Tuesday, November 30, 2010

update on terry pegula and the buffalo sabres

the timeline according to a recent blog by ken campbell of the hockey news:

  • terry pegula has signed a letter of intent to buy the buffalo sabres...it is not finalized, but it also means no one else can buy the sabres...the sale price of $150m may or may not be the final price
  • the sale is expected to be completed in late december, 2010 or early january, 2011...
  • commisioner gary bettman is expected to introduce pegula to the board of governors at their meeting in palm beach, florida next week, dec. 6 and 7

wow...must have been in the works for a while, and the people involved really tight-lipped, because this is moving really fast...

and that's a good thing--tom golisano found his man, terry pegula found his team, the franchise may found some security and sabres fans may have found a reason to get really excited once again

a few quick thoughts incl. stevie "tweetman" johnson and terry pegula

random thoughts during a long break between sabres games, or, short stories as opposed to my "war and peace" blog on ryan fitzpatrick:

--stevie johnson, "God, karma and tweets"...
  • "I PRAISE YOU 24/7!!!!!! AND THIS HOW YOU DO ME!!!!! YOU EXPECT ME TO LEARN FROM THIS??? HOW???!!! ILL NEVER FORGET THIS!! EVER!!! THX THO"...God?...really?...dude, job never did that and look what he went through...re-read your bible...

  • "why so serious?" stevie...maybe you should consider "the drop" as karma...you made your "statement" and this is the price you pay...not that it's a bad thing in the grand scheme of things...take it for what it is, it's life saying, "you're not quite ready for superstardom, you're young and you still have alot to learn. we can't make it too easy on you, can we?"...


  • btw...didn't mama ever tell you to "think before you tweet?"...just curious

***************************************


buffalo sabres owner
tom golisano
tom golisano selling the sabres?...the rumor mill has been heating up concerning this and bucky gleason of the buffalo news fuels the fire of speculation...

some thoughts on billionaire terry pegula ponying up some serious cheese to purchase the sabres:

terry pegula
future buffalo sabres owner?
first off, thanx to big tom for saving the buffalo sabres and, most importantly, not selling to anyone (read, jim balsille) who would move the franchise out of buffalo, no matter what the price


golisano, along with minority owners larry quinn and dan dipofi, will be all smiles after pocketing a solid return on their 2003 investment...good for them and they should be commended for a viable business model for the sabres



pegula is passionate about hockey, unlike golisano (no disrespect intended,) having gotten hooked by the "broadstreet bullies" of the mid-seventies, "It was the Philadelphia Flyers' style of play that got me into it," he once said...this should be happy news for sabres fans who are tired of the team that darcy regier built, a soft-but-skilled team that is considered one of the easiest to play against in the league...

  • word has it that the sale, if it happens it would be completed around march, 2011...could we push it up a month?...so that his philosophy and cash-backed passion can influence a trade-deadline acquisition or two?

--addendum--
since posting this some two-plus hours ago there have been some interesting developments in this story...ken campbell of the hockey news said that terry pegula has signed a letter of intent to buy the buffalo sabres for $150m...one hour later, larry quinn and the buffalo sabres stated in a press release that, "The report that a $150 million letter of intent has been signed is simply not true.”

wgr released a special report interviewing the hockey news ken campbell saying that the sale could be done quickly--within the next couple of months--and that bettman and the board of governors should easily approve this because pegula is passionate about hockey and because there are much worse ownership problems...
should be a very interesting day...or two...or more...if true, i really hope that the sides can finalize it asap, well before the trade deadline...

****************************************






back to the bills, briefly...the season is heading towards the home-stretch with the draft still far off, but game-changers outside of stanford quarterback andrew luck and a pair of corners seem to be non-existent...a pick worth looking at:
  • with weakness at the offensive tackle position, maybe the bills should look at boston college behemoth tackle anthony castonzo...the 6'7", 307-pounder is projected as a right tackle in the nfl and, btw, shut down highly touted clemson defensive-end da'quan bowers head-to-head in a 16-10 win for the eagles...


good news for the sabres and their place in the standings...three teams ahead of the 11th place sabres, the ny rangers (6th, eastern conference,) carolina hurricanes (9th) and ottawa sens (10th,) all lost last night...file it in the "for what it's worth department"



Saturday, November 27, 2010

i'm your captain

how many times over the past 3+ years have we heard lindy ruff say "our best players need to be our best players?"...ryan miller is the only sabre to hold up his end of the bargain...others like derek roy, jason pomminville, and thomas vanek have all been inconsistent in that area...

miller is the unquestioned leader on the team and has proven that one does not need to wear the letter to be the leader...craig rivet wears the "c" after being voted captain by the players back in oct., 2008...craig rivet has also been riding the pine lately, unable to crack the top-six on d as of late after two years of on-again, off-again injuries...

so the question remains, who in this group of skaters is ready join miller and place themselves behind sissyphus' boulder not only to stop it from rolling further downhill, but to also muster the strength to begin pushing it back uphill?...who has the intestinal fortitude to reach down for that little bit of gumption and give when there seems to be nothing left to give?...who seems to have "smelled the blood" of a soon to be vacated captaincy and responded with production and leadership?





20 seconds into the tampa bay highlights we see vanek get leveled by matty ohlund only to get up, take away the puck and uncork a slapshot that said, "you will not stop this"...just how groggy was he from the hit?...look at what he does after stever montador gets a little overzealous in the goal celebration...





from the time captain craig rivet went down after the november 6 game vs. toronto, a span of nine games, vanek has points in eight of those--5 goals (including two game-winners and a shoot-out goal, his second in a row,) 6 assists, and he is a plus-three...the sabres as a team went 5-3-1 during that stretch and moved from the near the bottom of the eastern conference into the middle-third, where they now hover...

it should be pointed out that ryan miller was back between the pipes for four of the five wins with the team going 1-2-1 in his absence...but that's what we're talking about--your best players being your best players...since ryan miller cannot/should not wear the "c," thomas vanek seems to want it more than any other sabre right now and is backing it up with production...

the sabres are at montreal tonight then are off until friday...if they want to remain where they're at and build upon a pretty strong month of november, two points tonight would go a long way, as teams around them will be able to garner points while they're off for five days...

and, if they want two points tonight, their best players will need to be their best players, with ryan miller and thomas vanek leading the charge...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

on the buffalo bills and ryan fitzpatrick

yes, i know, it's a sabres blog...but the buffalo bills are a large part of the fabric of the buffalo sports community...




