Sabres Line Combinations

by Kevin Sylvester, Buffalo Sports Page

Phil Housley has been trying different combinations in practice and games during training camp in search of what he believes are the right line combinations to start the season. The toughest decision is where to put Sam Reinhart. I like that he is trying him at center, the position he was drafted to play. I didn’t like that he had him between Benoit Pouliot and Stevie Moses in the first game, but I do like the chance given on Saturday with Evander Kane and Jason Pominville.

Despite a lack of preseason production I’m keeping Reinhart at center. Here’s a look at my lines if the season were to start today.

9 Evander Kane                15 Jack Eichel          29 Jason Pominville

28 Zemgus Girgensons     90 Ryan O’Reily        21 Kyle Okposo

26 Matt Moulson               23 Sam Reinhart       71 Evan Rodrigues

67 Benoit Pouliot               22 Johan Larsson      95 Justin Bailey

Extra Fwd: Nick Deslauriers


Jack Eichel is going to make a lot of money in the years to come, and he’s also going to make Evander Kane some coin setting him up to light the lamp. Jason Pominville will have to keep up, but he’s a smart pro that will figure out how to finish.

O’Reilly, Okposo, and Girgensons seemed to have some chemistry early, and I like the style that line will bring. A hard nosed fast line that can score.

Sam Reinhart’s line was the toughest to put together. Matt Moulson has to play with his huge contract. It doesn’t make sense, to me anyway, to bury him on the fourth line. He needs ice and a set up man. He will have two of them because I have Evan Rodrigues on the right side. It will be an adjustment, but his speed has him in the lineup.

The fourth line displays the depth at forward with a returning Johan Larsson centering veteran left winger Benoit Pouliot, with Justin Bailey on the right side. I chose this line for speed. Nick Deslauriers is the extra forward and the one as I believe it makes sense for the young players to skate in Rochester.

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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