Team USA's Olympic goalie tryouts
Let's be very clear right off the bat - this game was a battle of two goaltenders, both of whom are auditioning to become the team's starter for the 2014 Olympics. Miller was fantastic tonight, making 45 saves, many of the spectacular variety, while Anderson made 35 saves in the shutout.
The Sabres will go as far this year as Miller will carry them, and tonight he showed that he could carry them quite far indeed. Making multiple 2-on-1, power play, and breakaway saves, #30 proved that he still holds significant value as a starter, and showed that he might have another Olympic-fueled Vezina campaign in him. We expect Jhonas Enroth tomorrow, but let's see how this story plays out as he season progresses.
Where's the offense?
Despite 55 shots through the first two games, the Sabres have just one goal thanks to a mostly lucky Zemgus Girgensons tip-in. Thomas Vanek, Cody Hodgson, Drew Stafford, and Tyler Ennis have all had their chances, but so far none of them have been able to find the twine. We knew that Buffalo's Achilles Heel this season would be their goal-scoring ability, but so far they've been particularly pathetic in that department.
The effort has been there, which is nice, and certainly made last night's game entertaining, but if increased production doesn't follow, this will be a long season indeed.
I scream, you scream, we all scream for Zemgus Girgensons
Through two games, Girgensons has been one of Buffalo's five or six best players, not only because of his lone Buffalo goal, but because of his incredible compete level and immediate physical presence on the ice. He's got a ways to go in order to learn to control himself more effectively, and get his body into the right positions to score and defend, but the fact that he's had such a big impact right away bodes well for #28.
Three Things To Watch
1. How will the Sabres respond to their season opening loss?
Pretty well, actually. Lack of goals aside, the team played with rip-roaring effort and put on an entertaining show with decent defensive coverage. They didn't get the win, but the game was enjoyable to watch, especially for fans who've grown used to the inconsistent effort of years past.
2. Will the power play show more signs of life?
A bit. We moved the needle from "terminal" to "doubtful".
3. How will the home fans respond?
From what we could see on TV, things sounded pretty good. I didn't hear many boos at all, and the atmosphere generally sounded positive. Anyone in attendance want to comment?
1. Ryan Miller - first star and first in the hearts of America
2. Craig Anderson - played well, but few of his saves were the athletic equal of Miller's best
3. Erik Karlsson - He's good. Also he scored the only goal.
Comment of the Game
If they play every game with as much effort as they did tonight
you’d be insane not to be happy with it.