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01 October 2007

Sabres Finish Pre-Season Strong

The Sabres finished the NHL Pre-season proving two things. One, they can still score even without Briere and Drury and two, Derek Roy appears ready to step in and fill the #1 center shoes for this team.

The Sabres opened the final week of the Pre-season by beating up the Maple Leafs 7-2 in Toronto. The Line of Drew Stafford, Roy and Thomas Vanek totally dominated the Leafs and Roy recorded 6 points. The Sabres followed that impressive victory with equally an equally impressive sweep of a home and home series with the Pittsburgh Penguins. In game one Roy continued his impressive play and led the Sabres to a 6-5 victory. In the final game the Sabres, led by Connolly and Roy, rallied to a 4-3 victory.

News and Notes

- Derek Roy led the NHL in Pre-season scoring and it appears that he will center a line with Drew Stafford and Thomas Vanek to start the season.

- with Teppo Numminen out at least 3 months with heart troubles I expect Mark Mancari to fill the role of 13th foward/ 7th defenseman for short term injuries. if a defenseman goes out longer expect to see Andrei Sekera called up.

- The most interesting training camp battle appears to be a four-way battle for playing time among Clark Macarthur, Mike Ryan, Mark Mancari and Marek Zagrapan. all three were very good in preseason with Zagrapan appearing to be the best. That being said I expect MacArthur and Mancari to start in Buffalo with Zagrapan coming up quickly if either falters. Though I think the Sabres like Ryan, I think he gets lost in a numbers game. he will be on an NHL roster somewhere this season though.

- Jocelyn Thibault, the Sabres only free agent acquisition in the off-season has not looked sharp int he preseason. It will be interesting if it is just an adjustment period or if Thibault has lost a bit.

- It appears Jochen Hecht will recieve the kiss of Sabres captaincy to start the season. This means he has approximately one-two years remaining in his Sabres career. Seriously, though, I would prefer that the team name Paul Gaustad as the captain, but Ruff has a good track record of finding the right guys.

- It appears the Sabres will be fully healthy going into the start of the season.

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