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The Sabres Observer

Rodrigues Scores Two And Lehner Shuts Out Leafs

Jack Eichel has called Evan Rodrigues one of the smartest players he's ever played with. Boston University coach David Quinn has said that Rodrigues is one of the smartest college hockey players he's ever coached.

You get the idea.

Eichel's linemate at BU is making it difficult for the Sabres to send the intelligent but undrafted rookie forward down to Rochester. It's still likely he'll end up there, but his 2-goal performance in last night's 4-0 Sabres win over Toronto further increased his chances of getting at least a taste of the NHL at some point this season.

Rodrigues looks like someone who is going to score a lot of points in Rochester, and perhaps a few in Buffalo.

Quick hits:

- A shutout was just what the doctor ordered for Robin Lehner, who wasn't super busy but did stop all 26 shots he faced in 60 minutes. It was his best performance of the preseason by a mile.

- As long as he doesn't have a concussion, the wicked hit on Brendan Guhle by Dion Phaneuf is one of the best things that could have happened to the young defenseman. Guhle is a talented player but perhaps needed a lesson on being more aware of his surroundings. Might as well learn from one of the hardest hitters in the league, and you can bet the youngster will know better going forward.

- He got some praise for jumping right in there in his first game and leading all players in ice time (23:32), but I thought Rasmus Ristolainen looked a tad rusty. But a just-a-little-off Ristolainen is still a pretty good hockey player. A big question for the 2015-16 Sabres: To how high a level can the 2013 eighth-overall draft pick raise his game? 

- Did any of the local mainstream writers, who mocked us a few months ago for calling Eichel "generational", mention that his acceleration into fifth gear on his goal last night occurred while being defended by a forward (Colin Brown), or have they finally learned their lesson?

- Speaking of Eichel, he could have and should have been called for tripping before he took a pass from Nic Deslauriers and shot out of the Buffalo zone like a cannon on the way to his shorthanded breakaway goal. Is he already getting the superstar benefit-of-the-doubt treatment from the refs? That's a serious question -- having a superstar in this city feels like a new experience.

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Filed in: | The Sabres Observer | Permalink
  Tags: evan+rodrigues, robin+lehner, sabres+leafs


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About The Sabres Observer

Dave Davis has covered the Buffalo Sabres for various NHL accredited websites and newspapers since 2003.  He was the senior writer and Sabres correspondent for The Fourth Period, covered hockey for Western New York Sports and Leisure Magazine, and has had articles featured on NHL.com, FOX Sports, Yahoo Sports and in New York Sportscene.  Sabres news and notes can be found on his Twitter page.

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Email: dd@kuklaskorner.com Twitter: [@DaveDavisHockey]