Monday, February 28, 2011

brad boyes--"set-up man"

so recently acquired forward, brad boyes is being touted as a set-up man...

great...friggen' awesome...

ummm...just one question....who's he gonna set-up?...

tim connolly?...he's a set-up guy...well kinda, if you consider 18 assists in 47 games to be worthy of that moniker...no...you can't count the assists he got from a turnover and goal by the opposition--as his minus-11 indicates...

ok, so he won't be setting up connolly...how about jason pomminville?...you know, he of the 9.4% shooting percentage...the same guy who was switched from left wing back to right wing in a matter of a few shifts?...

vanek?...wasn't lindy ruff saying just the other day that he likes vanek on the right side because he can uncork his slapshot easier?

ennis?...ummm...maybe...at least he's a left winger...

hecht?...(snicker, snicker)...ok...find hecht on, or below, the goal line, his favorite shooting spot and feed him for the bank-shot...

of course boyes may be setting up nathan gerbe on the third line as to not disrupt the chemistry of the core...

oh...and boyes has a great one-timer, especially on the powerplay...sound familiar?...al (cough, cough) kotalik (cough, cough)...from what we heard this morning from people in the know, boyes' goal production tanked with the blues powerplay...

look, i like brad boyes and in a previous blog said that he could become a steal...he piqued my interest when it was rumored that he was expendable...i really thought he would be at center, though...and, forchrissakes, could he be any worse than hecth at center?

who will this lone deadline day player-for-a-second-round-pick end up like?...one-game wonder, steve bernier?...steve "the invisible one" moore?...an out-of-shape raffi torres?...hope not...
terry pegula was wondering why darcy regier was disliked so much by the local media and fans...well, mr. pegula...ummm, if your sabres miss the playoffs again, you'll know why...in fact, you'll actually see it first hand...

VIVA LA CORE!!!



brad boyes to buffalo

according to tsn, st. louis has traded forward brad boyes to the sabres for a 2011 second round pick...

the 28 year old is 6'0", 205 lbs and is signed through the 2011/12 season with a cap-hit of $4m (interesting note:  i used the cap-hit number not actual salary, the difference between the pegula-era and the previous regime)...

the well-traveled boyes is a former 1st-round pick (#24, 2000) of toronto, was traded to san jose' then boston, then st. louis...he clocked in with 43 goals in 2007/08 (his first full season with the blues  ) and 33 in 2008/09, but tailed off considerably scoring 14 goals last year and is on pace for 15 this season...some have attributed the decline to being moved to the wing and feel that he'd be much more comfortable at center...

this could turn out to be a stellar first move by darcy regier and co...the blues are loaded up-front, and have excellent depth at center and rw--especially with the addition of chris stewart...for buffalo to give up a second-rounder, this could turn into a steal...

boyes production is far surpassing that of current sabres #2 center tim connolly this season and there's no reason why boyes couldn't jump into connolly's slot considering wingers have not been a serious problem area for the team...

even though it's been reported that connolly was not being moved, this is an intriguing move by the club...word on the street is that the sabres, with no financial constraints (outside of the nhl cap,) could be very active later today (although i always temper my enthusiasm when it comes to darcy regier and trades)...

we'll see what ken sawyer, regier, and their staff have in mind over the next 12+ hours and whether or not they've done their homework...

imo, great move by the team and all of us sabres fans who have watched the last three deadlines pass with token moves by a meek gm now have our interest piqued...hopefully this is the start of a significant departure from the previous 3+ years...






full story from the buffalo news here

Saturday, February 26, 2011

craig rivet claimed by the blue jackets

the former sabres captain heads to ohio as the columbus blue jackets claimed the veteran d-man on re-entry waivers from the sabres...

the blue jackets have been hot as of late going 10-3-3 climbing to within two points of the top-eight in an extremely tight western conference with the jackets having at least one game in hand all four teams in front of them...

also of note, veteran d-man and stanley cup winner, mike commodore was placed on re-entry waivers by the jackets at the same time as rivet...no word on whether he's been claimed...

yet another blue-jacket note, the ottawa senators have placed pascal leclaire, a former #1 pick of the jackets (#8 overall, 2001) on waivers..the 28 year old goalie went to the sens, along with a second-round pick in exchange for antoinne vermette in 2009...

leclaire's bio includes an excellent season in 2007/08, ended up in a battle for the #1 spot with upstart goalie steve mason and was hobbled by injuries for much of the last two seasons...he will be an unrestricted free agent at seasons end (hmmm...possible back-up for the sabres?)...


best of luck to craig rivet...he was a stand-up guy for the organization and when he was healthy, he provided leadership, grit and toughness, all traits that were seriously lacking when the sabres traded for him back in 2008...

