The first day of Buffalo Sabres training camp featured new faces, new lines, and new season enthusiasm. Instead of all of this happening in the middle of September, it is happening on January 13th.
With the first day of camp, the biggest thing we wanted to see were what the lines would be on opening day. As of Sunday, they were as follows:
Vanek - Hodgson - Pominville
Foligno - Ennis - Stafford
Ott - Grigorenko - Leino
Ellis - McCormick - Scott
Gerbe - Hecht - Kaleta
Brennan - Leopold
Ehrhoff - Sekera
Weber - Sulzer
Myers - Pardy
- One things that stands out is that the Sabres have too many defensemen at this point. While having depth is going to be key in this 48 game season, nine waiver eligible defensemen creates a situation where someone is going to have to be moved here rather quickly.
- Grigorenko looked good on the ice and pairing him with Ott was a smart move from the start. Ott really took control of his line during practice as he chatted up linemates about positioning and the general flow of the drill.
- By the end of the two hour drill, you could tell there were some players that hadn't been through that rigorous of a workout. There were a handful of slumped heads by the time the final whistle blew and the conditioning of the team is something that will get worked on as the week goes on. Cody Hodgson had noted that some guys that didn't skate did look fresher. "I was just saying that the guys that haven't been playing look real good out there. They look real sharp and strong and must of had some real good skates so it really showed out there."
- For Steve Ott, getting to training camp is something that he's been waiting a while for: "It was great, I've been looking forward to this day for a long, long time. I had a lot of fun out there and I thought it was a very productive skate. We put a lot of good hard work into it and it's only day so there are a lot more hard days ahead of us."
The Sabres will continue camp all this week and the rest of the practices will be open to the public. Tomorrow's practice will be a scrimmage that starts at 5:30 pm. Practices Tuesday - Friday will be held from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm.