Buffalo Sabres sniper Jason Pominville will be logging on to Sabres.com and give his insight into the Sabres throughout the 2007-08 season. The sharp-shooting 25-year-old set career highs last season in games played (82), goals (34), assists (34), points (68) and plus/minus rating (plus-25).
We are almost done with the preliminary round at the IIHF World Championships and Tuesday we take on Derek Roy and Team Canada.
I think we’re both looking forward to it.
It’s a big game for both teams and hopefully we can get the best out of it. We know it’s going to be tough and they have a lot of guys that can score goals so we’ll just have to make sure we are ready for it.
With that in mind, it’s going to be a little weird to play Derek. I’ve seen him around, but we haven’t really talked about going against each other.
Obviously, we’ve built friendships and he’s a friend of mine- we’ve played together for quite some time now- but once you hit the ice, both of us want to win and will do what it takes to help our team.
From what I’ve seen from him so far in the tournament, I think Derek’s role has been a little different for Canada than it is in Buffalo. I know he’s played the penalty kill and I’m not sure if he’s on the power play at all but he’s a guy that - just from being around him - I know he can make things happen out there.
He can make plays, score goals and he is good in all areas. Hopefully we can just limit his opportunities.
Like I said, I’ve tried to watch him and Canada play a little bit, but I haven’t seen enough to say that I’ve watched a whole game of theirs.
They usually play in the late afternoon and we play the same day right around 8 p.m. so it’s tough to watch it all.
We’ve just played a lot of European teams so it will be interesting to face another North American opponent.
Obviously when they play in Europe, their ice surface is much bigger. Also, our team has only been together for about a week and a half, two weeks now and these guys have been preparing for a month or a month and a half. Their team play is good and I’ve been impressed.
Their fans are great as well.
We played Latvia in the first game and you should have seen the Latvian fans that were there. We beat them 4-0 and they supported them all the way. It was fun to see.
The whole experience in general has been really interesting, especially getting to know a new team.
At first it was a different atmosphere and you try to get along with a few guys. But once you open up and play a little bit, it’s a pretty easy fit.
At the start I was kind of worried about it. I didn’t really know who they were and nobody really knew me. But as the camp went along you got to know everyone and I think I fit in with really anybody there.
Obviously having Drew Stafford on the team with me helps too. If we need anything we can ask each other and we do.
I also roomed with Patrick Kane and he’s kind of in the same boat as I am. He didn’t really know any of the guys either.
We were rooming together in training camp for about a week and once the tournament started, family and friends were allowed to come down and we all got our own rooms. But it was fun to be with a Buffalo guy that’s for sure.
Tuesday’s game should be fun as well.
Our team so far has been really good on special teams. Our power play won us the first game against Latvia, scoring four power play goals.
Our second game was kind of the same way.
We started off scoring three power play goals and won against Slovakia 5-1, so we finally scored two even strength goals. I think, as a team, if we want to move on and be a better team we will have to find ways to be better five-on-five, especially against the big teams like Canada.
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