Although the most recent game against the Tampa Bay Lightning was a disappointment, winning three out of four away games to start a season is nothing to be ashamed of.
The Sabres sit at 5-2 on the year, only a point behind division rival Toronto Maple Leafs,who are riding a scorching Phil Kessel through their searing run to start the campaign.
As everyone was aware, there was a lot of hype to the team at the start of the year. So, what's gone right so far?
I don't mean to say "I told you so", but I have said numerous times that Derek Roy sucks points away from Thomas Vanek.
Well, right now Vanek is enjoying a scorching run of form, mirrored by teammate Jason Pominville. Vanek and Pominville have combined for eight goals already this year—with seven of those eight strikes featuring an assist from the other.
These two are playing like true team captains. They're leading the team in the right way, and it's a great thing for all Buffalo fans to see.
After a great rookie campaign, Myers' sophomore slump throughout 2010-11 appears to have continued into this season.
His skating looks subpar, he's repeatedly left Robyn Regehr hanging out to dry with his ill-advised decision-making, and he simply isn't performing the tasks required of an NHL defenseman.
It's been an overriding sense of disappointment thus far for Myers, but it's early on, so there's a good chance he catches fire and remedies this sputtering spell.
Right now the Sabres have relied rather heavily on first line production, which has been sensational. It's held them in there a lot. And they're winning doing that.
Which is, in a way, a testament to what kind of team the Sabres are at this nascent part of the season.
Even with the other lines struggling, the Sabres are winning games while showing the mettle it takes to be a contender in the league. If all the lines catch fire, the NHL better watch out.
Until then, the Sabres are going to continue to grind wins out with the other lines producing, but not quite at the expected rate.
With Derek Roy on the second line, I expected him to be producing with easier match ups. However, Roy hasn't done anything in that respect. The other two lines have been equally as lifeless behind Roy's.
Ville Leino and Brad Boyes are both looking like they could be dead weight in contract (Leino gets more time to prove himself. Boyes, not so much).
There's a lot of depth in these lines. It's scary to see with Luke Adam centering the first line how much better the rest of the lineup gets center wise. While it's not the top center I wanted, but it's working just as well.
With 18 goals on the season, eight of those have come from Thomas Vanek or Jason Pominville. Luke Adam makes it 11 goals for the first line. That's just too much pressure on one line, and it was proven against Tampa Bay.
The Sabres need these lines to step up soon, because they can't keep up with the winning all season this way.
Whichever goalie it is, Sabres fans have good reason to feel confident.
They are both playing fantastic hockey in 2011-12. It's great to see that you can hold confidence in the first two goalies, because Ryan Miller took a beating last year and it wore him down to the point of injury.
The Sabres did the right thing over the offseason letting Lalime go, and it's going to pay dividends when Enroth can take some of the workload off Miller and still give the team a chance to win against anyone.
I'd say about a 20-25 game cut is what Enroth will end up getting barring injury, which will give Miller a lot more rests than last year when he played 66 regular season games, many of them with an injury of some sort (especially in the stretch).
Expect great things with great goaltending.
The Sabres always seem to have a theme.
Start fast, end slow. Last time the Sabres got off to a very fast start (President's Cup year), they famously faltered in the playoffs.
Last year the Sabres would nab leads after strong starts to games only to sit on the lead too much, a tactic which cost them numerous games.
The Sabres can't afford to do that this season—they need to have a kill shot mentality. They can't afford to relax with a lead.
Rather, they need to bury their opponents with a vengeance, put pressure on, and of course finish in the playoffs.
He's a great influence on the team. Even if he isn't the Mark Cuban of the NHL, it's still great to know that your owner cares so much about the team.
With a personality like Pegula backing the team, it not only bolsters the players' confidence, but that of the city's as well.
Overall, Pegula has instilled an atmosphere in the Sabres where they expect to win. It doesn't pressure them, it just makes the team hold themselves accountable for their shortcomings, demanding excellence on a regular basis.
The Sabres have a lot to be happy about this year, and they have time to grow out of shortcomings that should seem temporary.
So here's to what should be a great 75 remaining games in 2011-12.