Overreactions, Preseason Edition #2: Que?

This Christian Ehrhoff acquisition may turn out alright.

On the strength of a two-point night from one of Buffalo’s new defenseman, the Sabres moved to 2-0 in the exhibition season with a 3-1 victory over Montreal at the Bell Centre.

Ehrhoff tallied the game-winner with 13:53 remaining in the third period, wristing a shot from along the boards past Canadiens goalie Robert Mayer.

“He’s got a really good shot,” Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. “I thought probably again tonight there were some opportunities we passed up, we passed some plays around, but you don’t usually have to tell him to shoot. He’s a shooter and he can sling it with a wrist shot and he can hit it pretty hard with a slap shot.”

Jason Pominville scored in the first on a beautiful Ehrhoff play. After Derek Roy won the offensive zone draw back to the point, Ehrhoff skated the puck down the boards to the corner and threaded a beautiful backhand pass to a wide open Jason Pominville camped in front of the Canadiens net. An excellent play from start to finish.

Tyler Ennis added the empty netter to get Buffalo the win. Ennis’ tally was assisted by newcomer Ville Leino, his first point as a Sabre in his second appearance.

Ryan Miller made 11 saves shutting out Montreal before he gave way for Jhonas Enroth, who allowed one goal but made 12 stops for the win.

Important observations:

  • Apparently, I don’t understand French. One day we’ll look back and laugh that back in the day not every preseason game was broadcast. We’re not there yet. But a stream of RDS coverage on a Wednesday night is going to be enough for now.
  • Luke Adam took a couple bad penalties, including the one that led to Montreal’s goal. He hasn’t been doing much to force his way onto the roster like some hoped he would. He’s still got about a week to make something happen, but looks like he better find a place in Rochester.
  • Speaking of that powerplay goal, I’m not a fan of Nathan Gerbe killing penalties. He’s got the sense and tenacious spirit to do it, but he simply doesn’t cover enough ground. P.K. Subban walked right around Gerbe’s stick check and ripped a shot past Enroth. Anyone with more of a reach might’ve been able to poke that off his stick or get Subban to make a different play.
  • The leader in hits for the game, both teams: Sabres defenseman Robyn Regehr.
  • The top line of Thomas Vanek-Derek Roy-Jason Pominville looked quite good. They were all +2 on the night and each tallied a point.
  • By the way, I don’t mind the “C” on Derek Roy. I always expected him to get it at some point when he first started coming up from the minors and making an impact. Lots of good options on this team, though.
  • The game was a lot closer than it should’ve been. The Sabres hit a couple shots off of posts. Thomas Vanek had a golden opportunity to score in the second, but he fumbled the puck trying to slam it into an open net. They carried the play for much of the game, despite shots being even.
  • Notable: In both games, Ville Leino has a winning record on faceoffs. He was 5-for-8 tonight.
  • Two guys that’ve been overlooked in a lot of talk about the young guys played together tonight. Defenseman Drew Schiestel and Dennis Persson were fairly solid tonight in the 18:21 and 17:36, respectively, that they were each on the ice.. A bunch of zeros across the board in most stat categories, which isn’t a bad thing for defenseman. Schiestel had looked great in preseason last year and may be the first recall out of Rochester. Persson, a former first round pick, was recalled during the playoffs and was a game-time scratch for Game 2 in Philadelphia. Keep an eye on them this year.
  • Matt Ellis played tonight. See score.
  • Back to faceoffs, no Sabres player had a losing record on draws tonight.
  • That’s two games in a row that Jhonas Enroth has come in cold and played well. Very, very encouraging. It’d be nice if Lindy is willing to throw him in more often. He’s not a liability whatsoever.
  • Brad Boyes was near invisible the whole night. He’s got to be a lot closer to the chopping block than a lot of people are assuming. Can’t have him using that much cap space to be missing.

Sabres take on the Leafs in Toronto Friday night.


Posted on September 22, 2011, in Sabres/NHL and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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