Hitting the ice for the first time in the newly-named and remodeled First Niagara Center, the Buffalo Sabres opened the 2011 exhibition slate with a 3-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes.
Earning goals from Paul Gaustad, Nathan Gerbe and an empty netter from Patrick Kaleta, the team came back to get the win on the strength of 11 saves from Jhonas Enroth.
Sure, the game presentation still sucks ass, but who cares when the buildings full and the team wins, right? I’ll save that for another post. I won’t let that ruin the insight on the game.
Points to make after a meaningless win:
- It seemed to me like a lot of the rookies played very tentative. The Zack Kassian-Luke Adam-Marcus Foligno line was ineffective for most of the night. It took a while for Alex Biega and T.J. Brennan to settle in. They seemed afraid of making mistakes.
- Yes, the Sabres failed to crack the scoresheet with Brian Boucher in net for Carolina, but they really didn’t generate any offense whatsoever anyways. Opportunities were limited until the third period.
- Zack Kassian is going to need at least a year in the AHL. I’ve been fully unimpressed with him in this game, at camp and in the one game I saw from Traverse City. The tools are clearly there. But he’s not ready. Read the rest of this entry