The Sabres dispatched Kovalchukless Atlanta by a final score of 4-1. Buffalo completely dominated the Thrashers, pouring 42 shots on Steve Mason. Atlanta could only whimper back, putting up a paltry 18 shots on Mr. All Star Ryan Miller.
Here are some quick thoughts on tonight's game:
-Butler may have played his best game as a Sabre tonight. He was excellent. Fantastic overall defensive play. He had an awesome dive to foil a great 2 on 1 opportunity by Atlanta. He also stopped numerous cross crease passes using his feet. I saw him multiple times visibly communicating with his defensive partner and the forwards, coordinating their on ice movements and coverage. Those are all signs that a defenseman is on top of his game. On the offensive side, he had 2 Assists. Couldn't ask for more.
-Myers was back to form this game. He wasn't over thinking. He made short crisp passes, and moved the puck out of his own end efficiently. Rather than hold on to the puck too long under pressure, Myers made several off the glass passes to get the puck out. Simple and efficient. He looked more confident tonight than at any other point this season. Not to mention, he had 5 shots and netted a goal. Shake off that slump Tyler.
-TV scored his first goal of the year. I actually yelled aloud when Vanek notched his laser beam shot past Steve Mason. He had to score. If this team is going to win, he's gonna have to be at 30+ goals by seasons end. With his cherry popped, hopefully the goals come pouring in.
-I enjoyed Montador's attempted hip check on Evander Kane. Montador is prolly the most frustrating Sabre on the squad. I love his physical edge, and his willingness to skate the puck up or join the rush. At the same time, you know he's good for at least on HORRENDOUS give away/screw up per game.
-Ennis is a joy to watch. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: He's easily the most offensively dynamic forward this team has seen since Danny Briere. I don't like the Maxim comparisons. They're inaccurate. This kid has the same skill set that made DB great, and you'll continue to see that throughout the season.
Sabres fans, how good did it feel to see the Sabres finally get a big win?
James "Situation" Ehrmann