NHL: Immediate Reactions To The Buffalo Sabres’ Opening Weekend


The Buffalo Sabres’ season opener was a very positive beginning for the start of the Sabres’ 40th anniversary season. The team picked up from last year’s 5-2 win against Ottawa to defeat the Senators on the road 2-1, with Derek Roy scoring both of the goals and Ryan Miller playing strong in net.

The Sabres’ home opener was a different story. Although the team raised their Northeast Division Champions banner, in the game, they were outplayed by the New York Rangers to a score of 6-3. The Sabres did not look like they were defending a division title, and many fans left for the exits early.

Here are some of my thoughts after watching the two games.

Derek Roy has been the best forward through two games, with three goals. He is playing a smart game, and has also been solid defensively. He has picked up right where he left off in the preseason where he had 10 points in five games. An honorable mention goes to rookie Tyler Ennis, with three assists.

Tyler Myers has played a subpar two games, with the game against the Rangers to be one to forget. Myers is a minus-3, and had a goal go off his skate to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead Saturday night. The low point of Myers’ game was when he fell behind the Sabre net that led directly to another Ranger goal. Myers has one assist in the two games, but if he keeps playing like he has so far this season, a sophomore slump could be on the horizon.

Jordan Leopold had a great offensive game against the Rangers with two goals and three points in the game. However, against Ottawa he was out-muscled for a puck along the wall that set up a two-on-one that led to a tap-in goal for the Senators. He is not a shut down defenseman by any means, but he has a cannon from the point.

Craig Rivet has looked very slow in the two games. It still looks like he is injured, but he and Lindy Ruff claim that he is 100 percent. He almost got beat to the puck on a number of icing calls when he had been in a far better position. It would be a surprise if Ruff strips Rivet of the captaincy if his play continues to regress, but he could see his ice time cut severely if he keeps this up.

The checking line of Jochen Hecht, Rob Niedermayer, and Mike Grier, is really solid. They were matched up against the Daniel Alfredsson line in Ottawa, and shut that line down. They were also on the ice in the final minute defending a lead on a six-on-four advantage. They have also created some great offensive chances.

The Sabres are 2-for-10 on the power play, and perfect on the penalty kill. They have scored on the power play in each game. Through two games the special teams have been pretty good.

If you want more thoughts, as well as updates on the Sabres, follow my Twitter @RichLunghino.

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