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Red-hot Vanek named NHL's First Star of the Week

Vanek-FlaBy Mike Harrington

Sabres winger Thomas Vanek put together three more points Sunday against Florida and the league's white-hot leading scorer was named the NHL's First Star of the Week today (The other stars were Pittsburgh's Chris Kunitz and Vancouver's Roberto Luongo).

Vanek had five goals and five assists in just four games while compiling a plus-6 rating. For the season, he leads the league with 19 points (eight goals, 11 assists) in eight games. Steven Stamkos of Tampa Bay is next with 16.

Asked his thoughts on the honor today, Vanek said, "I don't have too many. Our line is going well but we're not producing wins so that's about it. I think I found two guys I feel real comfortable with. The passes we make and the shots that we take, a lot of them go in. But again, it doesn't matter. You do well and you lose games, it doesn't feel good."

Coach Lindy Ruff is obviously loving the way the line of Vanek, Cody Hodgson and Jason Pominville has combined for 41 points thus far. The problem? No other Sabre has more than two goals or five points.

"We have something special that we have a line that, as they say in Spanish, is 'en fuego,' " said Ruff. "Everybody else would be jealous of that line right now. But now we don't have the secondary so now we're jealous of the secondary around the league when the league is looking and going, 'Holy man, they got a line that's as hot as any line in the league.'

"You love having that. That line has so much confidence and makes so many plays and is playing so well together, now we've got to find the other side

Click below to hear audio from Vanek on the award -- he's not impressed -- and the current sad state of the Sabres.

Thomas Vanek

(Vanek photo: James P. McCoy/Buffalo News)


Lindy Ruff | Statistics | Thomas Vanek
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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 |