Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Murray outfoxes Maloney at the deadline, fends off local press

Reprinted with permission from hockeybuzz.com


Sabres beat writer Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News has been railing against a perceived be tank-job by the Buffalo organization for quite some time. Back on January 31st he penned an article, Sabres are disgusting, all right, that aptly and bluntly captured his dismay .At the time Harrington was not amused by the Sabres road to the top of the 2015 NHL Draft. He wrote of the Edmonton Oilers having "a lot of road trips" the rest of the season while the Arizona Coyotes, he wrote, "have a lot of trades to make" if they were thinking of overtaking the Sabres for last place.

Buffalo had just finished an 0-fer January and was on a franchise record 14-game losing streak. "Hockey folks are laughing at the product the Sabres have put on the ice," he wrote, "but much worse they're laughing at the organization itself and that's not how it's supposed to be going."

Sabres GM Tim Murray was sitting on his hands during this debacle leaving head coach Ted Nolan with very little on the ice and even less to say post-game save for "these are the 20 guys we have," and "we've got what we got." Harrington was so disgusted that it only took him a one paragraph lead-in before he wrote, "I think it's safe to call right now. The Buffalo Sabres are the worst team in the NHL by a lot at this point. They're going to finish 30th and get Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel.

"You may call it mission accomplished. But the mission doesn't need to be an open disgrace."


Monday, March 2, 2015

2014-15 Individual Stats--February

Reprinted with permission from hockeybuzz.com


Before we get to the Buffalo Sabres individual stats for the month of February, the NY Rangers and the Arizona Coyotes made a huge deal today.

The Rangers acquired veteran d-man Keith Yandel, minor league d-man Chris Summers and Arizona's fourth round pick in 2016 for F, Anthony Duclair, D, John Moore, a first round pick in 2016 and a second round pick in 2015.

Y'all can debate the players picks and whatever's of the trade, but I'd like to offer this tweet from Matt Larkin of The Hockey News:
"Things we've learned in past 24 hours: (a) Arizona is really committed to a rebuild"

So let me get this straight, the Coyotes are on a nine-game losing streak and have moved two franchise cornerstones within the last 24 hours and what we get is that "Arizona is really committed to a rebuild?"

How about Arizona is really committed to tanking this season for one of the top-two picks in the draft. I can't wait for the "Thumbs down piece" on how this is a travesty and is a slap in the face to the integrity of the game.

And while we're at it, the Toronto Maple Leafs have only four regulation wins through the first two months of 2015. Have heard nary a peep against the "Center of the Hockey Universe" tanking the season for the best opportunity at landing the Newmarket, ON native.

Aye Carumba!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

2014-15 Team Stats--February

Reprinted with permission from hockeybuzz.com


Buffalo Sabres GM Tim Murray has stated time and again that he wants to see the team progress and wants to see improvement in his players.

"Progress" and "improvement" are broad terms and their definitions can vary wildly, even within the organization. John Vogl of the Buffalo News writes that the schism between Murray and head coach Ted Nolan is widening, "The philosophical differences between Tim Murray and Ted Nolan have raised questions about the coach’s future," wrote Vogl this morning. "Using football injury terms, Nolan ranges from questionable to doubtful. Some have already downgraded him to out." In layman's terms, Vogl says the coach went from having a 50% chance of getting canned to 75%.

Although I'm of the opinion that for this season any progress from a team standpoint should be minute, perhaps others feel that this team should be much farther along and winning more games. There's confusion emanating from the foot of Washington St. as to just what kind of job Nolan has done thus far. Has he done a great job with the limited talent he's been given? Did he loose his team at some point in December causing them to tumble to the bottom of the league? Will Murray "manipulate" his team's standing at the deadline by shipping out every last bit of talent he can by 3pm tomorrow?

And just what is those "philosophical differences" Vogl is alluding to?

Boston's Peter Chiarelli can do some one-stop shopping in Buffalo

Reprinted with permission from hockeybuzz.com


From Joe Haggerty of CSSNE.com (via Jared Clinton of The Hockey News,) the Boston Bruins are looking for three key pieces for the stretch-run as well as possibly stretching out GM Peter Chiarelli and benchboss Claude Julien's tenure in Beantown.

