First Sabres Preseason Observations

by Kevin Sylvester, Buffalo Sports Page

I ventured down to the downtown arena (I knew the way so not much of a venture) for the Sabres preseason tilt with the Carolina Hurricanes. Tilt might be overstating it, but I needed some closure against Carolina after Sunday. I’ll leave the jokes to Jeff Wozer and get to some observations I had from the game.

Sam Reinhart

He played center on a line with Beniot Pouliot and Stevie Moses. Pouliot is a smooth skater, but is not the producer he projected to be. Moses only parted the Chuckchee Sea 3 times last year for St. Petersburg in the KHL. What I’m getting at is, Phil Housley hardly put Reinhart between two finishers. The former number 2 overall pick needs to skate with some goal scorers if he’s going to play center. Putting him between Matt Moulson and Jason Pominville would be something I’d like to see.

Brendan Guhle

The young defenseman can skate and had a great opportunity with Rasmus Ristolainen on the top pair. Now it’s only the first preseason game, but he looked like he needs to add some bulk and adjust to the pro game. He did a poor job of trying to break up a pass on a 2 on 1 that led to the second Carolina Goal. He did not give up the body or commit to the pass to help Lehner. The AHL will be good for him.

The Right Wing

There seems to be opportunity on the right wing for a young player to break through and grab a spot. Those players are Justin Bailey, Cliff Pu, Nick Baptiste and Hudson Fasching. Bailey and Pu were in the lineup, and that seems to be a good battle there. Pu is quick and makes you notice him on the ice. Unfortunately, I noticed him on the Canes first goal losing defensive zone coverage. Bailey skated hard, used his body and played his role on the fourth line. If I had to pick one of those two tonight, I’m not sure I could.

Parking Spot

When I worked for the Sabres I had an amazing parking spot. I parked three blocks away. Thats not far, but man I miss that spot.

Robin Lehner

He played 2 periods and gave up 2 goals. I thought the first one he should have had, but the second was not his fault. A push.


There is nothing worse than overtime in the preseason. I do recall a preseason game in Hamilton many moons ago between the Sabres and Penguins that went 13 shooters deep in the shootout. Young prospect Clarke MacArthur ended up potting the deciding goal.


Kevin Sylvester

Kevin Sylvester has over 20 years of experience in media, working for stations, professional sports teams, leagues, and national broadcast entities. This experience includes being an announcer for NHL, NBA, NCAA Football, NCAA Basketball, NCAA Hockey, and The PGA Tour. Kevin also served as the producer for the Buffalo Sabres post-game show, executive producer for a Sabres radio show, and started his own media production company, All Square Media LLC in 2008. All Square Media serves as the executive producer of the Tee 2 Green TV and Radio shows (created by Kevin), handling distribution, sponsorship sales, fulfillment, and production of the shows.

Kevin's business background extends beyond broadcasting. He served as the Director of Amateur Athletics for WNY Arena LLC (Key Bank Center in Buffalo), procuring major amateur sporting events for Buffalo, NY. The major highlights include two sold out NCAA Tournaments First and Second Rounds (2007, 2010), and the 2011 IIHF U20 World Championships (Kevin co-wrote the winning bid, and served on the organizing committee for USA Hockey). Kevin created The Duster Challenge in 2016, a local 18 hole putting competition, and serves as an advisor to WNY golf ball company, OnCore Golf.

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