The Sabres were expected by many to roll over and coast through the rest of the regular season, having traded away three key veterans, including their captain, at the trade deadline. Fortunately, some of their newer, younger players didn't get the memo, as strong efforts from Luke Adam, Brian Flynn, Adam Pardy, and Mike Weber led the Sabres to a 4-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators.
Baby Sabres Everywhere
There were a few times in this game where the Sabres had an "All-Amerks" group of players on the ice - Adam, Porter, Flynn, Pysyk, and Pardy. And the crazy thing was, they may have been Buffalo's best group tonight. Adam had a goal on a beautiful one-timer, and Pysyk remains as smooth in his own zone as a tub of butter. Heck, everyone mentioned earlier in this paragraph had at least a point tonight, and Pardy (while not a kid) earned the coveted post-game fur coat with two assists. We'll likely see more of this, especially if Leino and Vanek are going to miss more time, but tonight it wasn't at all a bad thing. Let's see what the kids have got.
Keep It Simple, Stupid
Without Vanek, Pominville, and Leino in the lineup, the Sabres kept their game very simple, to their benefit. Zone entries and exits were generally swift and crisp, nets were crashed, defensive assignments were covered, and there was a distinct lack of, as Lindy Ruff would say, "pond hockey s***". Some of that is Rolston's influence, but it could also be a preview into what the team might look like in another year or two with a new core of players. It wasn't the most fun game to watch, but hey, at least they weren't down by two goals in the first five minutes.
Killer Penalty Kill
The Sabres PK was strong tonight, successfully killing off four Ottawa chances, and not giving Ottawa much to work with. If this team is going to beat the incredibly long odds against them and make a run for eighth, their special teams will need to lead the way, and tonight was a step in the right direction.
DBTB Three Stars
Post Game Quotes
"It doesn't matter what your last name is, as long as you go out there and play hard and give that honest effort...and that's what we're gonna do the rest of the way"
- New alternate captain Steve Ott, on the contributions from the younger players
"I closed my eyes and threw it."
- Jochen Hecht, on his spin-o-rama backhand goal
"He made a lot of noise..."
- Ron Rolston, disagreeing with the charging penalty given to Patrick Kaleta for being Patrick Kaleta
Comment of the Game
Most Jochen Hecht goal ever Jochen Hechted.
- twoeightnine, and yes it was.