Quick Hits: Sabres vs. Jets / vs. Flyers

What a shot – by both Gionta and the photographer.

Buffalo’s big comeback win on Saturday afternoon showed us the type of team this Sabres squad can be. We saw the fire light inside this team that pushed them through a 2-goal deficit to a 3-goal third period. These kind of games are new for this Sabres team but something that we could definitely get used to.

Things started off on the wrong foot for the Sabres on Tuesday, when it was announced that Robin Lehner had come down with the flu. Anders Nilsson got the start and Linus Ullmark was recalled to backup Nilsson. Somebody learned how to putt – except score goals and that was the Sabres. Buffalo showed up ready to fire and they crushed Philadelphia.

Buffalo hits the road following tonight’s game for a brief two-game, two-city road trip starting in Tampa. The Sabres will take on the struggling Lightning at Amalie Arena on Thursday night. Puck is scheduled to drop shortly after 7:30 PM and the game will be broadcast locally.

Quick hits, exit now.

quick hits banner
    • Jake McCabe

Goodness, what a clean hit that was. Shades of Brian Campbell on RJ Umberger many moons ago. With hindsight being 20/20, we now know that Patrick Laine suffered a concussion on the play, which seemed pretty obvious at the time of the hit.

Jake McCabe also suffered a pretty gruesome sliced up face, likely thanks to his visor.

McCabe’s face was pretty busted up post-game, with a few stitches to help seal up the wound, but Patrik Laine suffered a concussion. Clean hit or not, it is never good when a hockey player suffers a concussion. We wish Laine the best in his recovery.

McCabe’s continued progression from being just a possession defenseman to being someone who is a possession defenseman but is difficult to play against continues to be one of this season’s top headlines. This development is not only big for McCabe but it is big for the Sabres top-six as a whole.

    • 100 for Eichel.

celebrate jack eichel times, c’mon!

It might feel hard to believe but Tuesday night’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers goes in the book as Jack Eichel’s 100th career NHL game.

Per Sabres PR Department – through 99 games, according to Elias Sports Bureau, Jack Eichel ranks top 15 in franchise history in goals (32 – 12th), assists (38 – 13th) and points (70 – 15th). Also, among all players with at least 100 games played with the franchise, Eichel would already rank pretty high in all three categories – 22nd in goals per game, 36th in assists per game and 27th in points per game.

Jack Eichel celebrated his 100th career with 0 points and 2 shots on goal, but he had some magnificent chances throughout.

Can we just take a minute and ponder – where would the Buffalo Sabres be without Jack Eichel right now? I know he doesn’t want to be seen as the savior of the franchise because it is a team effort and all that but the Sabres would be in dire straits without Eichel.

Eichel bust is no bust – he the real (and maybe the next captain). We are so #blessed.

    • All-Star Okposo.

For the first time in his 10 year National Hockey League career, Kyle Okposo is an All-Star.

Okposo will go to Los Angeles later this month as Buffalo’s only (current) All-Star selection, and rightfully so. Okposo currently leads Buffalo in goals (12) and points (27).

The Sabres PR Department has provided us with some good stats here – “Kyle Okposo has scored 13.8 percent of Buffalo’s goals through the first 39 games of the season. Only Gilbert Perreault, Rick Martin and Pat Lafontaine had higher percentages of their teams’ goals in their first season with the Sabres.”

In case you were still wondering, yes – Kyle Okposo is good and yes – he is worth the money.

    • Standings Update

Per SportsClubStats.com, the Buffalo Sabres (5 points out of a playoff spot) have a 14.1% chance of making the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

    • Down on the Farm

A groin injury has really turned Fasching’s first full professional season almost into a lost season. Fasching played in 6 NHL games this season (0 points, 0 assists) before originally hurting his groin on 10/30 vs. Winnipeg.

Fasching missed 4 games and was returned to Rochester (AHL) on 11/9, upon his clean bill of health.

In Rochester, Fasching played 2 games (1 goal) before he re-aggravated his groin injury. Two months later, Fasching returns to Americans’ lineup on Wednesday against the Hartford Wolf Pack in Rochester.

Being healthy in Rochester will surely allow Fasching’s game to develop further. A recall to Buffalo is not out of the picture, but some positive development would be important for Fasching at this point.

    • Tweets of Game

Written by Ryan Wolfe

Ryan Wolfe is the founder and editor-in-chief of BLTD Sports. He can be heard on the BLTD Podcast. Ryan's writing is also featured over at TheHockeyWriters.com.

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