With five preseason games behind us, and the roster getting trimmed down, once again I am going to reiterate that nothing has changed much this offseason except, we have seen that Zach Benson has the hockey awareness and puck tenacity to play in the NHL. With all of the prosects in our bullpen we have finally been awarded with a hit. The eighteen-year-old kid doesn’t look uncomfortable and gets after it at both ends of the rink. Wow, after a few years we have a stockpile of talent in the wings. Given the chance with skill surrounding him, he has shown himself very admirably. This has been a very rare occurrence besides top picks in recent Sabres history. We are seeing something special develop, and I truly hope that he has at least the maximum games allowed to show us that he can compete. Out of all of the prospects that have had the chance to shine through the initial stages of our camps and preseason, it is obvious who has risen to the top. He has grabbed the buffalo by the horns and is on the doorstep. Watch this give and go against Columbus –
Although struggling with some goals against in the early going on Saturday, his level of concentration is where it needs to be, and physically he seems to hold his own. A few years down the road with a pro workout regiment, he is going to be a beast if not already.
This is not a surprise if you have been paying attention to the offseason and the question marks regarding the very few spaces available in the lineup.
As I have reiterated time and time again, the organization has a plan. The more critics and speculation, the more some of us are happy to be relaxing and watch as it plays out.
Yes, I speculated that Victor Olofsson and Henri Jokiharju could possibly be moved or should be. I also had my reservations about Jordan Greenway. These players were only going to be traded or be on the big club. Plain and simple. With the injury to Quinn and the solid recent play of Jokiharju, the opening roster seems pretty predictable besides the one spot for a rookie upfront. This scenario has not changed for months. The injury to Savoie and the immergence of Benson have made things very interesting. Biro and the potential of Kulich have been promising as well. Rosen, Rousek, and Murray are not to be forgotten either. Ryan Johnson on a crowded blueline has looked like he could easily play in the show when called upon. Patience and future calculation is omnipresent. It is a breath of fresh air flowing over Lake Erie.
Our management has finally figured out how to build a team. We have assets that are admirable acquisitions for other clubs. The professional hockey world is taking notice of the stockpile of talent that we possess.
We are on the precipice of success and other teams are aware of the challenge that comes with playing us. We are finally here Sabres fans. Listen to our coach and his ever intelligent well thought out responses to questions that are asked of him in press conferences. He believes and will not deviate from educated analysis. I have never seen or heard a gentleman leading the bench more calculated and focused. They have a mold they want every player to acclimate to. He knows how to elevate confidence levels when parts of the game are not going their way. He takes his job seriously and what it represents. He embraces his group to believe in his process and take pride in all aspects of the city they represent. I have watched so many clips and always am impressed with his accountability. He never strays from his messages, and they are not mundane rhetoric. We talk about hockey IQ in players? What about hockey IQ in coaches? This dude is night and day above anything we have seen leading our troops in quite some time. We will win a lot of games or he will own it. You are not going to see any finger pointing or inappropriate comments regarding his flock. He is in charge and he knows the decisions he makes matter to everyone involved. A modern coach who has learned from the mistakes of others, and has tailored a steadfast approach. He has his players backs and ours as well. I am betting on this tasty meatball. I can’t wait for the last few tweaks and the biscuit to drop on opening night. So many to choose from but just listen to the guy who mentors our squad.
Comments and things that we have been clamouring for –
No contracts for Dahlin and or Power. This will happen in time and both players love to play here. With them still on the books and the rights being in control of the Sabres, there should be no trepidation here. It will get done sooner than later. We just hope that the dollars make sense when it comes to term and our cap. We don’t want to be handcuffed, but hopefully as with every other sport, the NHL commodity grows exponentially in the near future giving us flexibility.
Jeff Skinner is a quirky guy that is easy to root for. I believe that he will have a season equal to, or above last year. He is happy and comfortable now, and his media contributions as well as interviews are entertaining. Perhaps he made Ralph Kreuger bored? What the heck was that all about? Skinny should have told that dinosaur to go back to letting Wilma and Fred cuddle him. Hopefully he did…
Devon Levi looks to be everything advertised. Sometimes you have to take a leap of faith with goaltending. They are a different breed. Those who have played with numerous knuckle heads know this fact. This kid is above that stereotype. He is a prodigy of the modern era of sports, and his insanity is focused. The trade with Florida is looking pretty good. I don’t want three net keepers, bite the bullet and hope one of the other two clear waivers. I really don’t care which one.
Lastly, we all just need to get along and support this team. No more clowning around. The pieces of veteran leadership and youthful talent are in place. We have a coach that gets it and cares. One Buffalo means something. Go Sabres.