"Clearly, there are needs on the Bruins roster," wrote Haggerty. "Chiarelli is going to make moves in order to address those wants and needs. An offensively dangerous right wing that’s preferably big and strong is at the top of the list with 172-pound David Pastrnak still showing plenty of promise, but also getting overpowered on a pretty regular basis, a top-four defenseman to pair with Dennis Seidenberg is second on the priority list and a reliable, veteran backup goaltender is also certainly on the wish list."

"Dangerous right wing that's preferably big and strong"--check
"Top-four defenseman to pair with Seidenberg"--kinda check
"Reliable, veteran backup goalie"--check

According to NHLnumbers.com, the B's have $1.55M in cap space at this time, give or take.

Chris Stewart, $4.2M cap-hit
Andre Benoit (see COL 2013-14) 800K
Michal Neuvirth, 2.6m

Total cap-hit, $7.6M.

Sabres could easily eat half their salary's and to help things along, if Loui Eriksson and his $4.5M cap-hit for the next two seasons needs to be jettisoned, no prob. The Sabres could even throw in two-way RFA center Brian Flynn ($650K,) for good measure.

It will take a 2015 first round pick, (lottery protected and deferred to 2016, if need be) plus either Malcom Subban or Niklas Svedberg and Peter Cehlari.

And remember, Sabres GM Tim Murray isn't afraid of blockbuster trades. ; )

Tanks.

Have a Nice Day.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Tired 'Nucks hand the Sabres a win--Some Buffalo fans searching for their meds

Reprinted with permission from hockeybuzz.com


It was the last of a five-game/10-day, east-coast road trip for the Vancouver Canucks against the last place team in the league. Vancouver came into the First Niagara Center last night having won 3 of 4 games already and playing the last place Buffalo Sabres should've been a good way to end the trip. Sure, the 'Nucks would probably hit the ice a tired club, surviving on adrenaline, but with a little work and some decent goaltending two points was a realistic proposition.

But perhaps they didn't get the memo. Although the Buffalo is in 30th place, they'd been playing really well over the course of the last 10 games or so punctuated by a rock-solid performance in a 4-2 win over a good Blue Jackets team at Columbus.

Then again, perhaps the 'Nucks did get the memo, but focused upon the injury report that had the lowest scoring team in the league without their top-two goal scorers in Zemgus Girgensons and Tyler Ennis.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Hodgson scores, Sabres win, Girgensons/Ennis hurt

Reprinted with permission from hockeybuzz.com


Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Anton Forsberg did something against the Buffalo Sabres that a goalie hasn't done since December 13, 2014--allowed a goal by Sabres forward, Cody Hodgson.

When Hodgson's incredibly weak backhand dribbled across the goal line, it ended a 27-game drought for the much-maligned forward who finally he caught himself a break. “Everyone has been saying to throw pucks on net and I’ve been doing it the last few games, shooting from some bad angles,” said a clearly relieved Hodgson. “I was fortunate to get that one.”

To say that Forsberg had a tough night would be like saying Hodgson went through a bit of a dry-spell during his goal-drought or that Buffalo just needs some tweaking to rise from the bottom of the league. The Sabres only needed 14 shots to put four goals past the 22 yr. old netminder. The 2011, seventh round pick of Columbus (188th overall) is in his rookie season after coming over from Sweden this year. He should be plying his trade in Sprinfield with their AHL team but he was forced into duty as backup to Curtis McEllhiney who took over for injured starter Sergei Bobrovsky.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

"Miracle" and Terry Pegula, two anniversaries yesterday (plus a game too)

Reprinted with permission from hockeybuzz.com


Yesterday was a hockey-heavy day across the States as the designated Hockey Day In America was rolled out on the 35th Anniversary of the Miracle On Ice. NBC was live at Lake Placid, NY helping us relive quite possibly the greatest upset in sports ever.

A clearly overmatched USA squad of collegians, semi-pro's and hockey misfits dethroned the Soviet Union and their juggernaut of hockey professionals in 1980. Interesting to note that the Soviet Union outshot the Americans 39-16 in "Miracle" game. A stat that looks all too familiar to Sabres fans.

Yesterday also marked a significant anniversary that hits a little closer to home, as February 22nd marks the four-year anniversary of Terry Pegula taking ownership of the Buffalo Sabres. And as we fans sit at the bottom of the league for the second year running while looking towards the future, on February 22, 2011 Pegula uttered these words which are now engraved on a plaque in the Sabres dressing room:

"From this point forward, the Buffalo Sabres' reason for existence will be to win the Stanley Cup"