lately there's been a big ta-do over ryan fitzpatrick, the 2011 draft, the future of the bills in general and the quarterback position in particular....

simply put, there are a number of positions coming over the airwaves and the internet, especially on wgr...whatever...i don't have a show, nor do i have the inclination call in and explain a position in a matter of a half-a-minute or less only to have the host(s) either cut you off, distort your opinion in a desultory way or subtly change their position for their own uses...

paul hamilton has been steadfast concerning ryan fitzpatrick as the future qb of the buffalo bills stating that, although he does overcome his lack of innate talent with superior intellect, he has, does, and probably always will end up throwning a remarkably poor ball or two that ends up thwarting a drive and/or the outcome...and it seems as if mr. hamilton will never believe that fitzpatrick is the one to take them to the promised land...

the morning crew, with howard simon and jeremy white, is still wading through the unbelievability of fitzpatrick's performance and are starting to think that maybe fitz could be "the guy"...ever so cautiously, though...

the afternoon crew is another story...bulldog was adamant about not "getting married" to an alcohol-biased, last-call hook-up in fitzpatrick...and schoppsie has said that he's in favor of a franchise quarterback to win them the super bowl...or, as of the last few days, to turn them into a winner whichever is best suited to deride a caller with a strong point of view that contradicts his...

one thing that they all agree upon is that were andrew luck available, and if the bills did have the #1 overall pick, then luck it is...but the bills have been performing extremely well the last five weeks and could easily be 4-6 or even 5-5 having lost three games in ot by three points...and yes, mr. hamilton, right now fitz doesn't seem to have it in the clutch...yet...

since the whole scenario of having the #1 overall pick is pretty much gone, the "debate" has turned to whether or not ryan fitzpatrick is a franchise quarterback and whether or not the bills should draft the best quarterback available in the first round...

exactly what will a franchise quarterback bring to an nfl team?...

peyton manning and eli manning are two #1-overall franchise quarterbacks...they each have one superbowl ring...yet, so does kurt warner, an undrafted free agent, and mvp of "the greatest show on turf"...although #1-overall franchise quarterback john elway finally won the super bowl and ended up with two superbowl rings, two quarterbacks, joe montana and tom brady, who are considered two of the best to ever play the position, were picked in the 3rd and 6th rounds, respectively and have more superbowl wins--montana, four and brady, three--than elway...and in the case of brady, he replaced "franchise quarterback" drew bledsoe to lead the pats to glory...as for bledsoe?...he got a parade in buffalo as the "savior" of the team and failed to move the them anywhere outside of mediocrity...

since terry bradshaw's last ring in 1980, a myriad of first-round picks have managed to lead a team to a superbowl victory including jim plunkett who was a failure until his thirteenth year in the league, doug williams who struggled until landing with joe gibbs and the washington redskins, jim mcmahon who rode what many consider the greatest defense of all time to the championship...likewise ny giant phil simms had one of the greatest defenses to work with, but he also had one of the greatest qb ratings in superbowl history and previous first-round bust, trent dilfer, was a bust until he uncharacteristically played relatively mistake-free football with a great baltimore ravens defense....

in addition to montana and brady, the last 30 years are sprinkled with superbowl winning qb's who were picked in the 2nd round or lower--joe theismann (washington,) brett favre (green bay,) brad johnson (tampa bay,) and drew brees (new orleans) among them with two others as a part of buffalo bills superbowl history...

during the buffalo bills heydey, when "franchise quarterback" jim kelly preyed upon opposing defenses in every game except the superbowls, it's interesting to note that he was defeated by 3rd-round pick jeff hostetler and the ny giants in the bills first superbowl appearance...then "machine-gun" kelly was outdone by 6th-round pick mark rypien and the washington redskins the following year...these were the two superbowls that the bills had a legitimate shot at winning...

consecutive superbowl appearances number three and four were against former #1-overall franchise quarterback troy aikman and a dominant dallas cowboys team...aikman has three superbowl rings....

so what does it all mean concerning a team and a "franchise quarterback?"...it means that the #1-overall  franchise quarterback does give you a good opportunity for the lombardi trophy, but there's no guarantee...and it's been proven, especially over the past 30 years that you don't need a first-round qb-pick to win it all...

is 7th-round draft pick
ryan fitzpatrick what the
bills need at quarterback?
what do you need at the qb position?

you need something that's been mentioned only once (two days ago) in the past couple of weeks from our media friends, by howard simon--a confident and trust-worthy relationship between the quarterback and the offensive coordinator and/or head coach...

on october 25th i sent bulldog a letter saying that i saw something amazing in the bills/ravens game...the much-maligned ryan fitzpatrick and the buffalo bills were shredding a ravens defense that was one of the best in the nfl...they were doing it with precise execution of the plays and although mistakes were made (see fitzpatrick's gross interception as it slipped out of his hands)...

what i was witnessing was a confidence in fitzpatrick by head coach chan gailey to run the offense with the plays being called...in addition, gailey had confidence in fitzpatrick's football-sense to allow him to change/alter the play as he saw fit...from fitzpatrick's standpoint, he had confidence in the plays being called by his coach and ran them, with some alterations here and there...this mutual confidence, this trust-factor, spilled over to the rest of the offense--the offensive line blocked their assignments, the tight end and backs did what was asked of them and the receivers ran their routes, as they were designed, with precision...in the end you had an impressive display of offense that, although falling short against the ravens, in overtime, eventually culminated with a record-setting comeback win five weeks later vs. the cincinnati bengals this past sunday...

i believe what we're witnessing is a symbiotic relationship between quarterback and coach/offensive coordinator, a trust-factor in which the quarterback is an extension of the play-caller on the sideline...the kind of relationship that was preceded by montana/bill walsh, mcmahon/mike ditka, hostetler/bill parcells, aikman/jimmy johnson, brady/bill belichick, warner/mike martz, peyton manning/tony dungy, among many others...

am i jumping the gun a bit putting fitzpatrick/gailey in the same league as the aforementioned?...yup, and we'll not really know how it'll all play out until next season when they have something to play for and the pressure is turned up...lesser qb's have gotten the job done so it's not outside the realm of possibility...

all i know is, as of right now, ryan fitzpatrick and chan gailey have something special going on with mutual confidence spilling over to the rest of the offense...and what we have is a bills team that might be the most fun-to-watch 2-8 team that the league has ever seen...

