The mere return of Ted Nolan and Pat LaFontaine gave suffering Buffalo Sabres fans something to cheer about on Friday. Even better, the Sabres didn’t just compete against the Toronto Maple Leafs, they managed a 3-1 win.
Trevor Smith was the only Maple Leafs player who could beat Ryan Miller tonight, as the American-born netminder stopped 32 out of 33 shots. Steve Ott seems like the exact type of guy who would flourish under a coach who loves hard-working players, so it’s no surprise that he had a strong night (one goal, one assist in 19:37 time on ice).
Maybe some will argue that there’s a placebo effect at work, but the bottom line is that plenty of observers seemed a little more positive about the Sabres, at least for one night.
Nolan and LaFontaine have a lot of work to do, but at least they’re off to a strong start.
When it comes to point streaks for U.S.-born NHL players, Patrick Kane now stands alone.
With a power-play goal early in Saturday’s Blackhawks – Kings game, Kane extended his streak to 19 games, breaking a tie with Phil Kessel and Eddie Olczyk (who finished with at least a point in 18 straight).
As of this writing, Kane has 11 goals and 19 assists during this 19-game streak. He also leads the NHL in scoring.
Bobby Hull’s 21-game point streak stands as the Chicago Blackhawks’ overall team record, by the way.
Kane also tied Denis Savard (1985-86) for second-longest streak in Chicago history. Bobby Hull had a 21-game streak.