Friday, February 25, 2011

who's worthy of the "pegula-rewards program?"

sabres owner terry pegula lays out his vision
at the introductory press conference
february 22, 2011
far be it for me to take issue with a person who did what terry pegula has done in his lifetime thus far--from his humble beginnings to his fairytale purchase of his favorite hockey team...

but there's something that's really bugging me and this may be something that the major buffalo media outlets won't take issue with simply because they're in a  "honeymoon-phase" with the new owner...

i like the idea of changing the culture of the team...i like the idea of making it a destination for free agents...i like the idea of players feeling wanted and feel as if they'll be taken care of...i think that pegula's ideals are rooted in a culture that is ever-present in detroit with the red wings and in pittsburgh with the steelers...they are two of the best organizations in all of sports...

during his meeting with the buffalo news editorial board, pegula once again defended the players as human beings...the players hear the criticism and are affected by it, he was saying, and he basically asked the news to lay off the players so that they may be able to do their job to the fullest...this is part of his "everyone-jump-on-board" concept which he introduced at the feb 22 press conference...

there's not a person in the working world who wouldn't want a situation where they feel wanted, are paid well and need not worry about the future...

the question i have is this, "will the players, either on the roster now or the ones that do make buffalo their destination, be able to handle it?"

a good example is tim connolly...he got that fat contract for 2 years at $9m that set him up...and what did he do?...treated it like he was part of a country club...case in point...connolly is, and has been, terrible at faceoffs...so instead of working on it, maybe putting in a little extra time, he bolts right after practice...this was a microcosm of his overall game--only do what's required...and the results of that approach displayed itself in the playoffs last season vs. the boston bruins...it was an epic fail on his part which contributed to the demise of the team...he deserved all the criticism heaped upon him...

how has the vaunted "core" handled the last three-plus seasons knowing that they're signed long-term?...inconsistent effort and play...and in the case of derek roy, before this season, there have been reports on multiple occasions that he's been at odds with the style of play head coach lindy ruff needs him to play...derek roy liked cute, highlight-reel play and shied away from the "bloody-nose" areas...the result last playoffs vs. the bruins?...no goals...

these two players, the top-two centers on the team, two of the "top-twenty centers in the nhl," if you will, did absolutely nothing for the sabres to get past the bruins in the first round of the playoffs last season...then again, these two had nothing to worry about...i highly doubt these two would be on the detroit red wings or the pittsburgh steelers...

i understand that re-branding the sabres will take time and i'm not sure what type of player that pegula and company want for this re-branding...pegula's obviously up on hockey and has surrounded himself, thus far, with some of the best in the business in ted black and ken sawyer...

also, it's real early in the pegula-era to be a "gloomy-gus," and i don't want this to come off as dissing the guy, a person who deserves the utmost respect for what he's done in his life...i guess i'm just looking at this through goggles that are tainted by "the core" and how they've performed over the last few years...they've been criticized--and rightfully so--because they skate with a sense of entitlement and have always folded under pressure...

rarely have i been a defender of the buffalo media, but this is not a problem with the media, this is a problem with the players currently on the roster...

i guess what i'm hoping for is that only players worthy of the "pegula-rewards program"--the ones who will skate with a sense of purpose, take a stick or puck to the face to score or prevent a goal, and give up their individual ego for the team--will be allowed in...

much respect, mr. pegula

Thursday, February 24, 2011

thomas vanek blogs on terry pegula

this is from thomas vanek's blog with a link at the bottom...vanek, btw, is the new sabres alternate captain as of last night's game vs. the atlanta thrashers

February 23rd 2011

Wow, that was an awesome entrance of our new owner. We had the privilege of meeting Terry Pegula shortly before his press conference in our locker room. Before that all we knew was what was in the media. We knew that he was a big fan of the Sabres and a really knowledgeable hockey person. He confirmed this first impression when he talked to us. Everybody immediately could feel that he loves hockey more than everything else.

He really is the best thing that could have happened to the club and the fans, you simply can’t put it any other way. He’s got some grand plans, but at the same time he’s very down to earth. He believes in what he says and makes a very honest impression. Also, he simply adores his family and it’s important to him that there’s a new and closer family-spirit among the team-members, too. I think it’s great that he’s throwing a big party on Thursday to get to know not only the players and personnel but also their families. I’m sure that the whole team will get even closer now.

It’s hard to say what will change in the weeks and months to come. But Terry Pegula has a vision and he just doesn’t feel like a dry business person. There will quite certainly be a change to our locker room as we’re about to get a new carpet with our logo while we’re on our next lengthy road trip. I really like that. I’ve always wondered why we didn’t have such a carpet before as I already knew that from my time with the Gophers. Back in Minnesota we had a carpet with a big “M” embroidered. The bigger changes will surely come over the summer when the arena isn’t used that much. But nevertheless, there’s already a certain new spirit in here and quite often it’s the little things that make life worthwhile. Why should it be any different for guys in pro sports?

