Last night was the best night of the season to be a Buffalo Sabres fan. Granted, it was a low bar to hurdle, but when your long-time beloved announcer beats cancer to call his first game back in the booth, your future star center scores twice, and your team dominates a hated division rival, that ends up being a good night for any team.
Zemgus Girgensons scored twice, Tyler Ennis had three points, Mike Weber and Marcus Foligno combined for 15 hits, and Michal Neuvirth made 34 saves as the Sabres flipped their usual script and soundly defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs by a score of 6-2.
Tyler Myers, Matt Moulson, Drew Stafford, and Ennis also added goals tonight, which is weird, because I didn't think it was possible for all your best players to score goals at the same time. Don't at least two of them have to be in the middle of a 13-game scoring drought at all times? Anyway, in addition to their star players finally playing like it, last night was another good night for the Sabres youngsters, as Myers and Girgensons scored, Zadorov led the defense in Corsi, and Myers led the team with over 25 minutes on the ice.
However, the biggest story tonight for Sabres fans was the return of Rick Jeanneret to the broadcast booth. Jeanneret is now cancer-free, and will hopefully be joining the team for many more games this season and next. And if they can all be like last night, so much the better.
Wanted to honor Rick Jeanneret as my star of the night on Sportscenter tonite but we're not allowed to use goal calls sorry, Buffalo #Itried— John Buccigross (@Buccigross) November 16, 2014
1. Can the defense and Michal Neuvirth get back on track?
Neuvirth made 32 saves on 34 shots, and for once, no Sabres defensemen finished the game with a negative +/-. Toronto did direct far more shots at the net, 69 to the Sabres 45, but the Leafs only managed to get 34 of them on net.
2. How will Nikita Zadorov follow up on his breakout game?
While he didn't quite get the ice time he did on Thursday, only playing 16:19, but he was effective in his limited role, finishing as the Sabres best defenseman in Corsi numbers tonight.
3. How awesome will it be to hear Rick Jeanneret's voice calling Sabres play-by-play again?
It was great. RJ's voice is obviously a little rusty and had a much lower timbre than we're used to hearing, but he was very happy to be back in the booth, and we were happy to hear him once again. Hopefully he'll be able to increase his workload little by little as the season progresses.
Comments of the Game
Buffalo sports personalities 2, cancer 0.
A game like this deserves multiple CotG.