The Buffalo Sabres hosted the Buffalo Sabres last night in an intrasquad scrimmage, and, well, you can guess who won.
The blue and gold opened their training camp to the public yesterday, and most than 10,000 fans came out to watch the Sabres (and a few Amerks to fill out the rosters) take each other on in a scrimmage that was comprised of three 15-minute periods, a 4-on-4 OT, and a shootout that saw James Patrick's White team defeat Lindy Ruff's Blue team 2-1 in the shootout.
But enough about the game, this is a scrimmage amongst the players, so let's get on to the more impressive and/or important people on the ice. First up, the man everyone wants to know about, Mikhail Grigorenko, made a good first impression - breathe easy, Sabres fans.
While the big Russian didn't score, he put up a number of nice shots, including a shot past Miller that bounced off the crossbar and a nice breakaway back-and-forth deke that Miller just barely stopped with a nice leg kick. It took his line (Ott-Grigroenko-Leino) a period or so to start clicking, but they put up some nice scoring chances towards the end of the game. Grigorenko did not lack physically compared to his NHL brethren, and seemed comfortable on the ice in both the offensive and defensive zones. It was just one intrasquad scrimmage, but the kid looked solid.
As for the others, the standouts on the ice included Cody Hodgson, who was constantly making things happen on the Sabres top line, Robyn Regehr, who laid some nice hits on his own teammates, and Thomas Vanek, who did his patented maddening Vanek routine where he would make a bunch of questionable decisions with the puck that make you wonder what the heck he's doing, then score a beautiful tip-in goal ten seconds later. The line of Stafford-Ennis-Foligno seemed to pick up where they left off last season, which was great to see because they'll be counted on to help provide enough offense for the Sabres to hang with the big boys. Oh, and new enforcer John Scott is absolutely massive on the ice, and didn't look incompetent playing the puck.
All in all, it was a fun way to start training camp, and a great idea to get families and fans back down to the arena. Camp continues all this week with practices open to the public starting at 10:30am.