I really hope that we can take this new momentum and translate it into new success on the ice. The last three games were really frustrating. First we come back to fight for a playoff spot and then we start to lose three in a row. Of course, there are no easy opponents in the NHL and every team can beat any other on any given night. But our last three games were simply bad. We didn’t find any rhythm offensively, started to play too cute again and didn’t convert the chances we had.

I can’t really say too much about the two new management guys. But Ted Black and Kevin Sawyer were responsible for getting the Penguins out of bankruptcy and back to being a contender, even winning a Stanley Cup. Why shouldn’t they repeat that feat with our club? We’re not as beaten down as the Penguins were back then. Buffalo also isn’t such a bad place to live, especially as a hockey player. Yeah, guys mostly know the way from the airport to the arena and there certainly are nicer places but that’s not all of Buffalo. There aren’t too many players who departed eagerly once they were here for a few years. Buffalo is a great town to raise your kids and there aren’t many regions in the USA more hockey mad than Western New York. I’m sure our new management will convey this message to any possible new player. There’s a new spirit in town and the future starts now. And I’m really looking forward to it.

http://www.thomasvanek.at/index.php?id=31&L=1&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=172&tx_ttnews%5BbackPid%5D=2&cHash=8790f73278c5da78aaec88cacb157704

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

what more needs to be said except:



the buffalo sabres organization is whole again




wow...that didn't take long

a mere 24 hrs. after terry pegula officially became the owner of the buffalo sabres and talked about the future by saying that "there will be no financial mandates on the hockey department," the buffalo sabres announced that they have waived team-captain craig rivet...

this was done after pegula made an appearance on wgr's howard simon show this morning stating that underneath all the padding, the players are human beings while alluding to the discomfort of players having to come to the ring with bags packed...

rivet has about $850k on his expiring contract, was 8th on the sabres defensive depth-chart and has been a healthy scratch for over a month...

pegula said he wanted to hit the ground running and looks as if the sabres have finally left the starting gate...

there were many memorable moments from yesterday's presser, but one of the things that might be somewhat overlooked was his thanx to gary bettman and bill daly for expediting the sale process...

with five days left until the trade-deadline and the sabres on the playoff bubble, it seems as if pegula and his team are looking to the immediate future as well as developing a long-term plan...

the pegula-era kicks off tonight and here's where the sabres stand in the east

the 7th thru 11th place teams in the eastern conference as of now:
  • ny rangers--68 points
  • carolina--65
  • buffalo--60
  • atlanta--60
  • toronto--59

the 7th thru 11th place teams in the eastern conference (on february 1, 2011):

  • montreal--59 points
  • atlanta--57
  • carolina--56
  • buffalo--51
  • florida--49

buffalo closes the gap on the eighth seed in the east...although they are five points behind carolina for the final playoff berth, they have three games in-hand on the hurricanes..

the sabres are eight points behind the 7th place rangers with four games in hand...

atlanta continues to plummet and falls to 10th place

toronto climbs over florida for the 11th spot...

a look at games remaining this month broken down into games vs. division leaders, playoff teams and non-playoff teams:

ny rangers (2games):
  • division leader (1)--tampa
  • playoff (1)--washington
  • non-playoff--none
carolina (2):
  • division leader--none
  • playoff (2)--pittsburgh, montreal
  • non-playoff--none
buffalo (3):
  • division leader (1)--detroit
  • playoff--none
  • non-playoff (2)--atlanta, ottawa
atlanta (3):
  • division leaders--none
  • playoff--none
  • non-playoff (3)--buffalo, florida, toronto
toronto (3):
  • division leaders--none
  • playoff (2)montreal, pittsburgh
  • non-playoff (1)--atlanta

all-in-all, the sabres recent three-game losing streak and 1-3-1 stretch brought down them to 4-4-1 on the month and they remain outside of the top-eight...the hope was that they could use this home-stand (six games to end the month) to get into the top-eight, but inconsistency and some really poor play have made this stretch miserable to watch...

terry pegula is officially the sabres head-honcho, and one would have to think that the game against atlanta tonight is an audition for some of the players...the trade deadline is looming and pegula has a mind-set that he "wants to keep, not only statistically good players, but winners and gritty players"...

this edict will be difficult for some as the sabres have been known to fold under pressure...

the ideal scenario for the team would have been to get themselves two-four points inside the top-eight before the kick off march with a seven-game road-trip...it looks unlikely as they'll probably (hopefully?) remain on the cusp...

for now, sabres fans can only hope that they break out of their funk tonight vs. atlanta and go on a bit of a streak before they hit the road...

i guess we'll see just what the dawning of the pegula-era really means to the team itself and to players on an individual basis

pegula quotes from the presser yesterday




quick note...for chrissakes, bettman, rick jeanneret is the voice of the buffalo sabres and has been with this team almost since its inception...ya think that maybe, you could've used his name?



http://www.wgr550.com/topic/play_window.php?audioType=Episode&audioId=5179829


terry pegula quotes:

--i wanna thank tom golisano, larry quinn and dan dipofi for rescuing my hockey team
--i don't use computers...

where's perreault? you're my hero...

