1/23 Recap: Another Hump Day Humdinger at the BCA; Stamkos Watch Officially Underway

These Buffalo winters are getting ridiculous. I passed five zambonis on the I-90 today on my way home from work. To top it off, the Sabres and Amerks are playing less-than-savory hockey these days. In 20 years when these guys come back to play an alumni game, I'm putting my bucks on the Fire Department. Enough already. Let's keep this about the kids. They're innocent, and they're the future. Paul Byron scored his 21st goal of the season tonight in Gatineau's 4-1 loss to Halifax. Watching a bulk of Byron's games of late, I've been impressed by what I've seen from the smallish center. The Ottawa native possesses excellent speed, great hands, and despite his thin frame, will do the little things like block shots and fly into the corners on most every shift. Of course, Byron was drafted for his scoring ability. Tonight's goal came on the power play, but it was just his third of the year with the "Beninati manpower advantage". Translation: Byron has scored 18 even-strength goals in 32 games. That's an impressive stat, and might change my opinion that his point output will have to rival his weight (145) in order for him to be signed. J.S. Allard is heating up again, picking up assists on both St. John's goals in their 2-1 win over Moncton. The teams leading point getter, Allard posted two assists in each game of the back-to-back set with the Wildcats. T.J. Brennan, back to wearing an "A" after donning a "C" last night, picked up a power play assist of his own on the first Foggies' goal. Now for the depression. The Rochester Americans dropped their sixth consecutive game, and 22nd of their last 24, with a 4-1 loss to Quad City. Mark Mancari and Dylan Hunter assisted on the lone Amerks goal while Marc-Andre Gragnani's even rating makes it ten of his last eleven games as an even or plus player. Things are pretty bad when you're only celebrating assists and plus/minus ratings on the top farm club. Brutal. I'll speak for all Sabres fans when saying, "We'll take what we can get." The rest: Weber -1 Sekera -1 Funk even Marek Zagrapan returned from the flu yesterday, but obviously wasn't 100% as he sat this one out to recover fully. Adam Dennis made 25 saves in the loss. Of the three shots that got past him (QC scored an empty netter), one came on the power play and another was on a penalty shot in the final minutes after he threw his stick on his way to gaining the extra attacker. For a great read on the pathetic situation in Rochester, I implore you all to check out Kevin O's blog here. *** Needless to say, the CHL Top Prospects Game played tonight in front of over 13,000 fans in Calgary takes on a whole new meaning for Sabres fans this season. In a year heavy with high-end defensive prospects, the White Team defeated the Red in a surprisingly high scoring contest, 8-4. I listened to most of the game and will address these prospects closer to the draft, but I will say that that the clock you see counting down is officially being titled the Stamkos Watch. Lethbridge's Zach Boychuk demonstrated some flash with a goal and two assists, but Steven Stamkos is the complete package. Tonight's performance was a great example of what the Sabres are lacking. The Red Team's Player of the Game threw some hits, got into a fight, and scored a goal. In 37 games this season for Sarnia, the 6'1 center has scored 32 goals and 61 points while amassing 50 minutes in the box. Noticeably missing tonight was Everett forward Kyle Beach, a piercing blend of talent and aggression who would certainly be of interest to Sabres fans. Click here for TSN's game write-up.
Previous
Next Post »