With only one day left until the Buffalo Sabres development camp invitees play the annual Blue Vs. Gold Scrimmage match, there are many Buffalo Sabres fans that will be flocking to see the young talents in action. I too will be in attendance for the fun and the display of talent that everyone so eagerly awaits to see next season.
As everyone expects, there will no doubt be a showing of skill and leadership from top prospects Sam Reinhart and Jack Eichel, but whom I think will perform better may shock you.
The lines for the training camp al week have been relatively the same. Group 1 (which I assume will be Team Blue) looks like this:
Rodriguez – Eichel – Baptiste
Olofsson – Gustafsson – Karabacek
Verbeek – Estephan – Brown
Sterk – Garbowsky – Poturalski
Ghule – Florentino
Stephans – Prapavessis
Austin – Chapman
Petersen – Belanger – Lotz
And Group 2 (which I assume will be team Gold) looks like this:
Carrier – Reinhart – Fasching
Catenacci – Dupuy – Bailey
Willman – Hurley – Cornel
Mitchell – Kea – Andrew
McCabe – Borgen
Martin – Gatenby
Chukarov – MacArthur
Kasdorf – Johansson – Makarov
With both teams stacked to the brim with young talent, it is a difficult tossup as to which team will come out on top. In my opinion, one team has a slight edge that will take them to the winner circle. For now, let’s take a look at the positives on both teams, the weak spots, and the skill level each side possesses.
Starting with team Blue. With Jack Eichel manning the top line, the offense is sure to be running very smoothly. Having his college linemate Rodriguez playing there with him should give him enough confidence to lead and produce on an equal scale. Adding power scorer Nick Baptiste only makes that line more steady.
Team Blue has Buffalo’s second round pick from this year, Guhle, and he will be holing down the fort for the Blue team’s back end. Not the best choice overall, but considering his lineman is Florentino, the pairing is solid enough to stand up to the test.
Team Blue’s advantage is their scoring ability. Eichel, Baptiste, Karabacek, Garbowski and Florentino all have offensive ability and may be an overwhelming factor against the Gold Team. Where Blue team lacks is in the goaltending department. Now, the top goalie on their team is Cal Petersen, and that is a big bonus to have him, but considering he is only allowed to play one period means he cannot bail them out all game.
So all in all, the Blue team’s advantage is in their scoring ability and their downfall may be their goaltending.
Let’s have a look at Gold team now.
Team Gold has the likes of Sam Reinhart and Hudson Fasting playing on the top line together. Not exactly the one-two scoring punch the blue team has, but it will function. Reinhart is more than capable of running his team smoothly and will get the best out of them on every shift. The scoring depth on the team really stops there though, perhaps with the exceptions of Justin Bailey and William Carrier.
Where the Gold team has a much better showing is the defensive end. Jake McCabe is the top defender on team Gold. A young man who played in Rochester all year and has a few games of NHL experience will cooperate nicely with the style of play that Reinhart needs to succeed. With Martin and Chukarov also holding down the blue line, Gold team’s defense is a shining point.
The part that I feel gives Gold team a deliberate advantage is their goaltending. Between the pipes will be Jason Kasdorf, Jonas Johansson, and Andrey Makarov. Kasdorf is out to prove he is one of the better net minders in the Buffalo Sabres system after being acquired from the Jets in the Evander Kane trade. Johansson is a young Swedish net minder with great drive to win. Makarov spent time as the starter in Rochester for a good portion of the year. At the young age of 21, he is showing great promise in the net overall.
That factor right there is why I give the overall edge to the Gold team. They have a much more defensively sound team, and a goaltending trio that will hold down the crease with determination. Not to say it will be easy to contain the offensive push by team Blue, but I think Gold team has the advantage overall.
So you all know my vote. I say team gold (GOLD TEAM RULES) takes home the win tomorrow evening. Which do you guys think has the advantage? Which team do you guys think will win tomorrow?
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