Overreactions, 2nd Edition: Let’s play in Europe more often

With the Sabres wrapping up their European vacation on Saturday, they decided to do it in style.

One night after defeating Anaheim in their season opener, the Buffalo Sabres offered the same fate to the Los Angeles Kings, taking a 4-2 victory at O2 World Berlin in Germany.

Luke Adam scored two goals to give Buffalo a second period lead, with Paul Gaustad and Drew Stafford adding the goals that were the difference in the game. Thomas Vanek added two assists, giving him five points through two games.

“It’s been great,” Vanek said. “We came here with the goal of playing good hockey and winning two games and we did. But it’s only two games in a year, there’s a lot of work left.”

Ryan Miller got his second win of the season, stopping 31 shots. Anze Kopitar had both goals for the Kings.

While it’s hard to tell where teams are at so early in the season, the teams the Sabres have stolen two points from across the pond aren’t exactly slouches. The Ducks finished fourth in the West last year and the Kings are getting picked by many to win the conference this season.

2-0-0 is nice, but they’ve been quality wins against quality teams. Lots to be optimistic about right now.

Some other thoughts:

  • Luke Adam is still eligible for the Calder. Just verifying that for those wondering.
  • Christian Ehrhoff had the team high in ice time, playing almost 24 minutes, despite missing some time after a rough hit from LA’s Jarret Stoll in the first period. They talked about that hit on NHL On the Fly, about the NHL possibly looking at it for supplemental discipline, but there’s no way that should merit a suspension. Two minutes was appropriate, if anything.
  • Again, to the Leino-at-center scoreboard, Ville won just four of 13 faceoffs.
  • Still unsure how that third period skirmish that began when Jonathan Bernier got wiped out ended with just Nathan Gerbe and Brad Richardson in the box. Gerbe’s retaliation slash deserved a penalty, but there was no interference call or anything either way. There was nothing handed to the Kings players going after Stafford after the collision. It’s just odd that it ended up even strength at the end of that mess.
  • He wasn’t named to the three stars, but Paul Gaustad had a very good game. That deflection was absolutely beautiful.
  • Speaking of good games, Andrej Sekera and Marc-Andre Gragnani both had quietly solid nights. Both finished +3.
  • Stuck in the same situation as yesterday, going into the third period with a lead, the Sabres did a slightly better job generating pressure instead of sitting back like they did the night before when they registered zero shots on goal in the final frame. Drew Stafford added an early insurance goal, but the team still only got four shots on Bernier. They went the final 13:23 of the game without a shot on goal.
  • With almost a full week to readjust to the time difference, there’s no reason to think they won’t be fully prepared for Carolina on Friday. Coming back to a brand new locker room should be a nice welcome home.
  • Big fan of Brian Duff on the broadcasts. Such a great pickup by the organization. If the future is Kevin Sylvester on play-by-play and Duff as the host, I’m on board already.

So all in all, a nice little Euro-trip. The Sabres sound like they’d be happy to do it again in the future, and if they’re gonna come back with a couple wins, that’s fine by me. I may be wrong, but I believe the last time the Sabres spent any part of training camp in Europe was the fall of 1998.

Just sayin’.

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Posted on October 9, 2011, in Sabres/NHL and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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