--i had season tickets for 18 years and to show you what kind of timing i had, i gave them up in 1999

--so, what about the future? starting today, the buffalo sabres reason for existence will be to win a stanley cup
--we will aim high. winning is not a goal, it is a belief
--starting today, there will be no financial mandates on the buffalo sabres hockey department. there is no salary cap in the nhl on scouting budgets and player development budgets. i plan on increasing...our scouting budgets
--starting today we will bring in more player development coaches
we will aspire to be the best in the league and finding, developing and keeping our players

--gm. darcy regier will remain as our gm. darcy will run a hockey department that, as i previously said, will have no financial mandates. we're cuttin' the chains off and he's free to run with whatever he wants to do with the scouting, player development, working with lindy and the coaches and we're gonna pour some resources into that area of the team

--coaches. lindy ruff. i can state, and i think it's been previously published that i'm a lindy ruff fan, and have been for a while...lindy and i have talked, and, pardon my french, but lindy ain't goin' nowhere

--i'll betcha gil perreault didn't know he could make a grown man cry

the q&a session:

on retaining darcy regier--i have not heard one bad word uttered about darcy regier. that means he deserves to stay here. i know i can work with him

on the trade deadline approaching--we wanna build for the future. (self-depricatingly) me, mr. gm terry pegula...i don't know what's in the mill along those lines...i'll tell you one thing, i'm a fan, you won't find a bigger fan than me 'cause i just bought a hockey team

http://wgr550.com/topic/play_window.php?audioType=Episode&audioId=5179880

are you prepared to lose money--i wanna run the team to win the stanley cup...if i wanna make some money i'll go dig a gas well, i don't need to make it in the hockey business

how hand's on--...i'm going to be in and out...as much as i can without losing my family

on lindy ruff--i've had several people of authority say, 'if you're gonna get rid of lindy ruff, talk to us first'

are you gonna spend to the salary cap--we'll put the pedal to the metal as capably as we can. i don't know if it's wise to spend to the cap every year...but we're not in this to save money

on the sabres recent play--some of these teams that were left for dead...aren't gimmes anymore

will you be involved in a player move--[darcy's] got freedom...

balancing emotions of a fan and rational of an owner--that's a tough one...i don't get too high or too low...we're not gonna panic if we're on a losing streak

the rochester americans--the fan in me said 'why did they pull out of rochester?"...then i start hearing about portland...what a beautiful minor league city it was...maybe i was a little bit hard on the rochester/portland move, the fan in me...

--when [i] was losing interest in the sport, jesse got me back into hockey

on a buffalo bills purchase--i haven't thought about it...i haven't given it any thought

on players leaving--yes, i wanna keep not only statistically good players, but winners gritty players.

what was it about perreault that first made you a fan?--did you ever watch him skate? that's my hockey genesis right there

why i like terry pegula






it doesn't seem as if he's part of "the machine"











and that's a good thing

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

pegula's first letter to sabres' fans

finding a new home for current sabres







washington is said to be looking for a #2, two-way center --tim connolly









the terry pegula-era begins

top-sabre terry pegula
how cool is this?:

a guy with humble beginnings graduates from college and applies the degree he's earned to his field...he takes a chance, starts a company, grows it's worth into the billions then sells it...

all the while he develops a passion for the game of hockey...

after he sells the company he has enough money to do anything he wants and he pours it into the sport he loves...

who wouldn't want a dream scenario like this?


some links:

background from wben.com--http://www.wben.com/Who-Is-Terry-Pegula--A-Determined--Wealthy-Sabres-/9253499

from philly.com--http://articles.philly.com/2010-09-20/news/24976337_1_joe-battista-smeal-college-gift

from businessinsider.com--http://www.businessinsider.com/who-is-terry-pegula-2010-11 


anyhow, what would be my question to new sabres owner terry pegula at the presser today?

