The Buffalo Sabres ended their prospect development camp today with an intrasquad scrimmage, pitting Team Blue against Team Gold. The Blue team (Girgensons/Defense) prevailed by a 6-3 score over Gold (Grigorenko/Offense) thanks to a flurry of goals in the third period. Both teams played hard, and there were hits a plenty to entertain the few thousand fans who made the trip to the arena.
The guys you expected to be good were good
Yeah, it's not the world's greatest lede, but there's no paywall here, so there. It's a poor man's way of summing up the fact that the highly touted players that will likely make up the future of the Sabres all performed very well. Zemgus Girgensons once again stood out, and his hard-nosed play and relentlessness in driving to the net directly led to three of the Blue team's six goals. Buffalo fans are going to love watching this kid play when he gets called up.
Mikhail Grigorenko also had a strong showing. After a slow first period for the Russian center, he came out blazing in the second, going on a ten minute run where every shift was a scoring chance for his line. He showed off his hands by weaving through defensemen at will, showed off his patience and passing skills by finding the third man in on the rush, and showed off his quick, accurate wrist shot on multiple occasions throughout the game. It was good to finally see him take over a game for a short time.
The up-and-coming defensemen were also as good as advertised. Zadorov his everything that moved, while Ristolainen, Pysyk, and McCabe all showed the poise and good decision making that has fans excited. Overall, it was a good night for the team's most highly touted.
Local Boys Make Good
The Sabres went local in this year's draft by selecting homegrown forwards Justin Bailey and Sean Malone. Malone played a solid game, hanging with the more highly drafted players well for a sixth rounder. However, Bailey had a highlight of the night, a pretty shootout goal that involved kicking the puck back to himself, then reaching back on the backhand to score. You can check it out in the highlights below.
Nelson Lights The Lamp
Logan Nelson had a great night, scoring two beautiful goals to lead the Blue team to victory. While he needs to keep improving and moving up in the professional ranks, Nelson clearly has scoring ability, and when given space he made some impressive moves with the puck.
1. Zemgus Girgensons - Big Z was all over the ice for the Blue team, showing off the hustle and grit that's made him famous, along with some nice offensive plays.
2.- Two goals for the Blue team and both were very pretty. One forehand, one backhand added some nice symmetry to the scrimmage.
3. Nikita Zadorov - "I like to hit and score," Zadorov famously told reporters after being drafted. He didn't score, but he certainly hit, laying down some of the biggest blasts of the scrimmage, both in open ice and along the boards.