Thomas Vanek has been Buffalo’s best and most consistent soldier this season.

Last night, HDTV took a Jochen Hecht bomb to the face. He left the ice for repairs and to attached his U. Minnesota Gopher birdcage to his bucket. He gutted out the end of the game and nearly scored the game tying goal on a penalty shot with 84 ticks left on the clock. To no avail. The Sabres would go on to lose…