colin stuart and alex biega get some press

two portland pirates recently got some press:  (recent sabres call-up) winger colin stuart and defenseman alex biega...



john vogl of the buffalo news chronicles the patience of a well travelled colin stuart as he makes a return to the big show for the first time since april, 2009








first payoffs for biega briefly lays out a his journey from montreal to harvard and on to the pro's, and how there are more "brothers biega" following in his footsteps...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

injuries up the middle baffle lindy ruff

two portland pirates got the call yesterday as the injury bug is starting to make it look like training camp all over again...center luke adam and free agent lw colin stuart will get the call as the pittsburgh penguins pay a visit to hsbc arena tomorrow night...

tim connolly and rob niedermayer, the sabres #2 and #3 centers, respectively, will both be out of the lineup with niedermayer undergoing a knee scope that will keep him out at least two to three weeks...compounding the problem is the sabres lack of depth down the middle...

during lindy ruff's weekly appearance on wgr's howard simon show, the coach was somewhat baffled as to how to approach a question as to who his #2 center is...after stammering for words, the coach stated that paul gaustad is the #2 center...the "yikes-moment" prompted him to quickly shift to a call-up, though, "if you're looking to the offensive side of it, we've called luke adam up."...then he shifts to something that "we've done this in the past and it worked real well for us,"--moving jochen hecht to the center slot....

jochen hecht's worst full-season in the nhl can be directly attributed to his playing in the top-six as a center during the 2008/9 season...it was awful to watch...no surprise that when he was switched back to lw for the 2009/10 season he promptly put up typical hechtian numbers--21 goals, 21 assists and he lead the team with a plus-14 rating...

ok, fine...out of necessity, hecht moves to center along with adam and they join derek roy and paul gaustad down the middle...since gaustad was not mentioned for a top-nine slot, where to put adam and hecht had ruff talking in circles, "with connolly out we would probably have adam slide into the two-spot," he said..."we would...have jochen hecht move into the middle and he would really be our #2, and we're pretty comfortable with luke [adam] being our #3 for us."

is it any wonder why the coach was searching desperately for words when you have roy, hecht, adam and gaustad going up against the pens on wednesday?...sidney crosby and evgeni malkin anchor the middle for pittsburgh with mark lesetsu and craig adams on the bottom-six...were it not for an injury to "third-line" center jordan staal, it could get really ugly for the sabres tomorrow night...

what this situation really exposes is the lack of forward depth in the sabres system, specifically at center...a brief look at the sabres drafting this past decade reveals a blatant disregard for the center slot and ineptitude in the players chosen...since 2001 when the sabres drafted jiri novotny (#22,) derek roy (#32,) and chris thorburn (#50) with their first three picks, this is what they've done for the center position:

2002--maxim schevjev, 6th round--never sniffed the nhl
2003--no centers taken
2004--no centers taken
2005--marek zagrapan, 1st round--couldn't crack the big club, plays in the khl
       --nathan gerbe, 5th round--presently playing wing in a bottom-six role
2006--felix schutz, 4th round--playing in europe after leaving portland this season
       --benjamin breault, 7th round, no longer with the organization
2007--paul byron, 6th round--diminutive center plying his trade with portland
2008--tyler ennis, 1st round--presently on the sabres top line as lw
       --luke adam, 2nd round, just got the call for the third time this season

no wonder ruff's talking in circles...sheeesh...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

third time's a charm for david leggio

he's been the go to goaltender for the one of the best teams in the american hockey league...the portland pirates are off to a torrid start and after last night's 2-1 shootout victory over the worcester sharks at the cumberland county civic center, they sport a very hefty 13-3-1-0 mark overall--one of the top records in the league...the pirates also are 9-0-1-0 at home, which ties them with the 1993/4 pirates team for best home record to start the season...that 1993/4 team, by the way, went on to win the calder cup....

he has an 8-1 record, a 2.48 gaa and a save percentage of .922...no, it's not 2006 2nd-round pick (#46 overall) jhonas enroth...




williamsville, ny native david leggio has been "the man" between the pipes for the red-hot pirates as enroth's been going back and forth between portland and buffalo...

it's been a good few months for leggio...the undrafted free-agent signed an ahl contract with the pirates on august 8, 2010 after a strong playoffs overseas for the league champion turun palloseura (tps) in the top finnish league, sm-liiga...his playoff record there--5-2 with a stingy 1.58 gaa and a solid .948 save percentage...

leggio's stint with the pirates is the third try at sticking with an ahl team...after four years at clarkson university of the eastern college athletic conference (ecac,) leading them to the ecac title in 2006/07 (his junior year,) leggio got his first crack at the ahl with the binghampton senators in the 2007/08 season... after one game (a loss,) his 4.06 gaa and .778 sv.% left much to be desired...

the following season was spent in the echl where leggio played for the florida everblades, helping them to a league-best 103 pts. and garnering him some personal accolades with a reserve spot in the all-star game...the everblades succumbed to the eventual echl champion south carolina stingrays in the second round...on a side-note, the stingrays beat the alaska aces in the final with the aces being anchored by jean-philippe lamoureux, an undrafted free agent who played in 31 games for the portland pirates doing journeyman's work in the crease...

leggio's next crack at the ahl came that same season ended the same way the first one did--one game, one loss, a 7.00 gaa and a .788 sv.%...with the ahl being a disaster, he ended up overseas with tps turku for the 2009/10 season...

one of his biggest barriers to success over in finland would be the language barrier not to mention the adjustment to a different culture...even with former clarkson university teammate, and finnish native, max kolu helping him with the language barrier (as well as with shopping,) leggio had a very pedestrian season going 12-13-3 with a 2.93 gaa and a .901 sv.%...but the playoffs were a different story as leggio lead his team to the championship...

once again, though, leggio was unemployed...but he got another crack at the ahl as the buffalo sabres came calling...with lamoureaux gone and no one to back-up enroth in portland, buffalo sabres gm darcy regier signed the hometown boy to an ahl contract...

third-time's definitely been a charm for leggio...regier and the sabres could not help but take notice as leggio paced the pirates to a fast start going 7-1, and he rewarded the well-travelled, 6'0", 180 lb net-minder with a two-way nhl contract on november 12...

the emergence of david leggio has put the sabres organization in a very interesting and very favorable situation in goal...presently, the #1 goalie in the system is enroth...goalie-prospects brad eidsness, nick eno and connor knapp are at least a couple of years away from entering the pros as they are all in college...that would be a major gap in the goalie chain, but with the way leggio's been playing, he may have bought the sabres some time and given them some leeway when it comes to the future of the crease...

