Goal Box

JUSTIN BAILEY, SABRES – FIRST NHL GOAL

2017-04-11T23:55:46+00:00 April 11th, 2017|Exclude From Main Feed, Goal Box|

JUSTIN BAILEY, Sabres
FIRST NHL GOAL

Although Sabres fans follow native son Patrick Kane with undisguised zeal, they now have one of their own playing right in front of them on a nightly basis.

Williamsville, N.Y., product Justin Bailey is one of seven area natives to play for the Sabres. And though he didn’t score his first NHL goal at home, he did record his accomplishment in his home state.

Playing in his fourth game of the season — and 12th of his career — Bailey entered the ranks of NHL scorers at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Early in the second period of a game Buffalo was already leading 2-0, Bailey intercepted a soft cross-ice pass by Ranger defenseman Kevin Klein just inside the New York blue line. Bailey then bolted toward the Rangers net, but Klein recovered quickly and cut him off. Bailey, however, swerved neatly around him at the inside edge of the left circle and Klein slid right by him on his backside.

Klein tripped him up a bit, however, on his slide-by, so by the time Bailey released his shot he too was on his way down to the ice. But he got plenty on it and beat Henrik Lundqvist through the five-hole.

The spontaneity of his celebration was somewhat curtailed from being face-down on the ice when the red light went on, but Bailey quickly popped up to his feet. In his excitement to throw his arms up, his stick nearly sliced off a corner of Lundvist’s crease. But it was a youthful indiscretion and get-out-of-jail cards are freely distributed on etiquette infractions created by scoring your first NHL goal.

1/3/2017 vs. Rangers

BRIAN GIONTA, SABRES — MULTIPLE MINI TALENTS ALL AT ONCE

2017-03-02T11:32:38+00:00 March 2nd, 2017|Goal Box|

BRIAN GIONTA, Sabres
MULTIPLE MINI TALENTS ALL AT ONCE
  • Batted Out of Air
  • Bank Shot
  • Behind End Line
  • Delayed Penalty
  • Rebound (End Boards)
  • First Period

If ever there was a performance designed to steal the GoalDigger’s heart, this is the one.

Brian Gionta of the Sabres performed what we might affectionately call five circus tricks all on the same goal. Furthermore, it was the first time all season he’d performed any of them. Furtherfurthermore, the combined number of goals scored with these actions by the league leaders is 9. What Gionta accomplished with this one goal, in other words, the league leaders had averaged 1.8 times all year.

It all started innocently enough. Toward the end of the first period against Nashville, the Sabres had the puck in the Predators end. Zach Bogosian fired a shot wide as a delayed penalty was being called. His shot caromed off the dasher on the end boards and rocketed up in the air. Gionta caught sight of it as he stood on the end line and had time to move towards the boards to do something, anything with it.

What he did was spear it out of the air on his backhand and knife it back toward the goal-mouth. Whereupon Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne was just getting up off the ice. As Rinne prepared to stand, the puck caromed off his right pad and directly into the net.

So just like that, Gionta notched five separate categories all at once where a very scarce number of goals are scored: Delayed Penalty, Rebound (End Boards), Behind End Line, Batted Out of Air, and Bank Shot.

The funny thing is the Sabres have yet to set a date for Brian Gionta Day to celebrate this historic achievement.

2/28/2017 vs. Nashville.
Highlight available at NHL.com.

TYLER ENNIS, SABRES – BEST IN CLASS (SPIN-O-RAMA)

2017-02-13T16:42:27+00:00 February 7th, 2017|Exclude From Main Feed, Goal Box|

TYLER ENNIS, Sabres
BEST IN CLASS — SPIN-O-RAMA
Here’s a goal that will both take your breath away and leave you just a little bit dizzy.

Sabres left wing Tyler Ennis breaks into the New Jersey zone on the right side more or less blocked in all directions by three Devil defenders. So he stays to the outside and makes a fierce power move through the circle toward the net. Defenseman Karl Stollery stays right with him, however, leaving Ennis down near the end line and below the circle, well away from the goal.

Ennis then surprises the whole house — but most importantly Devils goaltender Cory Schneider — by executing one of the great spin-o-ramas you’ll ever see. He brakes just short of the end line, pivots to where he can get the goal in his sights, and then from what is still a wickedly sharp angle, sweeps the puck in one motion at the New Jersey net.

Schneider is clearly not ready — and the puck slips along the ice through his pads, with his stick clearly paralyzed in surprise as the puck unexpectedly comes in on him.

You never know when you watch a hockey game when you’re going to see a “something-out-of-nothing” goal as Ennis’ shrewd and brilliantly-executed play demonstrates.

1/15/2017 vs. Philadelphia

WILLIAM CARRIER — BEST IN CLASS

2017-02-13T16:42:29+00:00 January 17th, 2017|Exclude From Main Feed, Goal Box|

WILLIAM CARRIER, Sabres
BEST IN CLASS — BATTED OUT OF AIR
  • Batted Out of Air
  • Door Step
  • Third Period
If you doubted previously that William Carrier of the Sabres could walk and chew gum at the same time, this remarkable goal will disabuse you of such notions.

Racing at the Toronto goal in full stride while teammate Zemgus Girgensons was flipping an innocuous backhand toss toward the slot from the right corner, Carrier didn’t slow down a bit, held his stick out in front of him, and plucked the puck out of thin air with his blade chest-high as he put the brakes on to avoid a collision with goaltender Frederik Anderson.

The puck went just where he’d intended: The back of the net. A remarkable feat of hand-eye coordination that could scarcely be topped . . . even if he blew bubbles in the process.

1/17/2017 vs. Toronto.
Highlight available at NHL.com.