Sabres Take Down Marlies
The Buffalo Sabres remained perfect with a 3-2 victory Saturday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Sabres swept a weekend home and home series against the Leafs on the strength of two one goal victories. Pretty much playing their expected opening night lineup, the Sabres managed to capitalize with the man advantage scoring all their goals while on the power play. The Leafs iced a heavy AHL team, and were certainly overmatched on this night. Considering the quality of the two teams the Leafs still managed to be in this game until the final whistle.
Jonas Gustavsson still had some problems positionally on the night, but he managed to keep the Leafs in the game. Chances are with his performance tonight "The Monster" has secured himself the backup spot with the Buds. Keith Aulie and Mike Komisarek once again had off nights. With AHL regulars Juraj Mikus and Matt Lashoff playing as well tonight, the Leafs were exposed by the veteran Sabres whenever Luke Schenn and surprising first year pro Jake Gardiner weren't on the ice. Aulie and Komisarek will undeniably be on the roster come October, while Gardiner will most definitely be playing with the Marlies. However, should Aulie continue to struggle Leaf fans may see "Jake the Snake" back with the big club earlier than expected.
Matt Frattin (also fighting for a spot) did the dirty work that led to both of Mikhail Grabovski's goals on the night. Frattin had a good night, while Nazem Kadri struggled on a line with Colby Armstrong and Darryl Boyce. Keep in mind this was the Leafs fifth game in six nights. This was Kadri's fourth game, and he seemed to be a little out of gas tonight. I still would like to see Kadri start the season with the Leafs over Frattin.
Drew Stafford, Christian Ehroff and Luke Adam were the Sabres goal scorers on the night.
Men of the Match
Leafs: Mikhail Grabovski - Having potted both goals for the Leafs tonight, Grabo's engine was running all night. Darting all over the place and backing the defense off with his speed, Grabovski looks to be picking right where he left off last year.
Sabres: Tyler Myers - The towering blueliner was a force in his own end, his reach was a factor all night in keeping the Leafs forwards to the outside. He also set up Ehroff on the power play for the Sabres second goal of the night. Myers needs to play a big role (literally) if the Sabres are to succeed this season.
The Leafs head to Ottawa to face the Senators Tuesday night at 7:30.