Buffalo Sabres: Don’t rely too much on Jason Pominville

BUFFALO, NY - OCTOBER 5: Jason Pominville
BUFFALO, NY - OCTOBER 5: Jason Pominville /

Jason Pominville took the Buffalo Sabres back in time with two goals in the season opener, but fans shouldn’t expect this to be a regular occurrence.

The home opener was understandably frustrating for the Buffalo Sabres. Despite being the better team, they eventually lost 3-2 to the Montreal Canadiens, courtesy of the blasted shootout.

However, there were still several positives to take away from Thursday night. Compared to recent home openers, the Sabres looked much improved, eager to implement Phil Housley‘s system. (In start contrast to the response under Dan Bylsma, especially last season.)

Another positive came in the form of Jason Pominville, who took Buffalo Sabres fans on a trip down memory lane. By the end of the evening, he had scored two goals.

As you’d expect, Pominville enjoyed the evening. Speaking to John Vogl of The Buffalo News and other members of the media, he said:

"“I never really imagined having the chance to play here again. It was a special night….Great reception. The fans were awesome.”"

As for the result, it could have obviously been better. Regardless, Pominville found a lot to be encouraged about, as he told Vogl:

"“We did a lot of good things. If we play this way on a consistent basis, we’ll give ourselves a good chance to win a lot of games.”"

The 2012 All-Star is right of course. However, the Buffalo Sabres and their fans shouldn’t get used to him producing goals as prolifically as he did against the Canadiens.

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Since scoring 30 times during his first full campaign with the Minnesota Wild, Pominville has averaged just 14 goals over the last three seasons. (Although it’s worth noting his time on the power play diminished considerably last season.) More generally speaking — and this is no surprise — he isn’t the same player who left Buffalo in 2013.

However, this is not an attempt to put a downer on a fantastic performance from the 34-year-old. His leadership and experience will prove invaluable this season, while playing alongside Jack Eichel and Evander Kane will benefit all three of them.

Just don’t count on Pominville to make it onto the scoresheet regularly, as his skill set continues to decline. Of course, if the Sabres do need to rely on him, this will speak volumes about how poorly other members of the roster are playing.

Next: Is Jack Eichel worth his new deal?

Obviously it was great to see Pominville take Buffalo Sabres fans on a trip down memory lane. However, what kind of production are you realistically expecting from him this season? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.