it's been a long road wrought with failure for leggio, but he seems to have accepted that failure is a part of success, an aspect which seems to have kept him well-grounded...it's also an aspect that should eliminate any confusion when it comes to the great confidence/cockiness debate...and david leggio is one very confident goalie right now

Saturday, November 20, 2010

nice work, lately, but...

in no way, shape or form am i about to get too giddy over the sabres 5-1-1 record over the past seven games...

nor will i say that some key sabres have finally got "it"...

i would like to say that lindy "the tinkerer" ruff has finally found the right combination on the "top-line" and will stick with his second-line and most of the bottom-six up-front...but...it's just too early for that...nor will i say that he's found a comfort-level from behind the bench and will resist over-coaching, which he's prone to do....

and, finally, in no way, shape or form, in this universe or some parallel universe is this team ready to prove that it could win a game with back-up patrick lalime in net...it's hard enough to win a game with ryan miller in net, without him, it's an even tougher and history has shown that the odds of winning with lalime in net are pretty slim...i will say that jhonas enroth did some yeoman's work, and the team really came through for him when he got the call from the portland pirates...

that being said, you gotta like what we've seen these past seven games, and it could probably be summed up by this quote from la kings coach terry murray, "Loose pucks, and they were more hungry than what we were to find it,"he said

[the buffalo sabres] "were more hungry"...it's not very often you'll find that quote coming from the opposing coach...

nor is it very often that you'll see tim connolly face first in the paint poking in a puck that's a foot from the goal-line...

as a sabres-fan through and through, i've seen this movie before...when they play as a team, they win, when they "get fancy," they lose...pretty simple formula...inconsistency has plagued this hard-headed group, and on many occasions, they get "it" only when it's too late...they're better right now, but the hole they dug themselves was pretty deep, and even though they're 5-1-1, they're still two games under the .500-point level, a full five games under .500 when you count wins vs. total losses...

the ultra-talented tampa bay lightning and pittsburgh penguins come to town next, the bolts tonight and the pens on wednesday...they're teams that aren't overly physical and are in the middle-third on defense, just like the washington capitals...and, like the caps, they can put some points up as well...

this team knows the formula...they know that a face planted on the cross-bar with the goal horn blaring and the crowd roaring doesn't really hurt that much, in fact, it's actually a great feeling...they know that "fancy" is for midgets in both body and mind, that a face-plant on the boards to control the puck is a badge of honor and that even though winning the battles in the corners won't make it to #1 on the espn highlight reel, it makes it to #1 on the team highlight reel...

nice work, lately...but there's still a long way to go

Thursday, November 18, 2010

ryan miller/michal neuvirth tell-tale stats



check out the highlights, they're cool...nothing "espn-worthy," but some great hits, plays goals and saves none-the-less...

the most interesting part of this video occurs seven seconds in when they post the numbers for the starting goalies:

gaa:  ryan miller--2.64.............michal neuvirth--2.60
sv%:  miller--.906..................neuvirth--.910

not great numbers for either goalie any means, yet, not lalime-like either

record:  miller--5-5-2................neuvirth--11-3-0

hmmmmm..."houston, we have a problem, over"

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

looking for that #2 lw

on wgr yesterday morning, lindy ruff talked about the ennis, roy, vanek line on the howard simon show...ruff mentions the progression of that line from the beginning of the year before they were broken up to now where they're now considered a "big-gun" line...

will lindy "the tinker" ruff keep this line together?...he said that they will get more ice-time the better they play, so i guess it's up to them...pretty sure most sabres fans would like for that line to continue to produce, and lead--and therefore continue as a legitimate #1 line--so that the sabres can address other areas...

since darcy regier seems to be married to #2 center tim connolly, at least until the end of the season, most sabres fans would agree that "tiny-tim" isn't going anywhere...add in the fact that his lack of production dating back to last years post season has caused his "stock" to plummet and you have an "immovable 'glass' object" skating for the sabres at center...fine...whatever...maybe we'll revisit this in 2011...

jason pomminville is a solid top-six, all-purpose rw, so that position is set...which leads us to #2 lw...

i'll defend jochen hecht 'til the end...during the '08/9 season which saw his play and production plummet, hecht was vilified by the media and fan-base...last season he produced typical hechtian numbers--20 goals, 20 assists and lead the team with a +14...even so, he was considered "grossly" overpaid...

sure, hecht has a cap-hit of over $3m, but with the sabres under the cap by $4m, he should not be considered a cap-liability...he should be considered a quality #3 winger who can ably fill in on the second-line, one who can produce in that role provided he has good chemistry with his line-mates...last season the hecht, connolly, pomminville line was the best, most consistent line...until hecht's injury and the subsequent demise of connolly...in addition to 5-on-5, hecht anchors the sabres top pk-unit along with pomminville...

ideally, hecht playing on the third-line in a shutdown role with rob niedermayer at center and mike grier on the other wing this season...if the sabres could fill that #2 lw spot with a quality top-six winger and drop hecht down to the third-line, they could make some serious progress (the only thing better being a quality #2 center)...

that being said, i've probably gotten way ahead of myself concerning the near-future of the sabres roster, but it's still interesting to see if the sabres could pull off an upgrade to the top-six lw spot...here's a list of some lw's who could fit in nicely...are they actually available?...(shrugs)...what would it cost the sabres?...probably more than gm darcy regier is willing to give up...an exercise for an "arm-chair" gm?...absolutely...nothing more, nothing less:
  • simon gagne, tampa bay lightning--went to the bolts in the off-season as a philadelphia cap-casualty...a former #1 pick of the flyers (#22 overall) in 1998, gagne is a former two-time 40-goal scorer capable of potting 30+ provided he stays healthy...something that's become a problem over the past few seasons...the bolts moved #2 lw, ryan malone and his $6m contract, to the right side to make room for gagne, who played 6 games for his new team producing zero points and coming in at a minus-8 before he was, again, sidelined by injury...gagne has a cap-hit of $5.25m and will be hitting ufa-status this off-season...would be a classic rental for a team in the stretch-run heading into the playoffs...some problems for the sabres:  incredibly pricey for the frugal sabres, pairing gagne with connolly could end in disaster as both are known to be injury-prone and, probably most important, gagne has a no-trade clause in his contract...every year for the past two or three years, tampa has been hailed by the pundits as the team on the rise ready to reach the playoffs, and every year they've missed out...should this pattern continue, the bolts may want to ship him to a contender, and should the sabres be in that position, they would have the cap-space to bring on that contract...

  • cory stillman, florida panthers--the panthers went into full rebuild-mode under new gm dale tallon before the draft shipping some serious quality in nathan horton and keith ballard to boston and vancouver respectively...stillman, a former #1 pick of calgary (# 6 overall) in 1992, is with his 6th team, including a stint with ottawa as a rental...he has two stanley cup rings during his career bookending the lockout with a championship in '04 (tampa) and one in '06 (carolina)...although stillman never hit 30 goals, he was consistently in the lower to mid-twenties through the prime of his career...not sure how much this 6' 200 lb, 36 year old has left in the tank, and he's surely not known for his defense, but buffalo could use his pp acumen (five times hitting 10 goals or more) on the second unit...they could also use two-ring playoff leadership in a top-six role ...he comes at a price ($3.5m) that is "more affordable" for the sabres (as opposed to gagne) and the return for him could probably end up in the second-round area, a place where regier seems very comfortable...

  • wojtek wolski, colorado avalanche---could be a classic "fish out of water" in phoenix...where does the only polish player in the nhl go for pierogis, kielbasa and golabki in glendale arizona?...exactly...bring him in, sit him down at the polish villa in cheektowaga with a large solidarnosc flag and give him a taste of home...wolski's starting to pick up the pace for the yotes after a very slow start, and it'll be interesting to see what the former #1 pick (#21 overall, colorado, 2004) does for the remainder of the year...he's had solid numbers throughout his young career and is surrounded by a quality coach and team in arizona...problem for the sabres would be that phoenix is weak down the left side behind ray whitney, which means the yotes would probably not be interested in moving him, and if they did, the price would be much higher than for the previous two...it would be worth it, though...the sabres could jump-start their organizational move towards a bigger team by adding the 6'3, 210 lb winger and not skimp on the skill-set either...wolski's signed for the next two seasons with a cap-hit of $3.8m


those are three for now...

although it's fun to think that the sabres would actually upgrade the top-six by pursuing a #2 lw, any likely move up there would come from within...

6' 2" 215 lb luke adam is tearing it up for the portland pirates this season with team high 11 goals, 19 points (tied for the team lead) and is a defensively responsible plus-10 in 15 games...the organization cannot deny what adam brings to the table...the question remains whether he can transfer that to the nhl...average results in two games with the sabres this season did nothing to detract from his potential, though, conversely, it did nothing to force them to keep him up...although he's playing center for the pirates, a move to the lw on the second line may not be bad for himself or the buffalo sabres...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

up from the ashes

a heckuva run thus-far for the buffalo sabres...five games in a row decided after regulation, four of them ending up in wins for the good guys...

some thanx need to go out...

to fate... for having drew stafford go down to injury and captain craig rivet go down to illness...in wishing no ill will towards any player (including anyone from the ottawa senators, toronto maple leafs and philadelphia flyers) the down-time for these two players seemed to help the team in two areas...

firstly, "la core" of top-six forwards was shaken up for more than just a shift, period or game...as has been mentioned before, the top-six were all of the same ilk--generally speaking, soft-but-skilled and lacking heart...stafford was the embodiment of that...you just can't have two-thirds of your top-six (stafford and tim connolly) wussing out and failing to put it on the line...in addition, thomas vanek was flustered in his attempt to bust through a wall this season, his frustration leading to bouts of coasting, and that's half of your top-six...

stafford going down allowed for young-gun tyler ennis to reclaim a spot next to derek roy on the top-line with vanek taking the other wing...ennis, who has danny gare-like qualities, had been plying his trade in the bottom-six because there was no room at the top...how did ennis respond?...by schooling jean-sebastian giguere for the game-winning/sabres winless streak ending goal:



since that line has been together, the sabres have gone 4-0-1, all games going past regulation moving the team from the bottom of the eastern conference to 10th place...ennis (3 goals, +4,) roy (2 goals, 6 assists +7) and vanek (2 goals, 4 assists +5) combined for 7 goals and 10 assists and are a whopping +16...they also came through in the clutch...ennis vs. toronto (see above,) roy got the game-winning shoot-out goal vs. new jersey and thomas vanek gave the "how-do-you-do" to the capitals in ot on the espn #1 highlight:



then followed it up by harassing vancouver canucks defenseman dan hamhuis into a giveaway that leads to tyler myers' game-winner in overtime:



on the back end, the embattled, oft-injured, recently benched and food poisoned/flu-bit craig rivet has been out of the line-up since the toronto game...kind of a good thing too...

this is nothing against him and his style of play, but with both him and shaone morrison in the line-up, that's two heavy-chevy's in an increasingly faster nhl...his abscence wouldn't be that prevalent vs. the nj devils or the ny rangers (one win and one ot loss,) but the washington capitals and vancouver canucks represented porsche's in the nhl...the defense for the sabres became much more mobile and as a result the team was able to skate with both teams...the result?...the sabres get their first home win of the season vs. the caps in overtime and follow that up with an end-to-end speed-rush-duel victory in overtime vs. the canucks...

other factors in the alignment of the stars for the sabres:

  • jason pomminville getting back into game-shape after his bout with a concussion and stabalized an inept pk
  • jhonas enroth holding the fort while ryan miller went down, especially vs. toronto in the shoot-out (see above)...his numbers weren't anything to speak of, but the team seemed to "find it's legs" while playing in front of the rookie net-minder and he came up big when it was necessary...
  • matt ellis gets the call from portland to add some size and grit on the fourth line and plays really well


all-in-all, the sabres are out of the cellar, next stop, .500 hockey...

Saturday, November 13, 2010

luke adam gettin' some love

and he should be...

the 2008 second round pick (#44 overall) is tearing up the ahl in his rookie campaign to the tune of 11 goals and eight assists...he's also a +11 on a portland pirates team that sports a 11-3-1 record, tops in the ahl...were it not for the strong possibility of adam getting an extended stay with the sabres, pirates head coach kevin dineen would be looking at a potential third straight rookie of the year in the 6'2", 203 lb center (nathan gerbe, 2008, tyler ennis, 2009)...

nhl.com has this piece on adam...



the sabres have a bevy of prospects plying their trade in junior as well and you can keep up on their progress by visiting kris baker's site sabresprospects.com

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

out of character

how many times over the last 3+ seasons has the term "out of character" been used by head coach lindy ruff?...during his weekly radio appearance on wgr today, he mentioned it once again...his players have used that term throughout the past 3+ seasons as well...and so has gm darcy regier...

