Krueger saw “many good things” in first scrimmage


Carter Hutton congratulated by teammate Casey Fitzgerald (45) after scoring a goal.

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – There was no Jack Eichel, no Victor Olofsson, and no Linus Ullmark, but Monday was still a chance to see the new look Buffalo Sabres in their first game-like setting in the Blue/Gold scrimmage

First period belonged to the Blue team, specifically Henri Jokiharju. He had two goals in the opening period.

But in the second period, more blue team success. Arttu Ruotsalainen had a goal thanks to an assist by Tage Thompson, and Tobias Rieder scored the other. Blue team won it 5 to 1.

One of the names people were talking about, goaltender Carter Hutton. Only gave up one goal to the Gold team and looked good between the pipes today representing the Blue squad.

“We have called him the star of the game,” head coach Ralph Krueger said. “He really helped his team in the game especially through the midsection of the game there was quite a few scoring chances by the gold team where he neutralized. Was very very pleased with the confidence in the overall aura that he showed.”

He also scored a goal which was something Krueger said he never seen in person.

It’s hard to assess the first scrimmage of a team, especially considering the off-season they’ve had, and some of the new pieces in place for the Sabres. The fact that Jack Eichel, Victor Olofsson and Linus Ullmark weren’t able to play, and it’s even more difficult to truly know where your team stands. They were not looking for all the answers Monday, though. It was mostly about measuring themselves against their teammates. Kruger said he like a lot of what he saw on the ice.

“It’s quite clear there’s so much respect for each other that nobody was running over each other,” Krueger said. “There was one penalty in the whole game so you can see that you aren’t going to get the ‘A’ game here, we don’t expect that, but we did see many good things today. We saw a lot of system things within the principles we want being executed properly, and we felt there was a good attitude on the bench all the way through although again you never will compete the same against your own teammates.”

One other key moment today though, Zemgus Girgensons went down hard on the ice. Coach said it was a lower body injury. Girgensons had to be helped off the ice. They are still assessing this injury going forward.

It’s a day off for the Sabres on Tuesday and they’ll get back to it Wednesday morning.

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