"terry, what's your favorite sabres-era team?"

don't know if there will be a storybook ending with a parade down delaware, but for a guy who hitchiked 15 miles to high school, ya gotta believe he'll give it everything he's got

Monday, February 21, 2011

current sabres players placed in the mid-70's

we go back to the mid-70's when philadelphia's broadstreet bullies fought the buffalo sabres, featuring "the french connection" in the stanley cup finals...

two markedly different teams, both vying for lord stanely's cup at a time when new sabres owner, terry pegula, would begin his love-affair with hockey...

pegula was said to be torn between the two teams, but now, his loyalty and heart (and money) are in buffalo as he places his name atop the organization...

i've often stated that (lame-duck?) gm darcy regier built an era-specific team when he dismantled "the hardest working team in hockey" and proceeded to build a team to his liking...and it seems as if players that were non era-specific--ones who could play and contribute in any style nhl--routinely walked out the door...

so, i was sayin' to myself this morning, "self? which players on the sabres roster would've contributed meaningfully on either the sabres or the flyers back in 1975?"...here goes...

in goal:
  • ryan miller--yup, probably much better than an aging roger crozier and an average, at best, gerry desjardins
  • patty lalime--sure, he could open the bench door in any era
on defense:
  • tyler myers--the jury's still out, but ya gotta believe that this kid has all the tools to play in any era
  • shaone morrison--probably, he's a big, stay-at-home kinda guy...even during "the new nhl" he didn't turn into a derian hatcher-like pylon
  • jordan leopold--sure, he could've contributed, as long as bill hajt was there to bail him out
  • craig rivet--right now?...i don't think he could play in any era, he seems shot...but, in his prime, i could easily see him dropping the gloves or plastering people into the boards
  • andrej sekera--nope...he needs to be in the 80's/early-90's/new-nhl era to be effective...woulda got crushed in the 70's
  • chris butler--meh, people don't like him all that much...i think he happens to have a good head on his shoulders and is going through some deep growing pains...at this point i'd say he could've played in the 70's because of his smarts
  • mike weber--most definitely...in fact i believe he'd thrive even more simply because he could use his edge to its fullest without being penalized as much
up-front:
  • tim connolly--nope
  • derek roy--nope...at one point, very early on, he had an edge, but that's vanished..,he's too wishy-washy
  • paul gaustad--maybe...he's got the size, but he's been wussified over the last few years
  • rob niedermayer--yeah, i think this guys a consummate pro...but at this point, age seems to be catching up with him
  • thomas vanek--yup...his size and skills translate to any era
  • drew stafford--nope...well, maybe...his lack of focus, inconsistency and on-ice dedication would draw the ire of teammates and opponents alike...got skills, though
  • jochen hecht--maybe...he does have some pretty good hockey sense, and if he could concentrate on d instead of playing the role of first-line center, i think he could fill a craig ramsay-type role
  • jason pomminville--yeah, i think he could...he's a pretty smart player and does have skills weave through the slapshot-style muck of the 70's
  • cody mccormick--yeah...i think the only era's he'd really have trouble with are the speed-era's
  • tyler ennis--jury's still out...there aren't that many who could be danny gare-like...although ennis' skating and skill would translate...size didn't hinder yvan cornoyer
  • nathan gerbe--see above
  • patrick kaleta--pests can make it in any era
  • mike grier--yup...a consummate professional

Saturday, February 19, 2011

prospects i'd like to see come to buffalo at the deadline

some of these, maybe all, might be "pie in the sky"...(shrugs)

the teams that might be regarded as tops in the eastern conference--philadelphia and boston--predictably, got out in front of the trade-deadline...both teams knew what they wanted and got it done...

as for the sabres, like we've done throughout the darcy regier era, we sit...and wait...and watch the glee with which other fans welcome their teams' trades...we sit off in the corner of the playground watching other teams compete, waiting for the school-master to let us in...

yawwnnnnnnn...the end of the regier-era can't come soon enough...

anyhow, with the list of teams shoring up their roster as the post-season approaches diminishing almost daily, it behooves regier to get something done...

the sabres, through defection (chris drury, daniel briere) and incompetence (tim connolly,) are thin up-the-middle...and for a number of years they either struck out on their draft-picks at center (marek zagrapan, felix schutz) drafted a center very late (maxim schevjev, 6th-round, 2002; nathan gerbe, 5th-round, 2005; benjamin breault, 7th-round, 2006; paul byron, 6th-round, 2007,) were left drafting a small one (gerbe, byron, tyler ennis, 26th overall, 2008,) or didn't draft a center at all (2003, 2004)...

luke adam (2nd-round, 2008) is the only drafted prospect that bucks the aforementioned trend...

the traditional return for veteran players who'll help a contender in the playoffs is a prospect and/or draft picks...therefore a small list of center-prospects who i'd like to see in the sabres organization...

