The Sabres played an excellent game tonight, taking down the Wild 3-2. I was incredibly impressed with this team, winning without Alex Tuch. But here are three thoughts.
And FINALLY, it happens. Devon Levi breaks out with a phenomenal performance tonight. With 29 saves on 31 shots, he was lights out. And while the Sabres finally put together a good performance in front of him, the last two minutes were all Levi. He won them this game. Plain and simple. I hope this continues into the season.
Finally, Consistent Pressure
The Sabres are often an off-the-rush team, offense-wise. And I am not a fan of that type of chance generation. Just look at the Oilers for an example of what happens when your offense relies solely on the rush. So it is great to see Buffalo start to work guys in the corner and cycle a team to death. Casey Mittelstadt was especially amazing at this tonight. Just pure strength and will in the corner. A lot of Sabres, especially him, look like completely different players out there on the physical side. You love to see it.
Eriksson Ek Appreciation
Another highlight for an opposing team’s player. Joel Ericsson Ek is excellent. While I watched this game I couldn’t help but notice his effect on both sides of the ice. He is a tenacious and smart defender, who knows when to cover for his defensemen and when to go and check in the corner. Offensively, he is a ridiculously good forechecker. Eriksson Ek is constantly hounding the puck, and forces defensemen to make bad decisions with the puck. Not to mention he potted one tonight. I just had to give him some love, he’s a great and underrated player.
The Sabres are back at it tomorrow, in a showdown against Sidney Crosby and the Penguins. Go Sabres!