The Sabres are 3-1 to begin the season and they have beat some very good teams to earn those six points. In fact, that one loss came against Carolina, who were probably the easiest team to beat out of the four. The Hurricanes do have a good team this year and will be tough to beat, but Anaheim, Pittsburgh and Los Angeles may be better teams.
Regardless, they are 3-1, winning all three games away from the First Niagara Center. What has impressed me so far in this early season is the fact that the Sabres have played well on the second of back-to-back nights, going 2-0. This was a problem that has hampered the team in previous years.
Now working on a four game road trip, the Sabres schedule will get back to normal, rather than playing just on the past two weekends.
Thomas Vanek had a rough game in Carolina, and you could tell he wanted to make up for it in the worst way. However, he is still the team’s point leader with 7 (3 G, 4 A), and teammate Luke Adam is right behind him with 6 (3 G, 3 A).
If it weren’t for a pair of short-handed goals, the Sabres could be sitting at 4-0. Even with them, they managed to tie the game late, but the special teams weren’t able to kill off the power play.
I think it’ll be hard to get Adam out of the lineup. Jochen Hecht is nearing return, but I no longer think Adam is the one to sit.
As much as I like Patrick Kaleta on the team, I don’t see him being around for much longer. If he doesn’t start producing on offense, I think he will be gone in a year or two. Players like Cody McCormick, Paul Gaustad and Robyn Regehr can all stick up for the rest of the team.
Kaleta can bring energy to the game, but he is not always noticeable on the ice. With all of the banning going on with hits, Kaleta needs to be cautious, and with that he loses the big hits.
The Sabres have a five game homestand following the next three on the road. How many of the five home games do you think the Sabres will win? They play Tampa Bay, Columbus, Florida, Philadelphia and Calgary.