Overreactions, Traverse City Edition

The Buffalo Sabres are champions!

(Editor’s note: Sorry to alarm those who haven’t been following close, but it’s not like there’s ever been opportunities to say that outside of an EA Sports product or Eastside Hockey Manager. Take what you can get, right?)

With a 5-2 victory over the New York Rangers, the Sabres’ young guns captured the 2011 Traverse City Prospects Tournament title in the franchise’s first ever appearance. Led by two goals from Marcus Foligno, Buffalo never trailed throughout the game.

Luke Adam opened the scoring with a powerplay marker, followed just minutes later by Foligno’s first of the night. After Corey Tropp scored the eventual game winner early in the third period, the Sabres got insurance goals from Dan Catenacci and the aforementioned Foligno.

2011 draft pick Nathan Lieuwen made 21 saves in net to earn the victory.

Now, the Sabres head back to Buffalo for the official start of training camp. All players report on Friday, with the first practice Saturday.

Some thoughts:

  • Are the Sabres waiting for something in particular to happen to sign Phil Varone? The prospects camp-invitee turned training camp-invitee was one of the best players on the ice. He’d look good in an Amerks uniform.
  • The line of Marcus Foligno-Luke Adam-Zack Kassian was reportedly dominant all tournament, and you can see why. They all have so much big game experience. They’re all big bodies. They all have skill. I don’t think you make them a line in Rochester, because it’d be good to have a vet somewhere in there. I can’t imagine Adam is gonna stay in Rochester long anyways if he keeps developing as quick as he is.
  • The powerplay, which according to the boxscore went 1-for-7, looked good controlling the puck. Without knowing how much they’ve installed powerplay tactics, the work on the points by the defenseman were impressive. Except maybe for their efforts in getting shots through. But the possession was good!
  • Sabres goalie Nathan Lieuwen has been getting some good big game experience. As a member of Kootenay’s Memorial Cup team, and now with a Traverse City title game victory, that’s good for a young guy to have under his belt. He’s got tools, but needs work. Luckily, there’s two guys in front of him who should be around for a while. He has time.
  • Interesting to hear Darcy Regier note when asked by an esteemed and incredibly good-looking blogger during the broadcast that Ken Holland has been trying to get the Sabres to participate in this tournament for years. There’s probably plenty of reasons why the Sabres have not come to Traverse in the past. Most likely, in my opinion… money. Good to know that that’s not an issue anymore.
  • Brayden McNabb’s gonna need some work in Rochester. Not much for me to say other than that.
  • Seriously, have they signed Phil Varone yet?
  • Needing to be noted: Both teams featured a player with a hyphenated name. Buffalo’s Jerome Gauthier-Leduc and New York’s Jonathan Audy-Marchessault combined for a dueling case of awesome.
  • In other visual comments, it was definitely odd watching a bunch of guys in Sabres uniforms who weren’t the Sabres. Reminds me of a soccer club’s reserve team. The odd numbers and the key guys absent from the roster lead to an unsettling experience.
  • Riley Boychuk wasn’t exactly stellar tonight. No comment on the rest of the tournament. Why? Because this was the only game broadcast anywhere.
  • If the Sabres are going to continue to participate in this particular tournament, there’s got to be a way they can get it broadcast, at the least online. Hardcore fans will eat this up. Or maybe just have it in Buffalo.

Welcome to hockey season.


Posted on September 14, 2011, in Sabres/NHL and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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