the following profiles are taken from a great site, hockeysfuture.com, unless otherwise noted...
  • Benn Ferriero--san jose' sharks...an undrafted free agent, ferriero is on the fringe of the nhl having played 20 games with the worsester sharks in the ahl and 32 with the big club this season...a "balls-to-the-wall"-kinda player somewhat in the vein of flyers center, mike richards...the 5'11", 195 boston, ma native and former 7th-round pick of the phoenix coyotes (2006) seems as if he may be a late-bloomer who'll never take for granted that he's playing in the nhl..."Ferriero is a tenacious, fiercely competitive forward who plays equally well at both ends of the ice. He has great hockey instincts and does a superb job of reading and following plays. While Ferriero may be small he is by no means weak. His strength makes him a difficult player to move off of the puck and the way he plays his game makes covering him a daunting task for opposing defenders. Ferriero has shown a willingness to go to and take the punishment in front of the net to create scoring opportunities. He is also powerful skater."...in other words, "anti-core"
  • Evgeny Kuznetsov--washington capitals...kuzentsov is playing in the khl and it looks like he'll be there through the 2012/13 season...at 6'0" 175 lbs, he still has some growing room and, although he's listed as a right-wing, he can play center...sure, the sabres haven't gone after any russians in a while, because they could get burned, but maybe with the new ownership they'd take a shot with this kid..."Kuznetsov displays a mixture of strength and skill along with the exuberance of other young Russian players such as Evgeny Malkin. His game is still in its early stages of development, and he has the expected shortcomings when it comes to defending consistently and tactical play. What sets him apart from other players his age is his flawless skating, stick handling and passing and pass receiving skills along with a fearless desire - particularly along the boards - to control the puck and create scoring opportunities."...anyone who watched the world juniors last month, saw the aggressiveness, skill and skating this kid has
  • Tomas Tatar--detroit redwings...strictly a dream-scenario here, but the following analysis should provide some insights as to the difference between detroit and buffalo...from redwingscentral "He's one of those guys the puck just follows. He's got the offensive instincts, the head and the hands." — Red Wings assistant general manager Jim Nill (June 2009)...He's relevant in every game. He has a big future ahead of him. He's got really, really nice hands, really good vision and he's hard on the puck in the corners. He plays the game hard, too, for a skilled guy. He's not big but he's strong on his skates." — Grand Rapids Griffins general manager Bob McNamara (March 2010)...he is on the smallish side at 5'10", 175 lbs and it'll be interesting to see what a top-notch organization can do with the package he has...
  • Marcus Kruger--chicago blackhawks...is already being considered "a steal" after being drafted in the fifth-round of the 2009 draft, "Kruger  is an exceptionally skilled playmaker with elite hockey sense. He likes to set up plays and find his teammates with tape-to-tape passes. Has become much stronger which has improved his game, although he still could use additional strength and muscles. Works well in all three zones and has leadership qualities."...originally clocking in at 5'11, 172 lbs. he's said to have bulked up to 190...
of course, no one outside of the "war-room" (or in the sabres case the last five-plus seasons, "the kiddie pool") knows what's going on, but just some food for thought to take our attention away from the last two home games...

we'll see...

once again, regretfully, the over/under for regier making a trade is february 28 at noon...the heavy money is still on over

Friday, February 18, 2011

kaberle to the bruins?...or snake oil?

does anyone else find it odd that toronto maple leafs defenseman tomas kaberle's list of teams he wanted to be traded to was limited to one team?...the boston bruins

the same bruins that sent phil kessel to the leafs for two firsts and a second...

hmmmmm...seems as if, 


(blaring trumpets sound)


BRIAN BURKE!!!



(you may all rise from your knees now)


is, once again, getting leaf-nation all excited with a little snake oil...it's kaberle time...again...remember last trade deadline? and the 2010 off-season?...

yesterday, tsn's darren dreger had leaf-nation in a frenzy when he said, "Failing a complete meltdown - which has scuttled at least one previous trade involving the Toronto Maple Leafs, Tomas Kaberle, and the Boston Bruins - there's strong belief that Kaberle will be traded to Boston."

wow...you could almost feel the collective genuflect to mount maple leaf, with the angels singing burke's praise...the blogs go wild with kaberle getting back the #1 they gave away...

and dreger, gets leaf-nation into more of a tizzy with this title to his report:  SOURCES SAY BRUINS WILLING TO PAY A PREMIUM FOR KABERLE...

after that striking headline, on the heels of the previous "failing a complete meltdown" article, here's what we get as the personal pr-guy for burke and the leafs:
  • burke "insists there are other teams involved in the hunt"
  • the dynamics aren't done, but a "traditional" return of draft pick and/or prospect
  • sources say there's a "willingness" on the part of the bruins to pay a premium

although it may come true, i smell something fishy
the "anonymous hockey blogger"
has his sources

tsn' darren dreger
has his sources



 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
well...whaddaya know?...the deal got done

Thursday, February 17, 2011

despite the trend, ryan miller stays

oh God!...noooooo!

how could the sabres lose to the ny islanders 7-6 and the toronto maple leafs 2-1 in ryan miller's last two starts?...worse, because of miller, jhonas enroth, who beat the motreal canadians on the road in between and makes about 1/10th of what miller makes, was sent down to portland....

i can see sabres' fans frantically looking for that panic button..."trade miller, now!!!...enroth is the future, at least near-term...look at the trend in the nhl?"..."even if miller was elite, you don't need an elite goalie to win the stanley cup"..."look at the blackhawks last season!"..."this bum makes $6m?"

no long diatribes here, just this:
  • two of the last three cup-winners had goalies who were considered "above average" at best--chicago, 2010 with antti niemi and detroit, 2008 with chris osgood...the 2009 cup-winner was pittsburgh with 1st-overall pick (2003) marc-andre fleury in net...
  • all three of those teams were strong up-the-middle
  • all three of those teams were strong on defense
  • all three of those teams either have future hall-of-famers on their team (detroit) or have youngin's that look to be future hall-of-famers (pittsburgh--crosby, chicago--toews, both #1 centers, btw)
everyone points to the blackhawks/flyers final last season as proof the you don't need an elite goalie to win the cup...pretty sure that the flyers could have used an elite goalie in those finals...here's what the flyers goaltending tandem did in the finals:
  • game one--brian boucher (L) 6-5
  • game two--michael leighton (L) 2-1
  • game three--leighton (W) 4-3 OT
  • game four--leighton (W) 5-3
  • game five--boucher (L) 7-4
  • game six--leighton (L) 4-3 OT
25 goals given up by the flyers in six games
22 goals given up by the hawks in six games

in addition, the flyers had a "roulette-wheel" decision to make on a nightly basis as to red or black--who to start...

sorry boys and girls, trends are just that--trends...remember the trend the sabres were out in front of?...the new nhl?...were did they end up after the nhl changed in 2007...exactly

tried and true
starts with building from the goal out...you have miller, now find a top-pairing/shutdown d-man to go with tyler myers and work towards strengthening the center position...

take away miller and this team would be near the bottom of the league...

that's my story and i'm sticking to it

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

portland pirates sign a defenseman

here's the press release from portlandpirates.com (my highlight):

Portland, Maine - The Portland Pirates of the American Hockey League announced today that they have signed Nick Tuzzolino to a tryout agreement.



The 25 year-old defenseman was playing for Utah in the ECHL where he had seven goals and 18 assists for 25 points in 45 games. The 6-foot-5 Buffalo, NY native, who also played with the ECHL's Wheeling Nailers earlier this season (one assist in three games), has played in 179 career ECHL games collecting 22 goals and 62 assists for 84 points and 361 penalty minutes. The New York Islanders originally drafted him in the seventh round (196th overall pick) of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.

cool that another buffalo native is getting a shot with the sabres organization like goalie david leggio did this past summer...

just curious as to why?...

we all know that the sabres have eight defensemen up with the big club...

over in portland they have eight as well:  marc-andre gragnani, tj brennan, drew schiestel, nick crawford, alex biega and dennis persson, all sabres draft picks...they also have free agent signee, tim conboy...

the eighth is recent pto-signee brian o'hanely (02-05-2011)...

unless o'hanely is released from his pto contract, that will make nine d-men on the portland roster...

as the trade deadline nears, anyone else find this:


leafs gm talks about trades

toronto maple leafs gm,

(blaring trumpets sound)

BRIAN BURKE!!!



(you may all rise from your knees now)

had an interesting take on the deadline, and the weeks leading up to it...

why on a sabres blog?...we'll get to that, but here he is:





first off, the reason i went to this sportsnet page was news that leafs d-man, tomas kaberle, would only accept a trade to boston as part of his no-trade clause...my last two blogs concerned the sabres dealing with boston for the bruins 1st-round pick via toronto...

what came out of watching this video was how burke does things that darcy regier should be doing...things like:
  • "try[ing] to get out in front of the trade deadline...before the cattle stampede...and you're stuck with a lesser alternative"
  • "when you make a mistake and a player's not working out, fix it"...words of advise from his former boss, harry sinden
  • "we've been busy on the phones for a while"
yeah, say what you will about burke, but the guy does make moves to try and better his team...

i still think he's a wind-bag and a snake-oil salesman and that leaf-fans who turn towards mount maple-leaf every day to hear the call of burke have been rail-roaded...but?...whatever...the leafs were, are and always be a bitter division rival...

interesting note:  i went to the page to find out about kaberle, and the video that was there, the one that i posted, had nothing to do with kaberle...(shrugs)

redemption for darcy regier is right there

in the previous blog i wrote about wanting the first-round pick that the bruins got from toronto in the phil kessel deal...my thinking was that boston may be looking to bolster the team down the middle due to the loss of center marc savard and that tim connolly would be a fit as a rental...


i used the mike fisher to nashville trade as a base...the return on fisher was a first and either a second or third...

i also brought out the point that anywhere from three to six teams could use connolly's skills in a top-nine/top-six role including boston, pittsburgh and washington as well as, possibly, atlanta, calgary and columbus...

