The second day of the Buffalo Sabres Training Camp featured more scrimmages as well as interviews with Dan Bylsma and a bunch of players.
In no particular order, here’s what happened on the second day -
Robin Lehner is leaner and meaner
The Sabres starting goalie has lost weight, a lot of weight. He won’t say how much he’s dropped over a summer where he added mixed martial arts training to his workout regimen. Speaking of which, taking on ‘Crazy Eyes’ was already a frightening prospect for players, and now he’ll bring UFC-type skills to a confrontation, yikes!
“I’ve got to go out and perform. That’s what I expect out of myself. That’s what I expect out of my teammates. That’s what they expect out of me. It’s a result-based game, and we’ve got to go out and perform this year.
“I just take a lot of question marks out of my game,” he said. “No one can blame something on that.
“Going back to that concussion, that concussion that rocked everything, it does a lot to your mind. I’m usually a calm and confident guy, but that concussion does a lot to you. Going away from that now for quite some time, I’m just excited to be healthy and to be ready to go.
“I’ve played very good periods of times with the heavy weight and light weight. I was pretty heavy when I won the Calder Cup. (with Binghamton in 2011)
“I just think consistency-wise and playing as many games as I can this season and perform every day, this is a good thing. I do feel a lot faster out there. We’ll see where it goes.
“I know I’m a good goaltender. I’m just excited for the opportunity for the season, just going and do my best.
“I know what I can do. I’m not eager to prove anyone wrong or right. Me and the people that are around me and close to me, we know what I can do. I don’t have any need to prove it to anyone else.
“There’s a lot of pressure on me, and that’s fine. It’s a big year for me personally, but I think it’s another big year for our team. It’s a season where we can start putting our mark in and do everything we can to try and make the playoffs and take our first step.
“I expect us all to step up a few more steps, every single one of us in the locker room. I’ve got to have a good year. Every single one of us has got to be better than last year because obviously we’re not happy with where we ended up. It’s a team game. We need something from everyone.”
Blue the scrimmage champion
The Blue team had another win on Saturday to complete the scrimmage competition in first place, beating White 2-1.
Cole Schneider followed up his hattrick on Friday with another goal and assist. Nick Baptiste has been playing well and got a goal for White. Backup goalie Anders Nilsson did not give up a goal in 30 minutes of action over two scrimmage games.
The three stars of the day as awarded by coach Dan Bylsma were - center Derek Grant, defenseman Josh Gorges and right wing Alex Nylander.
Dan Byslma speaks
The coach has been talking about a variety of topics, from the prospects who have a chance to make the team to the expectations of the veterans.
Matt Moulson has a lot to prove
Moulson took a lot of flak last season, but thinks he still has what it takes to get the job done at this level.
“I have my trainer, skating coach, my family and maybe a couple close friends that still truly believe in me. I definitely have a chip on my shoulder coming in to prove a lot of people wrong that maybe lost a little belief.
“This summer was about making sure I put in the work and believe in myself to get back to where I want to be. I think I’ve done that, and obviously I have a lot to prove.
“I know this is a big camp, so it was a big summer for me. I’m here to earn everything. I spent a lot of time with a trainer and a skating coach making sure my body is ready to go and be able to help this team. I think where I’m at physically right now is where I want to be.
“I’ve spoken to Dan (Bylsma). He’s pretty blunt in what he says. He doesn’t mince words, so I know I have to earn everything, and that’s what I’m here to do.
“Competition’s good within a team and good for the team and the people pushing them. We have a lot of good players on this team. It’s going to be a tough camp. Skating with the guys before, everyone’s ready to go.”
Moulson’s famous roommate from last season Jack Eichel has moved out to live with Sam Reinhart, and in moves his old friend from the Islanders Kyle Okposo. The free agent signing and Moulson are godparents to each other's kids.
“He’s an unbelievable player and also a great friend. Just having him there to have someone to be an extra person to talk to and ask their opinions and get their true, true feelings – he’s not going to sugarcoat it –that’s definitely good on a personal and team level.
“I’m making sure that I’m going to be in the best possible physical shape, mental shape to make sure I’m here to help this team.”
Highlights video from Day Two of the training camp
The Ice Gaze
There’s a new name for that Tim Murray stare, which matches it’s freezing intensity.
Day Three schedule
White and Gold play in the last scrimmage on Sunday at the HarborCenter. There will be another three practice sessions before the teams heads out State College where they play their first preseason game Monday against the Minnesota Wild on the Penn State campus.