The smile on Marco Scandella’s face said it all.
It wasn’t just that he scored his first goal of the season in Buffalo’s 4-2 win over the Vegas Golden Knights on Monday, but more about the changes the Sabres had gone through.
A year ago, the defenseman was the most vocal about the team needing to have more pride when they hit the ice.
“You just can’t explain it, it just feels different,” Scandella said grinning ear-to-ear in the locker room following their win. “That’s all I can say. It’s a different feeling in here. Everyone is excited. A lot of young guys coming in with excitement. It’s just different energy in here and it feels great.”
After dropping a 4-0 decision in the season opener to Boston, the Blue & Gold have answered with impressive back-to-back wins over the Rangers and Golden Knights.
Last season, #Sabres D Marco Scandella was one of the most vocal about the team playing with more pride.
Three games in, his smile says a lot about the culture change inside the locker room. @news4buffalo pic.twitter.com/VKYevF3In4— Nick Filipowski (@NEWS4_NICK) October 8, 2018
“We’re coming together as a group,” said captain Jack Eichel. “We’re not a finished product by any means, but I think you can see the desperation we’ve played with, the togetherness that we’ve played with the last few games. There’s still things we want to get better at and cleanup. I think there’s a few things you can control and one of them is your compete level. I thought we’ve competed the last few games.”
“It’s easy to say when we’re winning games, but I think it started from before training camp,” added winger Jason Pominville, who netted his first goal of the season against Vegas.
“Everyone was here early, everyone was skating together. The buzz around the town, the city, the atmosphere in the rink has been great. It’s a different vibe and it’s been a lot of fun so far and we have to make sure we maintain that. Yes, the first couple games have been good but have to keep pushing it to be better.”
The Sabres will get a chance to build off their strong start to the year on Thursday when they host the Avs.