It’s easy to overrate a win in an 82-game season, but it seems clear that the Buffalo Sabres’ regime change represents a breathe of fresh air for their players.
Christian Ehrhoff raved about the team’s raised spirits following a 3-1 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
“It definitely felt like a different team,” Ehrhoff said. “Everyone was going, everyone was competing.”
Both Steve Ott and Marcus Foligno seemed delighted about having a fresh start/clean slate. Ryan Miller seemed pleased about the team’s “good energy” after making 32 out of 33 saves.
Troubled defenseman Tyler Myers seemed downright giddy, as the Buffalo News’ John Vogl reports.
“I love the way we came out in our first game with the big changes,” Myers said. “It was definitely our most fun game to play.”
Not surprisingly, it was an emotional night for Ted Nolan, who began his second tour with Buffalo.
(In case you’re wondering, Nolan’s second most recent coaching win with Buffalo happened on May 9, 1997.)
They’re just one game into their regular season, but the Buffalo Sabres have already had to shift things around in their crease.
The Sabres announced that they have placed starting goaltender Robin Lehner on injured reserve after he was knocked out of Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury.
In a corresponding move, the club has recalled Nathan Lieuwen from their AHL affiliate in Rochester.
The 24-year-old didn’t play in the NHL last season, but he did have a 1-4-0 record with a 2.98 goals-against-average and a .906 save percentage in seven games during the 2013-14 season.
Lieuwen was Buffalo’s sixth round pick, 167th overall, in the 2011 draft.
The Sabres also announced that they have loaned defenseman Jake McCabe and goaltender Linus Ullmark to the Rochester Americans (AHL).
McCabe was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game against Ottawa, while Ullmark is being activated off I.R. after having double hip surgery during the off-season.
It looks like the Boston Bruins will be without their captain again on Saturday night.
Head coach Claude Julien told members of the media that Zdeno Chara is considered doubtful for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.
Chara suffered an upper-body injury during the preseason and he’s already been forced to miss Boston’s season opening loss to the Jets.
Per CSN, Chara says he’s improving but he won’t return to the lineup until he’s as close to 100 percent as possible.
“Every area of the injury is improving,” said Chara. “Hopefully it’s not long before I’m free of any kind of discomfort. That’s what we’re doing right now…we’re being patient. For sure you don’t want to come back, and be half of what you are…and basically hurting yourself and the team. And you’re putting yourself in a position where you could be missing more time. At this time of the season, I think it’s important to be as close as you can be to 100 percent.”
Based on the number of defensive mistakes they committed on Thursday, the Bruins need Chara back as soon as possible: