Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) -- If you're hoping for a grandiose revelation and declaration saying the Buffalo Sabres have changed their ways and have put their problems from last season in the past, you're reading the wrong column.
What you can gather following their 5-2 victory over Philadelphia, however, is that most of the complaints fans and media alike had for the Sabres in the 2011-2012 season disappeared on their opening statement to the 2013 campaign.
Predictably, it was a slow start full of rust and difficulty to get any continuity established. That just seems to be the trend for some teams around the league. The defending Stanley Cup Champion LA Kings get blown out at home, Detroit gets shellacked by St. Louis and Vancouver didn't show up against Anaheim.
To their credit though, the Sabres overcame that adversity and others quite swimmingly. Take a look at some of their problems from last season:
A middling power play unit? The Sabres chipped in three goals on that front.
Answering back after the Flyers stormed ahead with two straight goals? These Sunday Sabres certainly didn't crumble.
Physicality, accountability and not backing down? Check, check and check. Drew Stafford, although not showing too well against Scott Hartnell, proved that he and his teammates wouldn't shy away when opposing intimidators attempted to do exactly that.
Not to mention, they closed the game down after scoring a late go-ahead goal. Heck, they even chipped in an empty-net goal to seal the deal.
Most of those weren't seen all that regularly at First Niagara Center and on MSG by fans of the team. Is it a pre-cursor to how they'll play for the rest of the season?
I'm not willing to make that leap, nor should you, especially considering the Flyers were on the back-end of two games in two days.
For one game, though, things felt and looked a lot different on the ice for the Buffalo Sabres.