Niagara Gazette

Sports

October 7, 2006

TIM SCHMITT: Pominville proving he was no fluke

COMMENTARY

If anyone was poised for a sophomore slump, it was Jason Pominville.

With just 58 NHL games under his belt, Pominville had to hear all summer long how his short-handed playoff goal was one of the greatest in Sabres history, not to mention that many are ready for the Sabres to break the city’s championship jinx.

Understanding and feeding off hype is one thing. Believing it wholeheartedly is another.

But Pominville, shy yet crafty, seems too numb from the last eight-or-so months to know he’s not supposed to do this again. Not supposed to start dumping goals in the net nearly every start, becoming a first-line threat, even if he’s on the third line.

A scoring change on Pominville’s first goal of the year gave credit for the tally to Dmitri Kalinin. The call was a good one as the puck deflected off a Carolina defender instead of Pominville’s stick.

But that doesn’t change the fact that Pominville is making an impact — his ice time is up and he’s getting more important shifts. Lindy Ruff is using him with more than just Thomas Vanek and Jiri Novotny, too.

•••

Speaking of the Sabres, their schedule is murderous through the season’s first few weeks, although it’s yet to bother them.

Games against Detroit, the Rangers, Philly and another meeting with Carolina — all teams that easily made last year’s playoffs — are on the horizon. If Buffalo can survive until Halloween, the road gets much smoother.

•••

Last thing on the Sabres, Vanek’s pass to Novotny in the second period of Friday’s home opener seems to have been glossed over. I’m not sure why.

Vanek, who came to camp with a different edge, threw a behind-the-back pass while circling behind the net and put it right on Novotny’s tape, cutting Montreal’s 2-0 edge in half.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page