Overreactions from Game 1 of 82

I’ve got an idea. How about the Sabres, who’ve been if not owned, leased, by the Sens since the lockout, go into Ottawa and grab a win to open up the 2010-11 campaign? Nice way to start off the season, huh?

The Sabres did exactly that last night, which you likely know if you’re reading this. What can I say? I know my demographic.

Two goals from Derek Roy and some solid work by Ryan Miller were enough to give Buffalo a 2-1 victory in Canada’s capital. The team also received two assists from rookie sensation/Calder sleeper/all-around stud Tyler Ennis, as well as plenty of blown chances by Thomas Vanek.

“It’s a great way to start the first game, a little adversity, a little playoff mentality,” Roy said. “The one point and the shootout point wouldn’t have been good enough. It’s a division opponent, and you need to win these games. I thought we came out real strong and set the tone.”

There was plenty to see last night (including those new road uniforms… which look great, by the way) and here’s a random sampling of insight taken from last night’s contest:

  • I’m pretty sure Tyler Myers did not have a great game last night. How he was named one of the three stars is beyond me.
  • I think his defensive partner was even more impressive. Shaone Morrisonn was phenomenal I thought, and seems like he’s going to be the perfect partner for Myers. Morrisonn clearly plays with more of an edge than Myers, and is steady enough to allow the big guy to push offensively. I love this signing already.
  • Thomas Vanek didn’t play bad, he just couldn’t finish. I love the way he was being creative around the net, even though they didn’t result in goals. The second period play where he was all alone in front and tried a spin move was a brilliant thought, as he forced Leclaire to give him something to shoot at. Unfortunately, the effort ended up in Leclaire’s pad, not in the gaping five-hole that was left open. If he gets that many chances like that every game, he could score 70 this year.
  • It can not be understated how well Derek Roy played last night. After leading the league in preseason scoring, he kept it up when the games started to count. He’s going to lead the team in points this year, and with a guy like Ennis on his wing, I don’t think 30 goals is too much to ask.
  • Drew Stafford didn’t show what he showed all preseason, but I’ll give him a few more games before I get on him about it.
  • Rob Niedermayer showed why many liked the pickup when it was made over the summer. Won some faceoffs, played smart. And his presence on the third/checking line pushes Paul Gaustad down to the fourth. Which leads me to my next point.
  • I’m a big fan of the way the lines are set up. Two solid scoring lines, a good checking line, and a very solid fourth unit. The fourth line, (McCormick-Gaustad-Kaleta) while not incredibly effective last night, is the kind of fourth line you see on good teams. A bunch of players who can handle the puck and still beat the crap out of you. Drastic improvement over last season.
  • As much as Jordan Leopold can be blamed on Ottawa’s goal, Steve Montador deserves an equal share. I hope he hit a rut in the ice and fell, because otherwise, that was a terrible play trying to defend that 2-on-1.
  • Craig Rivet was getting blasted by fans on WGR after the game, and I think you gotta cut him some slack. It seemed to me like the Sens were targeting him, trying to get him to drop the gloves. Give him a game or two before you strip the ‘C’ off his jersey and waive him.
  • You know who also played well last night? Rej! Andrej Sekera. He’s got a lock on the top spot in the rotation at that 6th spot if he keeps playing like that.

But in the end, just one of 82. Time to worry about the Rangers and Tim Kenn… oh, nevermind, he’s not playing tonight.


Posted on October 9, 2010, in Sabres/NHL and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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