After the Sabres lost Jack Eichel I posted that we would see what the team’s made of, mostly 3rd and 4th liners, boy am I eating crow and happily! Sorta.
While as we know, wins hurt our draft standings, it’s refreshing to see continuity, control and patience. The Buffalo Sabres have been playing their most consistent hockey in about a year, thats usually when the Sabres usually go on a 2nd half tear to nowhere.
But this time its without #1 center Jack Eichel.
The Sabres have been playing a smarter brand of hockey combined with patience and its paying off.
In tonight’s game against Ottawa Rob Ray said during the broadcast, about half way into the 1st period “that everybody has elevated their game, and Scott Wilson (3g last 4 gm’s) has taken advantage of it the most”.
I agree with the first part of that statement. However, scoring is coming from everywhere on the roster. It looks like everyone’s playing the system much better. Better clear outs from the defensive zone, better passes everywhere. Some are tape to tape and some are behind the back passes. Sam Reinharts playing like the guy we expected lately and ROR’S been grabbing the bull by the horns being the leader we need him to be. Leading by example.
The goaltending’s solid, Lehner played a good game.
Robin Lehners 1st period save when the Sabres were down a man was awesome! Ottawa was on the power play and as the play was unfolding two Sabres decided to let the newley aquired sniper Matt Duchene just skate with the puck right across the Buffalo net where Lehner made a brilliant save. Another good save was an Ottawa break away in period number 2 by Ottawa forward Mark Borowiecki.
The physical plays also been good. My favorite sequence was with the Johan Larson line in the 2nd period. Johan lambasted Ryan Dzingel twice on the same shift, the second hit deposited R.D. into the Sens bench for an early line change.
Even though we lost in o.t. Buffalo played a good game.
Now it was too long ago where I was reading an article about Bruin trades. This article mentioned the Joe Thornton trade and how it looked bad on paper but eventually led to a Stanley Cup victory. Addition by subtraction was what was written.
The author mentioned that maybe the Sabres can set themselves up for now, and the future like the Bruins did with Jumbo Joe by trading Jack Eichel.
At first thought I wanted to rebut but then thought, “what can we get for Jack?”, 3 firsts, a decent player and a prospect?
I’ll wait and see how long this lasts.
If the Sabres rack up points in Jacks absence and play solid throughout do we entertain that thought?
Some other thoughts in the absence of Jack.
Can our “Golden Child” be the problem?
Does he have an attitude when things don’t go Jacks way?
Is he not well liked in the locker room?
Are there too many emotionally high me me me attitudes?
“Two bad ankles can turn a great player into a crying fan”.