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REFLECTIONS ON SABRES VS. BLUE JACKETS

Brian Duff's analysis of the Sabres' final preseason home game

Thursday, 09.26.2013 / 9:22 AM / Features
By Brian Duff  - Sabres TV Host
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REFLECTIONS ON SABRES VS. BLUE JACKETS
Brian Duff\'s analysis of the Sabres\' final preseason home game
       Mike Weber

Jhonas Enroth, Ville Leino and Thomas Vanek were the three stars in Wednesday’s 3-0 win over Columbus but it wouldn’t have been hard to find three to five more who were worthy of consideration. And the majority of candidates would come from the blueline.

Mark Pysyk was the Sabres ice-time leader, logging 23:04 of seemingly effortless, if not overlooked, play. On a night when the Blue Jackets had nearly 14 minutes in power play time, Pysyk led the Buffalo defense corps in shorthanded time on ice as well at 4:59.

His superior skating negated many opportunities with ease, allowing him to be in excellent position, and the biggest testament to his game was that you hardly noticed him.

Mike Weber may have been overlooked 15 times during Saturday’s marathon shootout, but he led all scorers in this game with three assists.

His cross ice pass to Cody Hodgson helped set up the Leino tally, and like Pysyk, Weber saw about four-and-a-half minutes while down a man. He continues to help mentor Rasmus Ristolainen as well. The Finnish rookie was steady over nearly 17 minutes of play, dressing in four of the Sabres six preseason games to date.

Tyler Myers garnered plenty of positive attention again for his play. See his post-game interview with us on the main page.

Myers was reunited with his old partner Henrik Tallinder for the first time this preseason and it seemed to pay immediate dividends at both ends of the rink.

As for Tallinder, who was partnered in previous games with Pysyk and Ristolainen, it was a night of good pinches, strong outlet passes, and nice instincts in the offensive zone. The best example of the latter was on the first goal of the game.

For nearly 45 seconds the Sabres worked a delayed penalty to perfection, playing keep away from a fatiguing Blue Jackets defensive unit, and moving it around through all six skaters. Tallinder had four touches during the sequence, including a little “sauce” to Steve Ott that even John Scott would have been proud of.

As the play worked towards its conclusion, Tallinder made a burst from the left point position, down to the faceoff dot, and then hard across the middle of the slot. This distraction helped create space for Weber to send a cross ice feed to Hodgson, whose shot was stopped before Leino pounced on the rebound. No assist for Tallinder on the play, but a lot of heady plays.

Tallinder played just shy of twenty minutes, leaned on bodies and/or absorbed hits when he had to, and, to use a Ron Rolston word from this camp, complimented those around him well.

When the veterans play with poise, there’s a greater likelihood the kids can have a positive impact, too. Mikhail Grigorenko, Zemgus Girgensons, Johan Larsson all fell into that category versus Columbus.

One more preseason game remains before we find out which players will have the chance to make an opening when the real season begins on Wednesday.

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