I know what you might say. Preseason in sports does not matter. As long as the star players don’t have season-ending injuries, then it is fine. Some of the players won’t even see NHL action this year. However, the Buffalo Sabres have done a great job this preseason.
Going into Saturday’s game, the Sabres are 3-0. They have beaten the Montreal Canadiens, Columbus Blue Jackets and Carolina Hurricanes. They have scored 12 goals over that span. 12! Sometimes it takes the Sabres 2 weeks before they score that many. Isn’t this supposed to be a team rebuilding? Are the Sabres that good or are they just playing weaker talent?
The Buffalo Sabres are definitely set in terms of youth. They have a lot of young players on this team who could make a difference this year or possibly next year. Ryan Miller and Thomas Vanek might be gone after this year, but if they play really well…..
Perhaps they will stay and sign 4-5 year contracts. If the Sabres can somehow be a top tier Eastern Conference team, Miller and Vanek would re-sign. Since both are in the final year of their contract, you know they are going to give it their best for a huge pay day $$$.
Can you guess who is tied for the team lead in goals? If you said Vanek, Tyler Ennis or Cody Hodgson you would be wrong. It is a 3-way tie with Marcus Foligno, Johan Larsson and Zemgus Girgensons each scoring 2 goals. Girgensons has had a strong camp so far and possibly could make the team.
Goaltender Matt Hackett is making a strong case to be the back-up goaltender to Miller. Hackett is 2-0 with a 1.50 G.A.A and a .952 save percentage. He has stopped 27 of 29 shots.
With the Sabres youth movement, things are looking pretty good this pre-season. The key will be if they can keep it up for 82 games during the regular season.