So, it was somewhat surprising that the Sabres, just a month into last season, traded Barrasso to the Pittsburgh Penguins for two players who were not among the best in the league.
It is no longer surprising. It is now apparent the Sabres had to make room for another talented goaltender, Daren Puppa.
Puppa, 24, is just coming into his own after playing 64 games in parts of four seasons.
Puppa had a big edge Saturday night at Pittsburgh when he hooked up with Barrasso. Puppa stopped 38 shots and led the Sabres to a 4-2 victory over Barrasso and the Penguins.
Barrasso, recovering from a hand injury, stopped 27 shots.
Puppa, who has started the last six games for the Sabres, stopped 36 shots in a 6-2 victory over Montreal Friday night. He is 5-1-1 this season.
For the second game in a row, Mario Lemieux, who breezed to the scoring title last season, failed to score a point. Lemieux's slow start is the big reason the Penguins are only 3-4-1.
Vancouver 2, New York Islanders 1--Trevor Linden scored the tiebreaking goal near the middle of the third period at Uniondale, N.Y., when the Islanders were two players short.
With Gilles Thibaudeau serving a major penalty for high-sticking, Rich Pilon was hit with a minor for slashing at 7:14. Just 10 seconds later Linden scored his second goal of the season from close range.
The Canucks, in winning their second road game in two nights, were without Vladimir Krutov, one of their two Soviet players. Krutov returned to Moscow for "personal reasons" but is expected to rejoin the Canucks.
New York Rangers 3, Philadelphia 1--Tomas Sandstrom scored before the game was two minutes old and John Ogrodnick scored his sixth of the young season at 7:01 for the Rangers at Philadelphia.
While the Rangers lead the Patrick Division with a 6-1-1 record, the Flyers are in last place with a 1-6-1 record, already 10 points behind.
John Vanbiesbrouck stopped 29 Flyer shots.
Hartford 3, Detroit 3--Sylvain Cote knocked in a rebound with 8:39 left in regulation at Hartford to give the Red Wings, who had only 13 shots in 65 minutes, a tie.
Cote's shot came after a shot by Scott Young bounced off goaltender Glen Hanlon right to Cote.
Calgary 5, Boston 2----The Flames scored five times in the first 30 minutes at Calgary to build a big lead and coast to the win that improved their record to 5-2-2.
New Jersey 5, Montreal 4--John MacLean scored on two power plays to lead the Devils at Montreal, where they had won just three of their previous 24 games. MacLean's game-winner came at 6:48 of the last period.
Quebec 7, Minnesota 2--Peter Stastny had two goals and two assists at Quebec to lead the Nordiques' romp. Guy Lafleur had three assists to pass the 1,300-point mark.
Toronto 8, Washington 4--The Maple Leafs scored four goals in 13 minutes in the last period at Toronto to win their third game in their last eight.