Butler impressing early

Readers of the Buffalo News now know what followers of this space have known all along: Chris Butler is going to be a good one. The News' Bucky Gleason had nothing but nice things to say about the St. Louis native as he cruises through his first pro camp. Sabres' Butler catches on quickly to new team, city

Butler played his first professional game Tuesday night and looked like he had been with the Sabres for years. He played a quiet game that suited his style. He was solid in his own end, made smart decisions and effectively moved the puck. He played so well that Sabres coach Lindy Ruff barely noticed him in a 3-2 loss to the Montreal Canadiens.

“It’s always a good thing,” Ruff said. “Usually, a young defenseman gets noticed for a terrible giveaway or he gets beat. He showed a lot of composure. His positioning was sound. When you don’t notice a guy or you’re not worried about who you have him out there against, you’re pretty happy with the way things are going.”

Nathan Gerbe and South Buffalo native Tim Kennedy also played well against the Habs. Gerbe scored his first goal of the exhibition season when he nuked a slap shot into the top corner. Kennedy looked more comfortable as the game went along and was particularly effective on the penalty kill.

You know Gerbe and Kennedy. The book on Butler is as simple as his style. He’s not going to dazzle anyone with his speed or puck-handling, although he’s very good in both areas. He’s not going to overwhelm anyone physically, but he’s strong enough and plenty tough at 6-foot-1, 202 pounds. He’s also not one to make glaring mistakes.

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