After 5 games, the Buffalo Sabres are starting to look like a team with real potential. Jack Eichel already has a nickname and has scored one of the best goals any of us have seen a Sabre score in a long time, the penalty kill looks solid, our young defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen is among the league leaders in ice-time and Samson Reinhart is settling in as an NHL’er.
Throw in a healthy Evander Kane, the future captain Ryan O’reilly and solid contributions by some of our free agent acquisitions (Jamie McGinn and Cody Franson), and we look like a legitimate playoff team. Although we lost Robin Lehner already, Chad Johnson has looked surprisingly solid, positioning himself properly and flashing quick feet to make nice kick saves. With Zach Bogosian set to imminently return, our Defensive unit will be at full strength to complement 3 exciting scoring lines.
Zemgus Girgensons and Marcus Foligno are playing with fire and I can’t wait to see Foligno drop the gloves and mess somebody up. He was feisty against Tampa Bay and looked like he wanted to go, but the linesmen repeatedly got in-between him and his targets. Evander Kane is such a good skater too and he looks like he has fully recovered from off-season shoulder surgery, giving a huge full speed body check to a Tampa player in the corner.
This season is going to be fun guys and gals, so let’s get ready for Toronto – named the worst franchise in sports on Wednesday. It will be fun to smoke The Leafs for many years to come – they cannot compete with our young talent. Hopefully Nick Deslauriers will pound that clown Dion Phanuef.
One of the things some people haven’t realized is that Dan Bylsma has been shuffling the lines over the first 5 games to see who plays with chemistry, and while this has led to four losses, we have been in every game we have lost and could easily be 4-1. We lost to Florida by giving up a 5-3 to one of the greatest scorers ever, the immortal Jaromir Jagr, who was drafted in the same year as Brad May (May has been in the broadcast booth for the last 3 years!)
On opening night we lost because the NHL has implemented a replay system that might be the worst thing in sports, and we had a goal called back. Does it seem to anyone else that these leagues make rules to just prevent us from winning?? I know that is an absurd thing to say, but it sure seems like it these days with all of the personal foul penalties against the Bills, and that offside call on a replay review to take back a goal for the Sabres when we had Ottawa on the ropes. Yes the guy was offside, but how in the f*ck can you let play continue for 20 something seconds and then stop play and go back and review an offside?? You gotta be kidding me! If that rule is allowed to stand, they might as well just eliminate the referees and just use video to police the game. I predict that rule is at least amended if not completely removed when the ramifications of it are felt around the league. In my case, I didn’t even know that replay had been instituted until that moment. Great job of communicating policy changes to your fans NHL – another smart play by Gary Bettman there. I wonder if he realizes why people boo him wherever he goes.
Anyway, let’s kick Toronto’s ass on Wednesday. Let’s go Sabes.
Philip Wilkins is a Baltimore Orioles fan, Buffalo transplant. Grew up in Connecticut but born in Maryland. Graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder – Go Buffs! Lived in San Francisco after college. Moved to Buffalo in 2009 after spending a half-year abroad in Australia and New Zealand. Life-long Baseball, Hockey, and Football fan. Sabres fan since NHL ’94 for Sega Genesis came out with the Sabres’ top line of Alexander Mogilny, Pat LaFontaine and Dale Howerchuck with Alexei Zhitnik and Richard Smehlik on D and Domink Hasek in net – best lineup in the game!
“I believe that the Sabres were robbed in ’99 when Hull’s skate was in the crease. Now Buffalo is home and I am looking for a Cup and a Super Bowl in short order. We have the talent and the coaching and the ownership – what is stopping us?”
Go Bills, Go Sabres, Go Bisons!