"out of character"...

before his players begin to play "out of character," one would think that the character of this team would need to be defined...and, according to captain craig rivet recently, the team is still "trying to find the style of play that we want to play,"...the operative word being, "still"...

this has been an ongoing problem for the sabres since january '07...the core of this team was built for the "new nhl"...the powers that be were intent upon opening up the game to make it more offensive friendly, placing a high price on speed and skill over brute force and thuggery...and it worked for a year and a half...

during that period the league was wide open and in the early part of the '06/7 season the sabres were the embodiment of the "new nhl," where "speed kills"...compared to the rest of the league the sabres were, as ny rangers forward jaromir jagr described it, "a ferrari"...but, a funny thing happened along the way...the nhl was changing once again...

"I don't think the game is being called as tight as it was," ruff said at the time. "Before, as soon as you put a stick on someone, it was a penalty, he said. "Now you're getting a free tug at times. You're getting a free paw at times...I think there's games where the whistle has been put away."

at the time, lindy ruff was being chided as a whiner, using an excuse...but the league was changing, as evidenced the cup going to anaheim with a mix of size, skill, grit and old-school attitude...the ducks that season took liberties until they found the boundaries as to what the refs would call penalty-wise, and what they were allowed was a far cry from the "hands-off/post-lockout/new nhl"...had the sabres managed to get past the ottawa senators for a birth in the finals that season, it's safe to say that they'd have been steam-rolled even worse than the sens...

the sabres are no longer a ferrari...july 1, 2007 was the end...even before that the nhl was no longer the "new-nhl," having begun to subside in january, 2007...and...

"the core" of the present buffalo sabres team, which was geared towards offense in the "new-nhl," has remained intact since..................2007

what style do they want play?...if you're a player coming into the nhl post-lockout, you were afforded the ability to use your speed and skill...if you're a team, like the buffalo sabres that was built for the "new-nhl," a "run-and-gun" approach is the preferred style...

what style can you play?...in the post "new-nhl" world, the ice is smaller, the gaps are tighter, the shooting lanes are narrower and the defense is allowed to slow you down through obstruction (although not nearly as much as the pre-lockout days)...scoring does come off the rush many times, but it seems as if goals with meaning are mostly scored by going to the net in the bloody-nose areas, especially during the playoffs...lindy ruff, during the 2010 end of season press conference said that "the ability to get, to really get inside, in the playoffs is tough. You see that in all of these series. That those types of goals are more prominent in the playoffs."...

why did the sabres top-two centers combine for zero goals vs. the boston bruins in the first round?...because it's not in their character to go inside...they are not accustomed to the beat-down in that area, not accustomed to that style of play, to the point that when they are in that area, like during a power-play, they miss opportunities...

it's not in their character...nor is it in their character to play "out of character," which would entail doing things for the team instead of themselves...the last three-season experiment has proven that, as witnessed by missing the playoffs for two seasons and the first-round exit last year...

"the core," the top-six on the sabres, are all of the same ilk, built for the "new-nhl"...still...yet, there's a different blend that's necessary up-top..."You need a blend of size," ruff said at the same press conference...and you need some grit as well...in the playoffs vs. the bruins, fourth-liner cody mccormick was brought up for that exact purpose and responded well...during this season, we've seen mccormick and third-line pest, patrick kaleta, skating with the top-six, just like former sabres-grinder adam mair did in the previous two seasons...

buffalo sabres fans know the character of gm darcy regier...they've seen it over the past 3+ seasons...he's a gm that's methodical, slow to change and will change only when he's forced to...he is patient to a fault, and has a firm belief that his "core" will grow into their roles as top-six performers and leaders...come hell or high water, this is a group that will get the franchise to the promised land...he believes that his skill players, if given the chance to use their skills unobstructed, can win as well as provide an exciting product for the fans, just like they did in '06/7...

problem is, it's not working...nor has it worked consistently over the last three-plus seasons...he doesn't have the horses and the "new-nhl" has come and gone...nostalgia is not what's needed in sabreland...

maybe it's time for darcy regier to manage "out of character" and add top-six players who's character will allow them to play in the nhl during any era...his "core" is an era-specific group built for the "new-nhl"...this group would have done little during the 70's when thuggery ruled...they would not have had the skill to run with the edmonton oilers of the 80's...would look even worse during the "trap-era" of the 90's than they do now...and they do not have the intestinal fortitude to do what's necessary in the present, post "new-nhl" era...

unfortunately regier holds firm to his belief in the status-quo and i really don't think it's in his character to manage "out of character"

Thursday, November 4, 2010

life's not fair, especially for a stand-up guy like lindy ruff

"Life's not fair"

no, it is not...especially in the world or professional sports

since the end of the 2006/7 season, the buffalo sabres have had turnover with regards to players...during the last 3+ seasons, these are the players who have remained from that team and where they are placed on the depth-chart:

derek roy--#1 center
tim connolly--#2 center
thomas vanek--#1 lw
jason pomminville--#1 rw
jochen hecht--#2 lw
drew stafford--#2 rw
paul gaustad--#4 center
andrej sekera--#5/6 defenseman

ryan miller--#1 goalie

that core of nine "untouchable" players consists of the sabres "top-six" forwards, one bottom-six forward, a bottom-pairing defenseman and a #1 goalie....

that is "the core" that head coach lindy ruff has had to work with over the past 3+ seasons...

