Originally written on Buffalo Wins  |  Last updated 11/19/14

That wasn't the prettiest Sabres victory tonight, but we'll take it. Hopefully getting that winning feeling back at home will propel them for the next few games at the FNC. Several quick hits about the game:

- Thomas Vanek is just a beast right now. He had 3 assists and once again just owned the puck in and around the net. He's had some great moments and stretches in his career, but he's playing like an elite forward at this moment, a true superstar. If he can actually maintain this for the rest of the season, he'll be top 5 in league scoring and a Hart Trophy candidate. Crazy talk? Just you wait and see.

- I was happy for Patrick Kaleta getting the game winning goal. His all around game for the beginning of the season has quite simply been terrific. I think he's learned from his past injuries that he can't just fly around the ice, hitting everything that moves. He's become a valuable penalty killer and the his line combination with Gaustad and Gerbe has arguably been our most consistent. He still gets on the nerves of the opponents, as evidenced when Cody Bass tried to rip his head off before their fight tonight.

- I was calling for Jhonas Enroth to play the last couple games, as I didn't want the time between starts to stretch to 2 weeks or more. But the layoff didn't seem to matter as he was a rock in the victory and cool as a cucumber in the crease. Marty Biron gets a lot of love as the most beloved and respected backup to Ryan Miller of the last 5 -6 years, probably because he was the only good one. But I think Enroth is an even better goalie than Biron, and hopefully he starts instilling that confidence in Lindy Ruff to play him more often down the road.

- Call me a neanderthal, but a good fight still gets me out of my seat. Cognitively I understand the damage those shots to the head can bring, but when Kaleta and McCormick took on Bass tonight it got the old blood flowing. Boys will be boys.

- Yes, it was a very sloppy defensive games by the Sabres (and Blue Jackets too). Not too concerned though. If we're playing like this in March as the playoffs approach, then I'll panic. But there's a lot of time to make the necessary corrections.

- One solution for me is to insert Mike Weber. I commented on Twitter that I miss him dearly. It clicked when the Sabres broadcast showed a brief snippet of the Flyers playoffs series from last year with Weber repeatedly pounding Scott Hartnell. I remember how much he was ready to drop guys any time they came close to Miller during the Spring and I think we could use another tough, physical D-man in the lineup. There's too much offensive flair on the back line right now with not enough focus on our own zone. I'd take Gragnani out in a second for Mike. He's struggled enough to necessitate the move.

- Robyn Regehr looks reborn in Buffalo. He was so good tonight, physically pounding the Blue Jackets' players at every opportunity. I'm developing a bit of a man crush here and not afraid to admit it.

- Roy and Leino continue to struggle and now it seems they've brought Stafford down with them, as his strong play from the beginning of the season has tailed off a bit. Roy still seems off, perhaps because of the injuries, and Leino just hasn't found his game overall. But I have confidence that they'll eventually break out of it. Again, hockey is long season and all players will hit funks like this. Better to get it out of the way early.

- Nathan Gerbe was a buzz saw around the Jackets' end the last minute of the game. Makes me proud that I bought his jersey.

- I didn't even mention Pominville's 2 goals. What I love is the Vanek-Adam-Pommers line is turning into a true #1 unit. Been a long time since we had one of those.

It's important for the Sabres to take the strong finish of this game and build upon it. A poor record at home for the season will make any 4th or better seeding in the conference a moot point as there wouldn't be a home ice advantage come April. Tonight hopefully was that small step they needed.

Follow Mark on Twitter

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