Game 9: Vanek and Pominville Continue To Tear The NHL a New One

The Sabres won their first home game of the season, beating the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-2 on the strength of the brilliant play of Jhonas Enroth, Thomas Vanek, Jason Pominville, Brad Boyes, and Pat Kaleta.

The first period saw Buffalo take a 1-0 lead. Brad Boyes scored a goal for the second straight game, thanks to some great passing by Vanek and Pominville on the power play. There were a couple of fights in the period that got the crowd going. Cody Bass tried taking on Pat Kaleta and Cody McCormick and failed miserably, getting his face caved-in both times. The Kaleta-Bass bout stemmed from an early altercation where Bass was trying to get Kaleta to fight him, but he wasn’t having any part in that. Both of them ended up getting roughing penalties on the play. The Leino-Roy-Stafford line generated a lot of chances in the period, which was nice to see after their horrible night against the Lightning last game.  For what seemed like a fairly tight defensive effort from both teams, it was surprising to see that both teams combined for 30 shots. Enroth made a few really nice saves in the period.

In the second,  Buffalo added another goal to take a 2-0 lead, courtesy of a Vanek slap-shot that Pominville put into the net on the rebound. Both Vanek and Pominville continue to rack up the points.  Columbus would cut the lead in half though. Vinny Prospal scored to make it 2-1 Buffalo after Christian Ehrhoff made a horrible pass on an odd-man rush that sent Propal on his way and Marc-Andre Gragnani finished off the calamity by overcommitting on the play, allowing Prospal to get by him. Columbus tightened up their game on defense in the 2nd, only giving up six shots on goal. Buffalo meanwhile, played fast and loose, giving up 16 shots and forcing Enroth to make some really hard saves.

Buffalo would turn things up a bit in the 3rd after an initially slow start to the period. Columbus actually tied up the game, 2-2 after Pominville accidently gave Tyutin the puck after a great back-check. Enroth made a mistake by coming out to attempt the poke check instead of staying in the net and that was all she wrote in that sequence. Shortly after that, Pat Kaleta broke out the “dice-roll” for the first time this season and put a back-hand shot in the net off of a rebound after not drawing a blatant penalty that was committed against him to give the Sabres the lead back. The final goal of the game was the result of a tremendous play by Thomas Vanek behind the Columbus goal during a Sabres power play. After getting tripped up behind the net, Vanek popped right back-up, outworked a defender and fed Pominville a great pass to make it 4-2. Not much happened in the period other than the goals. Enroth made a few more nice saves and Andrej Sekera got a penalty for body-checking…err boarding. Buffalo fortunately cleaned up somethings on defense a bit and held the Blue Jackets to ten shots on goal.

Now for my quick hits:

-I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. You could put anyone between Vanek and Pominville and I still think they will produce. The Sabres have two of the best wingers in the entire league on their team right now.

-I think the Sabres have a solid back-up goalie. Just a hunch. Enroth was fantastic, making 41 saves on 43 shots.

-Safe to say that the Sabres have two solid lines: Vanek-Adam-Pominville, and Gerbe-Gaustad-Kaleta. Now, it’s a matter of rounding out two more lines.

-Ho-hum, Regehr was a rock on defense yet again. He destroyed Prospal tonight with a couple of hits.

-Sekera made an uncharacteristic three trips to the penalty box. Can’t say that I agree with the cross-checking and boarding penalties he received.  He was a little off, understandably so because of the penalties being called against him, but I still thought he played a solid game overall.

-Ehrhoff made a boneheaded play to give Prospal a scoring opportunity that he capitalized on, but other than that, he looked good.

-Ville Leino was back on a milk carton again after being briefly found in the first period.

-Brad Boyes has mucked it up his last two games and it’s resulted in two goals. Keep doing that please. Putting him on the PP was a nice move by Lindy.

-Tyler Myers was better than he was last game, but he still stunk. His passes need to be better and his d-zone coverage was off.

-I feel like a broken-record here, but it’s time to pull Gragnani. He’s had nine games to do something and has done almost nothing. Weber’s a young defenseman who needs reps too. It’s not like Lindy has a vet sitting in the press box as the 7th defenseman.

Scoring Summary:

Buffalo– Boyes PPG (Vanek, Pominville), Pominville (Vanek, Adam), Kaleta (Gerbe, Ehrhoff),  Pominville PPG (Vanek, Boyes)

Columbus– Prospal (Vermette, Umberger), Tyutin (Pahlsson, Wisniewski)

Power Play: 

Buffalo: 2 for 3

Columbus: 0 for 6

Scoring Per Period




Buffalo 1 1 2
Columbus 0 1 1
Shots On Goal





Buffalo 13 6 7 26
Columbus 17 16 10 43
Team Stats




Faceoffs Won


Buffalo 14 7 6 44 24
Columbus 10 5 5 38 18

 Game Scoresheet





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: