The Sabres certainly didn't perform like they had jet lag flying out west to take on the Kings, Ducks and Sharks. Coming back to Buffalo 1-2 is a good thing for this team.
Over-all for this team it was a successful road trip.
We saw out west is what we haven't seen previously from Buffalo, a team doing the little things that count like winning battles along the board, shots on goal and exiting the defensive zone. By no means does this mean their cured, it simply means the young Sabres are moving in the right direction.
What was most impressive out west was the play of the Buffalo goal-tending. Both Jhonas Enroth and Mike Nuevirth suprised the living hell out of me. Sabres fans have hope between the pipes if they both continue to play this way and they should if the Buffalo defense doesn't hang them out to dry all the time.
I support the continued split of goaltending duties, it'll keep the goalies fresh.
Benoit, Mezzaros and Weber - This is the weakest link on the team and I consider it three spots that needs new bodies. If I had to give just one more chance to anyone it would be to Mezzaros. Benoit is just deplorable as is Weber, get rid of them and bring up McCabe and let Zedorov play. I myself would rather have Zedorov and McCabe than Benoit and Weber.
I think it's a given that "The Latvian Locomotive", Zemgus Girgensons will always be a Sabre providing the team doesn't wussyfoot around when contract negotiations begin. I also like the play of Nicolas DesLauriers. If he continues to elevate his play I can see him being part of the teams backbone. Another good sign Buffalo got was goal scoring from Cody Hodgson, lets hope he gets hot.
Congratulations to Samson Reinhardt on his 1st point in the NHL. Samson should go back to juniors.
Grigorenko should be recalled to Buffalo. Grigorenko earned it not only because of the stat sheet in the AHL but because of his off-season commitment to get bigger and stronger in both mind and body and does it show, he's playing a good 2 way game up north lighting the lamp,assisting and coming back to help the D.
I have always been a supporter of Ted Nolan. I can't see the team letting him go after he trains a successful, competitive team. I think team owners Terry and Kim Pegula will show enough class to let Ted Nolan have his chance at winning the cup along with a contract commensurate to his achievements. That's how I perceive the Pegulas, classy all the way.
Tim Murray has to juggle his prospects like a master juggler. As I see it the cupboards will be too full. I don't want to see any Buffalo prospect on another team (Unless it's part of a package deal for a defensemen or good twf) just to see them become a good or great player while the player we kept farted out.
I see four young pieces for the next ten years: Grigs, Girgs, Reinhardt and what may turn out to be a steal in Nicolas DesLauriers. Add in our haul from the 2015 draft and on paper, for the future, a successful rebuild in 2 years instead of three.
I consider any rumor of trades to be taken with a grain of salt. Rarely these days are in season trades made unless it's the dead line.
As stated earlier -
Put Samson back in Kootney, it is the best for his development, Buffalo's roster and the Sabres bottom line, another early contract mistake can make this a longer rebuilding process and a potential loss a first round player.
Get rid of Benoit and Weber package them up for 3 & 4 the rounders (if we're lucky), cut your losses. Bring up Grigorenko and McCabe and let Zedorov play.
Tim and Ted have this team headed in the right direction. As long as they continue to do more of the little things correct then more wins will come their way.
Let's go Buffalo!