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Overreactions, 2nd Edition: Let’s play in Europe more often

With the Sabres wrapping up their European vacation on Saturday, they decided to do it in style.

One night after defeating Anaheim in their season opener, the Buffalo Sabres offered the same fate to the Los Angeles Kings, taking a 4-2 victory at O2 World Berlin in Germany.

Luke Adam scored two goals to give Buffalo a second period lead, with Paul Gaustad and Drew Stafford adding the goals that were the difference in the game. Thomas Vanek added two assists, giving him five points through two games.

“It’s been great,” Vanek said. “We came here with the goal of playing good hockey and winning two games and we did. But it’s only two games in a year, there’s a lot of work left.”

Ryan Miller got his second win of the season, stopping 31 shots. Anze Kopitar had both goals for the Kings.

While it’s hard to tell where teams are at so early in the season, the teams the Sabres have stolen two points from across the pond aren’t exactly slouches. The Ducks finished fourth in the West last year and the Kings are getting picked by many to win the conference this season.

2-0-0 is nice, but they’ve been quality wins against quality teams. Lots to be optimistic about right now.

Some other thoughts:

  • Luke Adam is still eligible for the Calder. Just verifying that for those wondering.
  • Christian Ehrhoff had the team high in ice time, playing almost 24 minutes, despite missing some time after a rough hit from LA’s Jarret Stoll in the first period. They talked about that hit on NHL On the Fly, about the NHL possibly looking at it for supplemental discipline, but there’s no way that should merit a suspension. Two minutes was appropriate, if anything. Read the rest of this entry
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Overreactions, 1st Edition: That’s Quacktastic!

Nice way to start a season, I’d say.

In front of a raucous crowd in Helsinki, Finland, the Buffalo Sabres kicked off the 2011-2012 season by defeating Anaheim by a score of 4-1.

Thomas Vanek scored twice for Buffalo, registering both on the powerplay.

“The puck was bouncing for us a bit tonight and we played a good first period with the two-goal lead,” Vanek said. “We tried to get pucks to the net and it paid off early on.”

Vanek also added an assist later on a goal by new captain Jason Pominville.

But the hero of the day was Ville Leino, making his Sabres debut in the arena where he spent season with renowned Finnish club Jokerit. Leino scored late in the first period, his first goal on his first shot as a Buffalo Sabre and the eventual game-winner.

“I have done it for every team where I’ve played, and was lucky to do it again,” Leino said. “It was cool to do it here in Finland.”

Ryan Miller got the win for Buffalo, making 29 saves.

  • Good for Ville Leino, starting off his Sabres career with a goal. It was a very nice play by Brad Boyes and Andrej Sekera to set up the play in the slot.
  • Speaking of other new guys, Christian Ehrhoff continues to look like a good pickup. He made a great play to set up Vanek’s second goal, bringing the puck down low and letting the play develop through patience.
  • On the other-other new guy, Robyn Regehr, he is as-advertised. Played with a nice edge. He’ll be fun to watch.
  • It’s a bit surprising that Lindy Ruff has gotten away from the Nathan Gerbe-Paul Gaustad-Patrick Kaleta line that has looked so well since camp opened. With Cody McCormick taking Gerbe’s place, the line was on the ice for Anaheim’s only goal. Read the rest of this entry

Sabres announce 2011 preseason schedule

The countdown is now on: 90 days until the Buffalo Sabres hit the ice to begin the 2011-12 season.

This morning the organization announced their preseason schedule, a move that comes weeks before it has in the past.

The Sabres will begin their preseason slate at home on Monday, September 19 when the Carolina Hurricanes visit HSBC Arena. The Sabres will then travel to Montreal to play the Canadiens on Wednesday, September 21. The team will participate in a home and home series with the Toronto Maple Leafs starting at the Air Canada Centre on Friday, September 23 and then at HSBC Arena on Saturday, September 24. After a game on the road in Columbus the following day (Sunday, September 25), the team will travel to Washington on Friday, September 30 to face the Capitals.

The Buffalo Sabres will also play an exhibition game against Adler Mannheim at SAP Arena in Mannheim, Germany, on Tuesday, Oct. 4, as part of the 2011 Compuware NHL Premiere Challenge to complete the 2011 preseason schedule.

As expected, you have your home-and-home with Toronto, with one of them likely being a blowout win for the Sabres. You have your Wednesday night TSN game against Montreal, which will probably be on NHL Network as well.

Full credit to the Sabres for doing this earlier this year. Last year, the preseason schedule was announced by the team on July 8. Fans in recent years have been able to piece together the entire slate based on other teams beating them to the punch. Not so much this year. Good to see. Read the rest of this entry