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SYLVESTER'S BLOG: RANDOM THOUGHTS

Tuesday, 10.20.2009 / 3:39 PM / Blogs - Kevin Sylvester
By Kevin Sylvester  - Sabres "Hockey Hotline" Host
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SYLVESTER\'S BLOG: RANDOM THOUGHTS
Some random thoughts:
  • Paul Gaustad (Photo: Bill Wippert)
    This is the first extended road trip of the season, and a real chance for the team to bond.  The short jaunt to Nashville was just that - too short to get any real off ice stuff done.  Anyone who has been part of a team knows the tighter the team, the better chances of winning.  It's chemistry.  That shouldn't be mistaken for liking one another or becoming best friends.  That's just not realistic.  But respect is.  It's earned on the ice and off the ice.  The on ice stuff will take care of itself.  The off ice respect is fostered on trips like this.
  • It's good to see Thomas Vanek back at practice on the line with Derek Roy and Drew Stafford.  My guess is that he would have played last weekend if it were March or the playoffs, but it made sense to hold him out this early in the season.  Let's hope his upper body injury is able to withstand the pounding in front of the net on the power play, because he is needed on that top unit. 
  • Speaking of the power play, it'll be interesting to see if Tim Connolly remains on the point with the first unit.  He was used there against Atlanta and seemed to fit in that role.  He is the best playmaker the Sabres have and can dampen the aggressive pursuit of the penalty killing forwards.   If he doesn't work there, perhaps Jason Pominville will. 
  • Watch Paul Gaustaud's technique on face offs.  He crouches real low and uses his reach to create leverage.  The extra work he puts in after practice with assistant James Patrick helps.  The Goose was 11 of 13 against the Islanders last Friday night. 
  • I'm anxious to see how Tyler Myers bounces back from the rough game he had against Atlanta.  He had a few giveaways, one in which led to an Ilya Kovalchuk goal and was beat by Maxim Afineganov for Atlanta's fourth goal. Myers certainly wasn't alone in the Sabres first regulation loss, but he showed signs of being human in that contest after five previous excellent games. Lindy Ruff said after the game that every defenseman in the League gets beat (see Nicklas Lidstrom last Tuesday in Buffalo), so it was nothing new.  What it does is give Myers is experience to lean the next time he's up against one of the League's dangerous forwards.  Perhaps even Wednesday night against David Booth or Michael Frolik of the Panthers. 
  • For those that are jealous that we're in Florida, the weather hasn't been great... yet.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Hodgson 72 20 24 -26 44
T. Ennis 80 21 22 -25 43
D. Stafford 70 16 18 -19 34
C. Ehrhoff 79 6 27 -27 33
C. Stewart 63 15 11 0 26
C. Conacher 79 7 19 1 26
T. Myers 62 9 13 -26 22
Z. Girgensons 70 8 14 -6 22
M. Foligno 74 7 12 -17 19
J. McBain 69 6 11 -13 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Neuvirth 4 8 2 .921 2.78
J. Enroth 4 17 5 .911 2.82