BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) - You get a goal, you get a goal, everybody gets a goal! On Saturday evening the Buffalo Sabres prospects exploded, scoring seven goals and taking down the Boston Bruins prospects 7-4. Buffalo will take on the Pittsburgh Penguins prospects on Monday for the tournament championship.
Five observations from the Sabres win:
Guhle gonna Guhle
Is that Phil Housley? No, it's Brendan Guhle. He charges up the ice & connects on a perfect pass from CJ Smith to give the Sabres a 2-1 lead pic.twitter.com/B4Zocy8m8U— Matthew Bové (@Matt_Bove) September 10, 2017
Boy, can this kid fly. That was most evident in the second period as Guhle circled back in the Buffalo zone on a power play, took the puck up the wall and slung a pass cross ice to CJ Smith at the point. Rather than stopping and getting back to the blue line, Guhle flew to the net, tapping in a perfect pass from Smith to give the Sabres their second goal of the night.
With Guhle it's all about taking the calculated risks and making sure he doesn't get caught out of position. This will happen with his style of play, but limiting the mistakes is everything. For my money, he was the best Sabres defenseman on Saturday night and it really wasn't close.
After the game, he said he still is rusty but he had a much better game against the Bruins than he did on Friday against the New Jersey Devils.
Extra special teams
Just like the NHL team last year, the Sabres prospects displayed some pretty dynamic offense on the power play, adding a short handed goal as the cherry the top. Buffalo finished the night with *five* goals on the man advantage, generating almost all their offense with an extra skater on the ice. Buffalo only scored one even strength goal and that was an empty-netter.
Buffalo's first goal of the evening came on a cycle where Guhle took a shot from the point. The rebound bounced out in front and Hudson Fasching was able to tap in the easy goal. Fasching also added the empty netter at the end of the game.
The aforementioned second goal was the prettiest of the evening on the perfect give and go from Guhle and Smith.
Just a few minutes after their second goal Buffalo found themselves killing a penalty but a Bruins defender fell over, allowing an easy breakaway for Justin Bailey, who scored on a pretty backhand-forehand move.
In the third period Nick Baptiste, who is no stranger to the prospects tournament scored his first goal on the weekend on a slap shot from the wall.
Later in the period, Cliff Pu dished a perfect saucer pass to CJ Smith across the crease for another tap-in. With the man advantage, the Sabres were dominant.
Guhle joked in the locker room after the game that's easy to score goals when you spend the entire night on the power play.
Alex Nylander, the Sabres 2016 first overall pick will miss the remainder of the tournament with a lower body injury. The team said he is being held out for precautionary reasons.
For Nylander, this is a missed opportunity to show that his development has taken a step in the right direction. On Friday against the Devils, Nylander was lackluster for most of the game from what I saw on the live-stream. Full disclosure, I wasn't at HARBORCENTER on Friday evening.
Luckily for the Sabres highly touted prospect, he won't have to wait long to get back on the ice in front of Buffalo brass with training camp starting next week.
Big names show up
On Friday Pu scored the Sabres first goal and Colin Blackwell scored goals number two and three for Buffalo. Things were a lot different on Saturday.
If I were to ask you who you wanted to see have a nice weekend you would probably say the five previously mentioned power play goal scorers. All five have NHL experience and are prospects expected to spend some time with Sabres this year. The question for all five is how much time they'll spend with the big club. We'll likely have a better idea once the preseason has started and we approach Thursday, October, 5.
Let's get physical
We saw fights.....we saw big hits and we saw things get very, very chippy. After the game Baptiste, Pu and Guhle all addressed how physical things got and said that can happen when you put a bunch of players trying to make a statement on the ice at the same time.