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Another quick start

The Sabres have been down this road before. They were 6-0-2 last year and then played sub-.500 hockey for four months en route to missing the playoffs. Since the lockout, they're 19-4-1 in the first five games of a season (4-1, 5-0, 3-2, 4-1 and this year's 3-0-1).

They missed the playoffs twice, so there's not a whole lot of celebrating going on about this year's start and I don't expect much even if the record gets as gaudy as it might get.

Keep in mind, seven of Buffalo's next eight opponents didn't make the playoffs last year and three of those games are against the winless Islanders. The Sabres need to pile up a lot of points early before the schedule turns tougher (the November slate, for instance, includes three games with the Flyers, two with the Bruins and contests with the Flames and Capitals).

"We realize it's a long year," coach Lindy Ruff said after practice Thursday. "You're going to have some tough times and good ones. I like the fact we came out of training camp and stayed locked in. Now it's just maintain. ... There's a lot of little areas you can control that we need to keep controlling. If our mental preparation is right and we're good with our system, the way we're playing it, I think we can stay locked in."

We learned a lot about the Sabres with Tuesday's thumping of Detroit. I want to learn more. Struggles against bad teams cost the Sabres a playoff berth last spring. The Islanders and Atlanta at home on back to back nights should be four points. Period. No excuses.

---Mike Harrington




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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl |

About Sabres Edge

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz |