It was all going so well.
After a 3-7-0 start the Sabres managed to get to the .500 mark far quicker than many had expected. A run of five wins in six games had them at 8-8-0 with still four to go before the quarter mark.
Unfortunately the offense dried up, special teams became a concern, and now an 0-3-2 streak with only five goals scored against teams from the Western Conference has them at 8-11-2 amidst a trio of games this week at First Niagara Center.
The absence of Zemgus Girgensons for the past four, and Mark Pysyk for the past three were significant. Neither have dazzled offensively from their respective positions this year, but their presence and non-traditional stats certainly paint a different story.
Coach Dan Bylsma acknowledged the quality of competition that Girgensons specifically has been tasked with taking on, which during their winning ways helped create better matchups for the likes of Ryan O’Reilly and Jack Eichel.
Their return to good health in a timely manner should be worthy of great thanks by Sabres fans this week.
The biggest takeaway for me from the Monday nighter versus the Blues was that all four lines managed to generate some excellent chances.
Ifs and posts, and crossbars and misses, all leave us wanting just a month before Christmas,
But to be home for this week, with giving at the fore, there may soon be an abundance of RJ’s “He scoooooooooooooores!!!!"
Beyond Blue and Gold: - Eichel and The Moulsons debuted this month:
And when I asked Eichel this week if he had any feedback about it, he lit right up.
“We sat on the couch for an hour answering questions, and none of it was used! That stuff was the best part,” he said while about to dart from the locker room for the showers.
But then he peered back from behind the black curtain and hinted: “Maybe it’s best you didn’t show more. Might have seen me in some bad Xbox moments!”
Well, good news Jack.
From the cutting room floor - Extended scene: Jack & Matt on the Couch.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the room, the locker room that is, one Sabres defenseman believes that Mark Pysyk is a lot like Lloyd Christmas of "Dumb and Dumber" fame.
|(Photo Credit: Bill Wippert) |
Check back in a couple weeks to see if Pysyk can name his “accuser”, and if retaliation is in the offing.
LIFE ON THE ROAD
It may be hard to top this recent St. Louis/Dallas trip from a cultural standpoint.
First stop, the legendary BB's Jazz, Blues and Soup not far from all the bright, commercial lights of Ballpark Village, but thankfully worlds apart in history and character.
This was one of the literally hundreds of artifacts that adorned the walls:
A far more recently constructed four-piece graced the stage...
The Alley Tones' sound was perfect. The food, drinks and ambiance were everything you could want.
We just forgot to order the soup!
One night later, following the first terrific back and forth affair between the Sabres and Blues, a little ClusterPluck awaited at the Broadway Oyster Bar.
More bluegrass than the blues we witnessed a night earlier, but really crowd friendly!
Here’s their incredibly accurate bio.
After that show, a little late night diner action with Sabres.com writer Jourdon LaBarber and videographer Allen Leight and the selfie king himself, former Sabres netminder Martin Biron, who filled in for Brad May that night on our MSG telecast.
But when it came time for the bill...
Nah, ever the pro, Marty picked up the tab. Merci, Martin. It was a pleasure having you on the road with us - if only for one night!
We soldiered on to Dallas sans Marty, but somehow managed to find another memorable venue populated by hundreds of music fans of all ages. The venue’s website billed the Friday night headliner this way.
Previously unknown to Jourdon, Allen and me, JD McPherson instantly had our attention.
And if you only click on one link in this offering MAKE SURE IT’S THIS ONE:
The world would be a better place if every security guard, and every employee for that matter, was this happy at work!
Let the good times roll indeed!!!
IN THE COMMUNITY
The time is now to help support the Food Bank of WNY and members of this community. The Sabres Fan Food Drive is on at First Niagara Center, and your generosity is greatly appreciated!
And Tuesday morning was just another example of that generosity. The “Turkeys for Tickets Drive” presented by Tops Friendly Markets, Entercom Buffalo, and the Sabres netted more than 20,000 pounds of turkey – that’s from over 1,300 donations.
All of the donated turkeys will directly benefit the Buffalo City Mission and the Food Bank of Western New York.
#DUFFALO THREE STARS
For the period ending November 24, 2015
1.D’Avolio Kitchen - What a great addition to downtown!
2. J.P.'s Pub - Fine folks running this Southtowns staple!
3.@BogosianZach - The man is dominating Movember. Please support him!