Four games. Four wins. Vanek as top star for all four.
1. Buffalo out-hits Vancouver 25 to 17. Kaleta is the pounding machine, with 8 hits by himself.
2. Faceoffs are tied for both teams at 24. (I seriously believe this is one of those forgotten-but-important stats, like blocked shots.) Roy led the team by going 8 of 13, and Macarthur improved to 7 of 16.
3. Shots per period: Buffalo went 14-9-8 for 31 total; Vancouver went 6-11-8 for 25 total.
4. Buffalo went 2 for 5 on PP chances. They killed of all 3 of Vancouver's PP chances, keeping their 100% PK right where it's at.
1. Petey! You (sort of) won a fight by actually throwing punches! Speaking of hard hits, Kaleta's eight hits banged up a few Canucks pretty well. He will have to drop the gloves sometime, but the post-game interview between him and Jeremy White from WGR550 was right on; you've got to pick and choose. The two times he "turtled up" (against Mara, then again tonight) weren't fights worth having at that point in the game, and not when the other player went wailing away at him right after the hits.
2. Roy, Pominville, and Stafford are all rather quiet ...
3. ... but Kotalik sure isn't! In the first four games, he's got four goals and two assists, with four of those points on the PP.
4. Solid blue line: Teppo has picked up one assist in each game so far. Both Sekera and Rivet picked up another assist tonight. I liked Ruff's comments in the post-game interview about Sekera; sure, he's no Brian Campbell (neither is his salary, remember), but he's really learning to pick and choose when is good to break out in an offensive rush. As of right now, I'm taking Sekera and leaving Paetsch out as a healthy scratch.
5. Clarke Macarthur is stealing the show. With another goal tonight, he's filled pretty big shoes with Hecht's injury. I'm actually excited to see Hecht back so Macarthur can get back to playing LW and being a bigger offensive threat, with the scoring touch he's got.
6. And of course, I can't forget Vanek. First of all, that 5th goal was all him (okay, and a little bit of Kotalik's sniper shot). He caused the turnover, hustled for the puck, fought past the massive hook laid upon him, and made it into a scoring chance. Then on his goal, his puck-handling in the crease was genius, in a two-foot space. He continues his scoring streak, as well as picking up his first two assists of the season.
Okay, so let's not get too cocky. Going 4-0 is excellent, but I did think Luongo was going to be in goal, leaving their back-up to play against the struggling Blackhawks tomorrow. (Keep in mind that Luongo has a 3.22 GAA and a .895 SV%, which doesn't mean he would've automatically stole a game for the Canucks were he in, though I'd think he would've been better than Sanford was tonight.) Also, the Sabres have yet to face a team that really brought on the pressure for all three periods; the Canucks played an aggressive second period, with two of their PP chances then, and the Sabres had to play a tight defensive game, though there were still 11 giveaways all game, compared to the Vancouver's 4.
In general, Miller hasn't been tested heavily, especially for three periods straight. Like any goaltender, he tends to play much better when his team has given him a comfortable lead, but I'm sure the Sabres d-men will really be tested when they hit a heavy offensive team. (I don't know much about Minnesota, but I'm sure the Ottawa will really bring it on the Oct 27th game.)
I'm guessing Lalime will be in net tomorrow night against the Thrashers. A repeat performance of the game against Islanders would be awesome. But if the blue-line can remain strong and the offensive threat remains (along with some noise from Roy, Pominville, and Stafford), the Sabres are in an excellent position. Strangely enough, I think the Sabres play best when they're the clear underdogs, when they don't have pressure from around the league to outperform the rest. But good going on the Sabres, and Ruff for his continued coaching genius.
How much are you doubting Ruff's and Regier's top-level decisions now?