Overreactions, Preseason Edition #3: Beating Toronto is fun

Doesn’t matter if the game counts in the standings or not, it’s always nice to beat the Leafs.

That’s what the Sabres did Friday night at the Air Canada Centre, getting a 2-1 win over Toronto thanks to a late Jason Pominville powerplay goal.

The star of the night was Ryan Miller, who continued his habitual domination of the Leafs. Miller made 33 saves, some of them spectacular, including a larceny by glove hand on a shot by Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul which earned him a spot on SportsCenter.

Buffalo also got a goal from Corey Tropp in the first period, his first of the preseason.

It wasn’t all good news for the Sabres either, as the team lost Derek Roy to a shoulder injury late in the first period. He will miss a few games, but coach Lindy Ruff said it’s “nothing serious.

The game got scrappy at the end, setting up tonight’s rematch at the First Niagara Center.

Some things I saw:

  • Great for Corey Tropp to get rewarded with a goal. He was good all night, and has been throughout the preseason. He’s been physical and made some good plays in the offensive zone. He may be earning himself a recall during the season with his play this week.
  • Kudos to the offiicials for properly calling a penalty on Leafs defenseman Dion Phaneuf for his blindside hit on Michael Ryan. It was the right call, and it’ll be a tough call to make for officials with as fast as the game is.
  • Keeping an eye on faceoffs, this was the first time this preseason that the Sabres lost the majority of the faceoffs. Losing Roy didn’t help, but the two guys who will likely play center, Paul Gaustad and Cody McCormick, won more than 50%.
  • Not sure what’s funnier: Leafs fans being frustrated at their inability to beat Ryan Miller or their hatred of Patrick Kaleta.
  • Thomas Vanek had a few glorious chances but failed to convert. It’d be nice if one of these games he can just pour a few in and get hot before the season starts. He’s got a few more chances to make that happen.
  • Another game for Matt Ellis, another win. Nothing to see here.
  • I thought T.J. Brennan was very good. Looked like he handled himself very well and was solid in the 19 minutes he played.
  • On the Leafs, that Joffrey Lupul-Tim Connolly-Phil Kessel line could get pretty scary. They had some excellent shifts. Also for Toronto, I was very impressed with John-Michael Liles. He was outstanding. It’s a little worrisome that the Leafs may actually be good at some point if they keep heading in this direction.
  • One last time, I’ve got to give the Sabres my full approval for finding a way to get this on television in Buffalo. I was disappointed it took so long for it to be arranged, but it was on, and that’s what matters. They’re doing a good job down at the foot of Washington, aren’t they?

Posted on September 24, 2011, in Sabres/NHL and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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