--THAT IS THE CORE THAT WAS TO LEAD THIS TEAM
--THAT IS THE CORE THAT WAS TO COME THROUGH IN THE CLUTCH
--THAT IS THE CORE THAT WAS TO TEACH THE YOUNGSTERS
*********AND*********
--THAT IS THE CORE THAT IS SAID TO HAVE "TUNED HIM OUT"
--THAT IS THE CORE THAT PLAYS LIKE THEY WANT HEAD COACH LINDY RUFF FIRED
--THAT IS THE CORE THAT HAS LEAD THIS EDITION OF THE BUFFALO SABRES TO A 3-8-2 RECORD, GOOD FOR DEAD-LAST IN THE NHL

life's not fair...

it's a shame that lindy ruff is not recognized for his coaching abilities...his ability to take the players that are given him and mold them into a team...a team that will play a certain style based upon their strengths and weaknesses, and, because of the changes that the league went through, based upon what was afforded by the league:
  • he inherited a team that featured a hall-of-fame goaltender...his skaters included one goal scorer and a bunch of muckers and grinders, and had it not been for "no goal," that edition of the sabres would have been in a game 7 where anything could've happened, especially with a hall-of-fame goaltender...that team, btw, finished 4th in the n.e div. with a 37-28-17 record, good for 91 points...
  • between that season and the 05/6 "new-nhl" season, the roster endured a complete overhaul...there was still grit, but this team was fast and skilled...ruff did not reign in the horses, he let them open-up to the point where they were tied for 6th most goal-for in the league...were it not for a rash of injuries on the back-end, the sabres would have made it past the carolina hurricanes in the ecf and went into the finals as a favorite
  • the 06/7 team that was given him was even more talented and skilled, but lost alot of the grit and heart of the previous season...what did he do?...opened it up even more...the "run 'n gun" team of that season scored 308 goals, by far the most in the league...unfortunately, mid-way through that season, the league said good-bye to the "new-nhl" leaving speed and skill to be bludgeoned by physicality and the reintroduction of "clutching and grabbing" and outright thuggery...that edition of the buffalo sabres succumbed to a bigger, stronger ottawa senators in the ecf, a team that got beat-down by the stanley cup champion anaheim ducks
what was given to lindy ruff following that season was "la core," a team that was devoid of grit yet lacked the scoring prowess of the previous season...a classic middle-of-the-road team that didn't have the talent to "run 'n gun," didn't have the defensive acumen's to handle a bigger, stronger nhl and didn't have the leadership to guide them through the treacherous waters of the tougher, grittier nhl...the results are obvious...

throughout this transitional period, ruff had tried to get these player to play as a team, tried to instill in them a concept that "the whole is greater than the sum of it's parts"...tried to get them to concentrate on the back-end and score off of the transition game...tried to get them to play a style that worked, regardless of the style of nhl that was in vogue...

the results?...when this team adhered to this philosophy they were successful as, proven by their playoff appearance last season...when they didn't play this, and reverted to an individual game?...they failed...and that's where this team is now....

why did the core "tune him out?"...because it's a group that knows they are secure and they've gotten to the point where they'll either play their preferred style or not play at all...there's not a true professional in the entire lot, save for ryan miller

the core, and the person that brought them together and made them "untouchable" over the past 3+ seasons--gm darcy regier-- are responsible for this debacle...unfortunately, it's the coach who will get the ax because of it...

this is not to say that ruff is infallible, he's had his coaching blunders, but on the whole he's done an excellent job coaching the players he's been given...this is not to anoint ruff as a saint or martyr either...simply put, ruff is a damn good coach and is standing alone on the gallows for his general manager and his players...he won't be the first, nor will he be the last...

life's not fair...


good luck, lindy...you're a stand-up guy...hopefully fate smiles upon you





Wednesday, November 3, 2010

tradeable assets

if, by some wild stretch of the imagination, buffalo sabres gm darcy regier were to bring in a legitimate top-six forward, i.e. a #1 center, left-wing or right-wing or a #2 center or left-wing, via trade, it'll certainly come at a cost...no team in the nhl will want to trade a player like that for the likes of tim connolly, drew stafford or jochen hecht...one of these could certainly be a piece, but teams willing to trade a top-six player will be looking for a top-notch prospect in return, a young nhl'er with up-side as well as a top draft pick (or two)...

right now, the sabres best prospect-commodity in a trade for that caliber player would be:
  • jhonas enroth, g--although he's on the smallish side, enroth is a position-goaltender type with quick reflexes...he's shown steady improvement since coming over the pond and, although he didn't wow the team in his only call-up, he's on the nhl-cusp right now...why would a team want him?...enroth is real close to being nhl-ready and his ahl-play makes him a potential #1 with some nhl-seasoning...unless your goaltending situation is set for the foreseeable future, allowing enroth's talents to evolve at a reasonable pace could pay big dividends in the future...why would the sabres part with him?...they really don't want to, but enroth would probably be a key piece in any trade for top-notch talent...one thing that we do know is that ryan miller is the sabres goaltender for at least the next four years (barring anything funky happening) and that the sabres will not use enroth in a back-up position when he can get everyday work in the minors...although the sabres are a bit thin in goaltending depth after enroth, four years could be enough time to develop one of brad eidsness, nick eno or hulking connor knapp all of whom are in college right now...a wild-card in the works is williamsville, ny native david leggio, who is providing quality back-up work with portland...in four games he has a 2.41 gaa and a .933 sv%...he was signed to a two-way contract this past august...
  • as for other prospects, the sabres are organizationally thin up-front so teams who are interested in the likes of luke adam, zach kassian or even present sabre tyler ennis will need to be offering a premium player in return...on defense (see names below,) the sabres have plenty of puck-movers who probably won't be a part of any trade, unless there's a premium return, defensemen being the organization's strong suit...and they can probably forget about prospect brayden mcnabb, a prospect whom the sabres coveted for his size, grit, strength, skating ability and production...not any like him in the system right now...
which leads us to a couple of current roster players as "sweeteners":
  • andrej sekera, d--"rej" is into his third full season with the big-club and will be a restricted fa at seasons end...his price tag is $1.2m...he's a puck-mover on the back end capable of logging secon-pairing minutes...although he doesn't hit the score sheet as much as you would like, he does contribute and has the potential to up his numbers...on the down side, although most think he's having a solid season thusfar, he's still inconsistent and it's still scary when he's defending the zone...why would a team want him?...anaheim is one of few teams who are in need of an nhl-caliber d-man right now and, as the old adage goes, you cannot have enough of them...why would the sabres part with him?...the sabres have some good puck-movers in the ahl right now lead by marc-andre gragnani who had a legitimate shot of making the team out of camp before he was injured...offensive-minded tj brennan has been working on the defensive aspect of his game and it seems to get better all of the time...drew schiestel is continuing his development in portland as a puck-mover and seems pretty solid in his own end...nick crawford was a offensive revelation last season in the juniors and is presently developing in portland...that's a succession of four puck-moving d-men that makes sekera tradeable...

