Buffalo Sabres Knee Jerk Reaction: New Jersey Devils


The Buffalo Sabres dropped a 2-1 contest to the New Jersey Devils tonight in a close fought game of defensive efforts on both sides. The Devils are more known for that, but the defensive effort by the Sabres was much better than seen in previous games recently. There were some quality scoring chances that went both ways, but in the end it came down to a shootout for a decision and the lack of Sabres scoring was the dividend once again.

Tyler Ennis scored the lone goal for the Buffalo Sabres tonight. Zeugmas Girgensons lost the face-off in the offensive zone, but made an effort to reach in and tap the puck to Ennis who walked in and snapped it five hole on Corey Schneider. In fact, the top line of Girgensons, Ennis, and Chris Stewart was dynamite for Buffalo tonight. They all were relentless on the puck the entire night and created the bulk of the scoring chances.

That line really has seemed to have found some chemistry and is able to feed off of one another in many ways. I wonder if Tim Murray might honestly consider keeping Stewart around for another year (at least) if this means some possible increased scoring for next season.

More from Sabre Noise

I mean think about it. It’s not the farfetched of an idea at all. Murray wants this team to make legitimate improvements and stretches as far as development goes next season, and he proved that by adding an injured high scoring Evander Kane. I assume he imagines Kane playing on the top line, but I rather doubt he sees Zemgus Girgensons or Tyler Ennis as first line players. The line of those two and Stewart would make a solid second line and would produce more against less steep competition.

I don’t think Murray has ruled out resigning Stewart at all.

Buffalo made some solid strides in their defensive effort tonight by showing some quality support to Michal Neuvirth. He was able to see all of the shots coming his way to make easy saves (well minus the one that went in, but that was a quality deflection by Elias). If it weren’t for the goal by the Devils then  the Sabres would have worked their way to a great win.

Regardless of the win or loss idea, this game is a great one to build on, especially for the young defenders in the lineup. Ramses Ristolainen and Nikita Zadorov both have been a little shaky recently, and I think that is due to the constant losing (and that will get to a teenager’s confidence). No player wants to be losing most of the time, but it is taking an obvious toll on the development of the two young defensemen. Ted nolan needs to make sure these players continue to grow in confidence so they can be the true cornerstones that they were meant to be.

Next: Zach Bogosian Looks Towards Future