Preseason Fun

By Chris

I’m only going to the Sabres game tonight because of the word “tweet.” That little codeword knocks ticket prices in the 200 level down to $20, so it was too good a deal to pass up.

My apologies to the pregame red carpet festivities hosted by Kevin Sylvester and Maria Genero — I really don’t care about that stuff.

But since I’ll be there, you’ll be reading the season’s first “View From the Roost” post sometime tomorrow.

Here’s tonight’s lineup for the Sabres:

FORWARDS:
Clarke MacArthur – Derek Roy – Drew Stafford
Jochen Hecht – Paul Gaustad – Mike Grier
Philip Gogulla – Tim Kennedy – Jason Pominville
Cody McCormick – Matt Ellis – Jeff Cowan

DEFENSE:
Chris Butler – Tyler Myers
Toni Lydman – Henrik Tallinder
Nathan Paetsch – Steve Montador

GOALIES:
Ryan Miller
Jhonas Enroth

You can be sure I’ll be paying extra attention to Tyler Myers.

Myers, Kennedy and Butler are the only Sabres who have played in all four preseason games so far. It’s obvious that the front office wants to see as much of Myers and Kennedy as possible before making any decisions on them as both could contribute at the NHL-level this season.

Lindy Ruff said today that he believes Myers is ready for the NHL. However, the team is deep with NHL defensemen (trading Tallinder and/or Paetsch is apparently harder than you initially thought, eh Darcy?) and there are concerns over whether or not Myers can handle a full season at the highest professional level.

Mirtle has a good take on players leaving juniors early for the NHL:

There are a ton of players and teams in this spot this season, as Canadian junior players drafted in the past two years can’t play in the AHL and are in an either/or spot of the NHL or back to junior. High profile players in this situation include Alex Pietrangelo in St. Louis, Cody Hodgson in Vancouver, Tyler Myers in Buffalo, Evander Kane in Atlanta, Duchene in Colorado and many, many others who’ve yet to be sent down.

Unless they’re ready to step in and make a major difference on a playoff team, I’d send them all down, especially considering the huge contracts young restricted free agents are signing at 21 and 22 these days.

It’s a debate that will rage on throughout the rest of camp and seeing Myers play tonight will help me form a better opinion on the “stay or go” issue.

Unfortunately Phil Kessel will not be in a Leafs uniform tonight, but Jason Blake, Luke Schenn and Vesa Toskala will.

Even though these games pretty much mean jack squat, it’s nice to finally have hockey back, isn’t it?