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Sabres Notebook: Learning curve for faceoff violations; Redmond happy with Buffalo

BOSTON – Jason Pominville had just been penalized for a faceoff violation, and he quickly started a discussion with the officials. He looked angry.

In reality, the Sabres forward just wanted to know what he did wrong.

The crackdown on faceoff violations continues to be a work in progress for NHL players and officials. Judging by Pominville's comments, the adjustment period could extend for a while.

Officials penalized Pominville in Vegas on Tuesday after he stepped in for previously ejected Jack Eichel. A second violation earns a two-minute penalty, something Pominville knew. What he didn't know was how he violated the draw.

"Obviously, I wasn't happy, but I was just wondering," Pominville said. "What I was saying was I felt" the Golden Knights center "was over top of me. I'm supposed to set second when we're in the O-zone, so if I set second and his stick ends up being over top of mine, how is it possible that I moved first? That was my point.

"I was just kind of asking questions to really figure out what I did wrong."

The officials, who are learning on the fly just like the players, took Pominville's point under advisement.

"The ref was great," Pominville said. "He was like, 'You might be right. I might be completely wrong as well.' But he said he'll take a look at it and let me know.

"It's frustrating because everyone's unsure and you're kind of hesitant going in there. You don't want to take a penalty, but you want to win the draw."

It's certainly a fine line, as teams continue to discover. Vancouver was penalized Friday when it visited Buffalo.

"I thought it would be little bit quicker than it seems to be happening, but it's not like one team or one guy has got it figured out," Sabres forward Sam Reinhart said. "Hopefully, in this locker room we get it figured out."

The penalties will continue to happen because, as Pominville said, forwards won't just give up on the draw even with a trip to the box hanging over their heads.

"It's in the back of your mind all the time," Pominville said. "You don't want to flinch or be the guy that takes that penalty, but at the same time it's such a big difference if you win the faceoff and get the puck right away. It's the offensive zone, so you want to make sure you keep possession of it.

"If you look back at a couple years ago, guys were probably cheating quite a bit. It was getting to that point where they wanted to make an adjustment, and it's been an adjustment for a lot of guys because it is way different."

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Zach Redmond knew a trade was coming. The defenseman just didn't know where he would end up.

As a guy who grew up liking Alexander Mogilny, he was thrilled it was Buffalo.

The Sabres acquired Redmond from Montreal earlier this month in exchange for forward Nicolas Deslauriers. Redmond reported to Rochester after the deal, and the Sabres called him up for the first time Saturday.

He was a healthy scratch against Boston as Taylor Fedun stepped in for injured Nathan Beaulieu. Still, putting on the uniform for pregame warm-ups was a nice first step after the trade.

"I was super happy," the 29-year-old said in TD Garden. "I'm sure some guys aren't as aware when they're getting traded, but I just kind of had a feeling. There were a lot of defensemen up there, and they'd signed a ton in the offseason. There were kind of rumors, and I kind of had a feeling, so it wasn't a complete shock to me.

"To come to a place like Buffalo, it's not too far from home," the Michigan native said. "I grew up kind of following the Sabres, so it was great for me."

Redmond was tied for the Amerks' team lead in points (three) and assists (two) after four games, which earned him the call.

"I enjoyed it down there," said the 6-foot-2, 212-pounder. "It's kind of free-flowing, and they love the D to get up in the offense, which I love to do as well. I think it should be a smooth transition. Just waiting on getting in."

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