The product the Sabres have been putting on the ice hasn’t been as exciting as the boardroom negotiations that may or not be going on — but that pretty much changed this past weekend.
A 5-0 win over Columbus and a 1-0 shootout win in Ottawa are what you probably should expect from a good team coming off a five-day break. This year’s team, as we know, has done a lot of things we didn’t expect this year, in a bad way. So what happened?
Ryan Miller got healthy and resembles the guy who won the Vezina last season. Tyler Myers seems to have figured things out and has been good since being paired with Andrej Sekera.
Tyler Ennis may have broken out and he looks like some strange hybrid of Briere, Afinogenov and Mike Seaver. And Thomas Vanek has reclaimed the title of “Atlas” although he should still shoot the puck more.
Yeah, that’s more like it.
The big question when the Sabres get on a roll always seems to be about whether they can sustain that momentum. Keeping up the intensity can start with one player. And if Patrick Kaleta is in the lineup then there’s a good chance they’ll keep playing well.
Kaleta has evolved. Not in a dinosaur or Pokemon way but he went from a borderline fourth-liner to a reliable penalty killer in the minors to an agitator who turtled to a player who will take runs at guys and now seems willing to throw down with anyone. In the last four games, he’s traded hay makers with Luke Schenn and Derek Dorsett. We’re not used to seeing that so maybe Kaleta has finally learned how to fight.
They take on a Bruins team tonight that’s a mild 5-3-2 in their last 10 games and 5-2-0 in their last seven games against the Sabres. So there’s that.