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Tage Thompson And The Buffalo Sabres Are Going To Kick A Plethora Of Ass This Season

Joshua Bessex. Getty Images.

This upcoming season for the Buffalo Sabres is going to be all about managing expectations. I don't think they're going to be a Stanley Cup contender so let's not get too ahead of ourselves and starting printing the "Wagon" shirts. But I do think that for the first time in a long time, Buffalo fans are going to have a team that isn't a massive disappointment on their hands here. This Sabres team is capable of doing some serious damage this year. And most of that damage is going to come courtesy of big Tage Thompson. 

Tage Thompson is 6'7" in street clothes. He's probably closer to 6'9" on skates. He finally had his breakout season last year where he put up 38 goals and 68 points in 78 games, and that earned him a juicy little 7-year, $50M contract extension that kicks in after this season. So you'd figure that Tage Thompson could mostly just cruise through preseason. He's a $50 million man. He doesn't need to be mucking and grinding his way through games that don't actually matter. 

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But that's not Tage Thompson's style. The big fella doesn't care if it's preseason or not, he's still going to make it abundantly clear that nobody is fucking around with the Sabres this year. So he goes out last night against Carolina and completes the elusive 1st Period Gordie Howe Hat Trick. 

First up he had the secondary assist that sprung this 2v1 which ended in a goal from Vinnie Hinostroza to take a 1-0 lead about 7 minutes into the game. 

Thompson took a hooking penalty during his next shift after that goal. But I'm starting to think that was all a part of the plan because he came out of the box and immediately torched Ethan Bear on his way to scoring this silky smooth goal to make it a 2-0 game just about 11 minutes into the night. 

So he has a goal and an assist already on the scoresheet just over halfway into the 1st period. I'm not saying that Tage Thompson was necessarily looking for a fight out there, but if the opportunity presented itself? The big fella has to scrap it up to finish off that Gordie. Fortunately enough for him, he didn't even have to wait through an intermission since Jalen Chatfield leveled Vinnie Hinostroza in the neutral zone with just over 4 minutes to go in the 1st, and that was all Thompson needed to see to unleash the fury. 

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Pretty solid tilt for the mutant. I wouldn't say that Tage Thompson is a "fighter". He's not going to put people to sleep out there. But the dude is massive enough where he's rarely going to lose a fight. So when you've got a potential 40+ goal scorer who is lined up to make over $7M per year throwing hands like that in a preseason game over a hit that looked as clean as could be? Well let that just be a warning to the rest of the league that the Buffalo Sabres aren't messing around this year. A 1st period Gordie Howe Hat Trick is as gritty as they make 'em. 

The Sabres still need a few more pieces but this team is in a good spot. Happy for Buffalo. 

@JordieBarstool