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Overreactions, 15th Edition: Enroth sensational in Sabres win

Jhonas Enroth started in goal for the Buffalo Sabres Friday night.

As has been the case all season, the same result followed: they won.

With the rookie netminder making 36 saves and with the offense giving him plenty of cushion, Buffalo defeated Ottawa 5-1 to extend their winning streak to four games.

The Sabres jumped out to an early 2-0 lead on goals by Derek Roy and Matt Ellis, and that was enough for Enroth, who stopped all 25 shots he faced in the second and third periods to move to 5-0-0 on the season.

“He’s done a good job coming in,” said Roy, who has four goals and eight points during the winning streak. “He’s stepped up in the games, made big saves for us, and has gotten some big wins for us.”

Enroth is now 12-0-1 in his last 13 decisions, and hasn’t lost a game since November 24, 2010 in Pittsburgh, a 1-0 loss.

Buffalo also got goals from Jordan Leopold, Luke Adam and Ville Leino. Drew Stafford had three assists.

  • It may have been the best game the defense has played as a whole in a while, but Tyler Myers still had moments where you wonder what the hell is wrong with him. There was a play in the second period, where with Derek Roy about to take the faceoff, the Ottawa player was tossed from the circle. Roy, knowing that this would need adjustments, turned around, pointed and told Myers to move to his left, as that is where he was going to win the draw to. Myers instead moved to his right, closer to the boards. Roy won the draw exactly where he planned to while Myers was 15 feet away, and the puck went right out of the zone.
  • The Sabres did an extended pregame tribute to veterans, making a big production of the national anthems and also “God Bless America” in salute of Veteran’s Day and Remembrance Day, or whatever Canadian holiday it is. In concept it was very nice, but I’m gonna go ahead and ask that they never give the crowd an American flag to pass around like it’s a beach ball again.
  • Getting Ryan Miller on track is very important. To do that he’s going to need games. Unfortunately for that, I’m not sure how you find enough ways to work in Enroth consistently while playing Miller through his floundering of late. The guy keeps winning, and points are as big now as they are in March. Sabres have nine games left this month. Pretty sure there’s gotta be some way to get Jhonas in for at least four of those. Strong play has to be rewarded. Read the rest of this entry

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?