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Sabres Offense Explodes in Pre-Season Finale

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The Buffalo Sabres managed a 4-1-1 record in the pre-season with the wins coming in many different ways.  Not many of them were like the win tonight against the Leafs. The teams traded goals throughout and the lead changes came as often as the Tampa Bay Lightning change owners. When all was said and done the Sabres left Toronto with a 7-6 victory.

As you can imagine, the Sabres did plenty of good things in this game.  All the news wasn't good however, there were planty of defensive breakdowns that led to the Leafs six goals.  In addition, the Leafs hit three or four goal posts that could have easily made this game a Toronto rout.

The biggest reason that anyone had any interest in this game was the play of Nathan Gerbe, Tim Kennedy, Tyler Myers and Mike Weber.  Weber and Myers had huge mistakes that led to Toronto goals and Gerbe and Kennedy looked good.  Both players had a goal and an assist in the victory but Gerbe finished a minus-1 and Kennedy was a plus-2.

The Good
  • Thomas Vanek...Vanek scored two power play goals for the Sabres but more importantly he was a beast.  Vanek was battling along the wall and won just about every battle along the boards.  If Vanek plays with this much intensity in the regular season, he is primed to have the best season of his career.
  • Derek Roy had three assists. This means that he is still passing a lot but it also means he is setting up goals.
  • The Sabres twice came from behind in the game.  They trailed 2-0 and 4-3 before winning the game 7-6.
  • The pre-season is done and the regular season starts on Saturday.
 The Bad
  • The Sabres defense was bad tonight.  They were consistently out of position and there were more giveaways than I can count.
  • Tyler Myers was beaten badly behind the net which allowed the Leafs second fourth goal in the first period.
  • Mike Weber was once again doing his best Toni Lydman impersonation when he gave the puck away in the Sabres zone allowing the Leafs to take a 4-3 lead in the second period.
  • After battling from behind the Sabres allowed the Leafs to regain the lead.