When Buffalo lost both Drury and Briere last off-season, most fantasy pundits expected the offensive numbers of the remaining Sabres to drop. Jason Pominville was a prime case, since it seemed like he relied on the star centers to get him the puck in quality scoring areas. Looking back, that was far from the truth.
Through March 2nd, Pominville is on pace for 25 goals and 74 points. While a repeat of 30 goals is a stretch, his assist numbers are up in a big way. He has been by far the most consistent Sabre offensively, as the other wingers seem to have hit a wall. Afinogenov has been a huge disappointment, and only recently has Vanek begun to pick up his offensive numbers. Pominville is an extremely talented forward and his playmaking is a new dimension this season. Many pegged him as a consistent 25-30-goal guy with similar assist numbers, but it now looks like he has the ability to be a consistent point-per-game guy in the NHL.
In other news…
On the subject of the Buffalo Sabres… newcomer Steve Bernier has looked fantastic. He provides something that their top forwards severely lack: physical play. Look for him to be a mainstay on one of the top two lines in Buffalo. He was a fun player to watch play in the QMJHL, and has significant (80+ points) offensive upside.
Vancouver prospect Cory Schneider has been lights out in the AHL after a rough start. Over the past 10 games, Schneider has posted six wins, along with a 2.10 goals against average, and a .924 save percentage. He is very fast in net and has big game experience from his days at Boston College. He is a guy to keep an eye on, especially if (or when) the Canucks move him. He is closer to the NHL than many think.
Congratulations must be given to Craig Anderson, who set an NHL record last night with his 53-save shutout performance against the Islanders. No goalie has recorded more saves in a shutout win since the NHL began recording it back in the mid 1950’s. The last goalie to stop 50 or more shots in a shutout was Glen Healy (I am as surprised as you are) in the early 1990’s.
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