Sabres' Sheary looks like a different player

October 04, 2019 - 5:30 pm

Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) - Conor Sheary spoke in the off-season about how he needed to improve his game from his first year with the Sabres.

In Game 1 he did that along with scoring two goals. Sheary was engaged in the battles and spent time in front of the net. Last season he spent a lot of time on the perimeter and that's why he only had 14 goals in 78 games. In the game in Pittsburgh, I saw a different Conor Sheary, "I'm just going to take it game-by-game, I think it was a good start for myself and the team and just the way we play as a team helps bring out the best in my game. We're always on our toes and always moving our feet. I just want to be more consistent."

Because of penalties, Casey Mittelstadt got in less than 10 minutes of work, but he played very well in those 10 minutes. Sheary is on his line along with Jimmy Vesey. Sheary said he noticed the improvement in Mittelstadt's game, "I think he was playing with a lot more confidence than he has been, I think coming back in your second year, you feel that. I've spent a lot of time on his wing so I think we've developed chemistry."

As a coach, Krueger knows there are going to be times when players get left on the bench because of what's going on in the game. Krueger said, "If you end up with stretches where your ice is shorter, or we tighten up for the ending of a game, players accepting those roles is part of a good team. You can see the acceptance on the bench and Casey understands that he's in a position of growth, learning and depth for us and he's doing a good job there."

Buffalo pretty much had control of the opener for most of the game. Sheary said it started in the room before the game started, "I keep saying it, but we had a lot of excitement in that room and we feel like we have a lot to prove."

The lines and defense did not change in Friday's practice so Evan Rodrigues and John Gilmour will likely be scratched for the home opener on Saturday. Krueger would not reveal if he was coming back with Carter Hutton in goal.

Many former captains will be in attendance for the game including Gerry Meehan, Gil Perreault, Danny Gare, Stu Barnes, Brian Gionta, Michael Peca, Mike Foligno, Floyd Smith and Craig Rivet.

Join us for the pregame to the home opener Saturday at 6:00 when Brian Koziol will be joined by Ralph Krueger, Connor Sheary and Casey Mittelstadt.

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