Buffalo Sabres Drop Shootout Decision to Detroit


The Buffalo Sabres faced off against the Detroit Red Wings Tuesday night at Joe Louis Arena. The story of the game was young Rasmus Ristolainen getting three assists. This seems to be a breakout year for the Finnish defenseman and he now leads the Sabres in assists and is 31st in the entire league.

Ristolainen has easily been the most impressive Sabre on the back end and it is clear, there is a nice core of guys coming together. Evander Kane had a nice game potting two goals and Ryan O’Reilly continued his streak of good play. I know that face off loss that resulted in a goal will haunt him, but he makes so many good plays for this team, I will let something like that slide. He was 18 for 26 and made countless defensive plays that make take so much pressure off the Sabres.

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Add the youngsters Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart to Risto, Kane and O’Reilly and why not, the other goal scorer, Zach Bogosian. These guys were brought in because they are the future of the Sabres. The problem with the future of the Sabres is I am questioning the future of some.

I’ll come right out and say it. I am noticing Brian Gionta, Matt Moulson, Johan Larsson, David Legwand, Jake McCabe and Carlo Colaiacovo are the ones I think should be seeing the least amount of time. They all have their good plays and are solid players as a whole, but they are not on the pace of others that have been improving the Sabres.

Brian Gionta saw 22 minutes on the ice. That is far too much. That is the same as Jack Eichel. His play may be spotty, but that is because he is still learning and whatnot, but Gionta isn’t doing anything for the Sabres where he needs to. Yes, he had an assist tonight, but he has only amasses 8 points in 22 games. Gionta isn’t a huge physical presence, so you’d like to see more production out of your captain. Let’s not forget the past couple games where he had some bad plays in the defensive end.

Tonight has confirmed that the core that Murray has brought together (Eichel, Reinhart, Ristolainen, O’Reilly, Kane and Bogosian) can really be the future of the Sabres, but there are some loose ends that I think another offseason or two will do the Sabre good.

As it pertains for Sabres right now, it is good to at least get a point out of the Detroit Red Wings, but Ullmark did not have the sharpest game. He did make some very nice saves, but there were a couple weak goals that needed to be stopped. The thing that have people surprised with Chad Johnson is he is making enough saves to keep the Sabres in it. Buffalo scored 4 goals, I’d like to see the Sabres win a high percentage of these games.

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The Sabres have the chance to bounce back against the Arizona Coyotes Friday night before a three-game west coast trip. I think it might be time to shake up the lines when it comes to the effectiveness. Surrounding Eichel with Moulson and Gionta isn’t really lighting up my world. I’d rather see Girgensons and Moulson on his wings. Maybe Girgenson’s goal tonight can start a little point streak.