  • drew stafford--he's got good size, has been able to put the puck in the net and has shown that when he wants to he can really control the play in the offensive zone...problem is, he's inconsistent...he comes at a cost this season $2.3m, but will be a restricted fa afterwards...why would a team want him?...show the game tapes when he's motivated and you see a power-winger waiting to have a breakout season...why would the sabres get rid of him?...they've seen too much of his jeckyl/hyde routine over the past 3+ seasons and would part with him, putting him in a package for a legit top-six
one more possibility:
  • marc mancari--a hulking presence in the ahl, mancari is earning the reputation of "the next jody gage"...he has ahl-all-star talent, but falters when he comes to the big-club...he is slow and the action seems too fast for him on an nhl level...why would a team want him?...as a throw in, it wouldn't be a bad gamble for a player like mancari who could someday have the switch turned on and take a spot on the top-six in the line-up...odds are stacked against this happening, but it could happen...why would the sabres move him?...why not? after this season zach kassian will be with portland as the #1 rw prospect, and a slew on unheralded, mid-lower-round draft-picks like cory tropp, maxime legault and gregg sutch will have the opportunity to move up the depth-chart....the depth on rw is very, very thin, but guys like undrafted fa derek whitmore and nhl-castoff mark parrish should be able to hold down the fort in portland and/or bring as much to the table with the sabres as mancari has...
just some food for thought...

my take on the sabres: man up, ya mamby pamby's!

during one of the wgr segments, it was mentioned a couple of times that maybe some of the players want lindy ruff to get fired, therefore the lackluster play...

really!


sisyphus' boulder is rolling downhill again..



and everybody has a reason, thought or opinion as to why...

here's a compilation of articles and such concerning the sabres as they welcome the change of the calender, with a game vs. a very stingy tim thomas and the boston bruins at home tonight...

Buffalo Sabres fans

#2

his reasoning?..."Buffalo Sabres: (Listen Here) The horn sounds like an express train pointed at your living room window, and it segues right into an air raid siren. The song they use is "Hell Yeah" by Rev Theory. The whole thing works, and makes us angry that so many of the Sabres' forwards are underachievers."
--a positive aspect (albeit unrelated to the sabres on-ice play) to a horrendous season thus-far, yet a quick truism to finish with ...

while reading on, i offer the following track off of brian eno/david byrne's, my life in the bush of ghosts, entitled, help me somebody as a musical prelude:

  • matt reitz, from the cheap seats, does a fine job of analyzing this season's sophomore slump poster-child--tyler myers...from the loss of hank tallinder to myers trying to do too much, a myriad of factors has myers plummeting to the bottom of the plus/minus category and the effect it has on the team...should have added that he's had a number of different d-partners since shaone morrison went down and that he's also carrying 15 extra pounds and an extra inch of height...but...all-in-all, he makes some good points
  • the sabres parade to the penalty box the past few games has lead to loads of trouble on a team with a poor pk...john vogl of the buffalo news starts off an article on the pk with this, "It seems like pretty simple logic. If a team is struggling on the penalty kill, it probably shouldn't take a lot of penalties"...pretty simple, perhaps the players should take note
  • mike schopp on gr continues his "i really think lindy ruff should be held responsible (read fired) for the demise of the sabres" charge and is shot down by paul hamilton, again, during a wgr roundtable...a couple of days later in his blog, he tempers his point by saying "i think there are three times to change coaches..." says that now is not the right time and finishes by saying, "But I also don't think Lindy Ruff ought to be on a de facto lifetime contract. I think over the years he's done a decent but not exceptional job...To be a great coach, doesn't your team have to overachieve? At least occasionally? Maybe last year's team did that"...in the last two or three years, he's rarely, if ever, mentioned that maybe the sabres don't have the talent his frequent guest, gm darcy regier, seems to think they have
  • schopp's on-air partner, bulldog, takes a broader view of the october buffalo sports scene adding in the sabres lousy home record with the 0-7 buffalo bills...his blog begins with, "october was a joke, right?"...not surprising, he likes the bills, as do many fans right now, much more than the sabres
  • the buffalo news', bucky gleason, basically says that regier is ultimately responsible as he's trying to find a scapegoat for the sabres woes, but, as we have seen, it's usually the coach who takes the fall...and his buffalo news colleague bob dicesare says the target's on ruff's back mostly for failing to motivate his team (an easy out, imo) concluding that ruff is pretty much dead in the water...not convinced that ruff is the problem, he concludes, "If the team fails to respond to a new coach then we'll at least know what is widely suspected -- that it was the personnel all along."
power rankings:

Monday, November 1, 2010

does november equal a "fresh start?"

"ahh say, ahh say, this team's more mixed up than a featha in a whirlwind"




"Right now is a very difficult time for this team. We're trying to grasp the style of play that we want to play, which I don't think we've found yet."--Craig Rivet

words from buffalo sabres captain craig rivet after being afforded the opportunity to watch the last two games from the press box as a healthy scratch...yup...been the same thing for the last 3+ seasons as the team said goodbye to the run 'n gun, feel-good days of the immediate post-lockout buffalo sabres...

that's to be saved for another day...right now, as the team heads into november, a quick look back at some individual stats for the month of october:
  • points--derek roy, 13...jordan leopold, tim connolly, thomas vanek, drew stafford, 7
  • goals--roy, 6....vanek, connolly, 4
  • power play goals--vanek, myers, 2...roy, leopold, 1
  • assists--roy, 7...tyler ennis, steve montador, 5
  • power play assists--roy, 4...eight with 1
  • primary assists--ennis, roy, montador, 4
  • plus/minus--montador, +9...ennis, +4...stafford, goose, +3
  • plus/minus (bottom)--myers, -10...vanek, -5...morrisonn, -4
forwards avg. toi:
  • total--roy, 19:37...stafford, 16:48...vanek, 16:38
  • even strength--roy, 15:04...stafford, 13:18...vanek, 13:06
  • power play--roy, 3:32...vanek, 3:25...stafford, 3:14
  • penalty kill--mike grier, 3:17...jochen hecht, 2:17...connolly, 2:05
defensemen avg. toi:
  • total--jordan leopold, 23:56...tyler myers, 23:26...montador, andrej sekera, 19:08
  • even strength--leopold, 17:36...myers, 16:44...montador, 16:39
  • power play--myers, 3:15...leopold, 3:11...sekera, 2:48
  • penalty kill--myers, 3:26...morrisonn, 3:23...leopold, 3:09
goaltending:
  • ryan miller--3-5-2...277 sa, 27 ga.......gaa, 2.71...sv. percentage, .903...shutouts, 0
  • patrick lalime--0-2...62 sa, 6ga......gaa, 4.03...sv. percentage, .871...shutouts, 0