then add in the current mixture of rookies, temporary parts, and out-of-place pieces due to extensive injuries and a mid-rebuild. Then, the dirty Philadelphia Flyers lay out a couple cheap hits to a pair of our rookies in the last game. It was not as much the hits themselves, but the lack of a response by ANY Sabres that really got to me.

As for tonight’s game against the Red Wings – I am in favor of slapping the “C” onto the sweater of Zemgus Girgensons. His leadership and effort on the ice tonight made him one of the best players tonight, right on par with Pavel Datsyuk. Zemgus reaped the rewards of notching both Sabres goals tonight, one on a nice tip, and on the other…he dusted Nick Kronwall, and made him look like a rookie. The individual effort was one of the nicest Sabres goals on the season.

I thought Cody Hodgson also had a nice game. Unlike some of my fellow Sabres fans, I like his game and think that he has been developing along just fine. Moving him to the wing has produced better results recently, and I am looking forward to his future.

Also getting a thumbs up from me: Nick Deslauriers. He still has a lot to improve on, but it appears that he is slowly becoming more comfortable with being in the NHL. We have only seen a small sample size, but I have high hopes that he will develop into a solid contributor in a couple years.

My final thought from the game…Matt Hackett is not an NHL goalie. He has had his moments, but I do not see the poise, consistency, or confidence in him that is needed to be a starting NHL ‘tender. He gave up a pair of soft goals tonight, which can often be the difference between a win and a loss when you have a lineup like the Sabres do. Hackett is still fairly young, but I am not seeing an NHL future for him.

Tags: Buffalo Sabres NHL Reactions Recap Sabres

  • Simon

    Being a follower of the Rochester Americans I think you’re possibly letting Hackett’s awful season with the Amerks cloud your opinion of him. I don’t disagree that he let in two sub-standard goals today (behind an undeniably poor defense) which I’m sure he would love to have back, but the consistency and confidence you speak of come from playing more games in the NHL; normally with some measure of success (have a look at his first season with Minnesota). I think that, given the season he has had in Rochester and the team he’s currently playing with, he’s clearly making an effort to turn things around and give the rest of the team a chance to win games that they have no business winning in the first place

    As for Zemgus, it’s hard not to like such an energetic gritty player as him. He has a way making the games way more interesting. I happen to like Hodgson’s game as well, especially recently.

    • Mike Flynn

      Agree consistency and confidence will come for Hackett with more nhl games. I think the fact that he has had some success while up here is promising.

  • davidmuscalo

    Unfortunately, your comments on Hackett equally apply to Enroth. Hackett may improve, Enroth won’t improve.

    I didn’t watch the game last night, because minor league hockey does not appeal to me.

    The only Sabres events for the next two years that would attract my attention and attendance would be the public lynching of Regier and Murray.

    • Timothy Redinger

      minor league hockey not appealing? I have seen minor league hockey games this year that were far more interesting than what the Sabres have put on the ice. No longer is the NHL just about the guys at the pro level – AHL, CHL, and ECHL development is at an all time high.