dallas stars center brad richards
is out indefinitely with
a possible concussion
since then, dallas center brad richards went down with an "upper-body injury"...speculation is that it is a concussion as he will not be flying with the team on their road trip which began last night in edmonton (a 4-1 loss) and continues tonight in calgary...

dallas is falling fast (2-7-1 in their last 10 games)...injuries have decimated the stars and are the main reason they've gone from tops in the pacific to a couple of losses away from dropping out of the playoff race...

i'm not saying connolly will be traded, but darcy regier has a shot at redemtion for the $9m contract he gave connolly two years ago as well as the innanity of his "two top-twenty centers in the league" statement...

nor am i saying that dallas would be the place that connolly ends up...but, what we have is another team that could use help up the middle...supply and demand...demand is getting higher and supply is tight, especially with ufa's...

with the bruins trading for bottom-six forward, chris kelly, the likelyhood of them going after another center diminishes...but the fact remains that the sabres could get a good return for connolly no matter where he goes...

redemption is there, mr. regier...

(knock, knock, knock)

that's opportunity at the door

Monday, February 14, 2011

i want the sabres to get boston's #1 pick in 2011

no, not the bruins own pick...i want the one that they got from toronto in the phil kessel deal...

and the player i see them using to get it?..........tim connolly

hear me out...

the sabres will not win the cup this year unless there's an almost unprecedented alignment of the stars; so why cling to an asset that can bring back a very good return?....there are other players on the team who can be moved, but connolly will be a player that quite a few teams will covet...

why?

tim connolly has mad skills, plays in all situations and can be considered a #2 center on many teams...he's a #2 center on the buffalo sabres right now...when healthy, he does produce and has shown that he can produce in the playoffs (last season not withstanding)...and, as of late he's beginning to heat up...

with "#1" center derek roy out for the season, moving the sabres #2 center would leave the team perilously thin up the middle, but, so what?... right now the sabres have as good a chance at making the playoffs without him as they do with him...in addition, he's is very marketable right now as teams bolster try to their roster for the playoffs...

the trade deadline is based upon supply and demand which is why there's so much overpayment for hockey commodities...right now, at least three teams in the east could be looking for a #2 center based upon injuries and/or lack of depth--boston, pittsburgh and washington...

the plight of bruins center marc savard is well documented...the skilled center just can't stay healthy and he's out, yet again, with a concussion...boston also has two #1 picks in the up-coming draft, their own and the one they got from the leafs in the phil kessel deal...

the pens have been decimated by injuries to sidney crosby (out indefinitely with a concussion) and evgeni malkin (out for the year with torn mcl and acl)...although jordan staal can move up to the top line, injuries to the pens top-two centers leave them really thin...

washington is having a helluva time scoring this year...they're strong on the wing and only have one legitimate center--1st-liner nicklas backstrom...they're falling fast right now and could use a #2 center to boost scoring...

even atlanta, who's been plummeting in the standings could use a center to bolster their playoff chance...in the western conference there's columbus and calgary who are battling for a playoff spot...

all-in-all that's anywhere from three to six teams, at least, that could be bartering for the services of connolly...and, since the sabres have eaten most of his contract this season, teams should have more flexibility eating what's left of his $4.5m salary...

what could the sabres get for him as a return?...high demand and low supply should equal a pretty good return for the sabres...

we'll start with the mike fisher...fisher was sent from ottawa to the nashville preds for a 1st-round pick and a conditional pick...although they are two different players, both connolly and fisher are top-nine centers who could help a team from the deadline and on into the playoffs...

based upon connolly's skill, the fact that he can play in all situations, the laws of supply and demand and the mike fisher trade, is there any reason to believe that he'd fetch anything less than a low first-rounder?...

yeah, possibly...and you're probably sayin' to yourself, "self?, boos may be right, but even if there's a snowball's chance in hell that connolly's worth that much, how would the sabres get the leafs top-10, possibly top-five pick that the bruins own?"...

almost every playoff-bound team, especially the ones with stanley cup-aspirations, looks to bolster their defense at the trade deadline...

the sabres have eight d-men on the roster, surely one of them not named myers could be available...ufa-to be steve montador and his inexpensive salary would make sense for boston...

so now we're looking at connolly and montador for the pick...that's the BASIS for the trade...fill in the rest to get it done...

oh, and one more thing when it comes to the boston bruins, jim benning, a part of the sabres organization for a number of years, is gm peter chiarelli's assistant with the bruins...

far-fetched?...maybe...but it's that time of year, isn't it?

every fan wants to play gm this time of year...it's one of the big-three "arm-chair gm" days, the others being draft day and july 1st...

and?.................................i'm a fan...


: )

Sunday, February 13, 2011

this sport reserved for non-wussies

for posterity's sake:

pennsylvania governor ed rendell at the
rescheduled vikings/eagles game
tuesday december 28, 2010
washingtonpost.com,Tuesday, December 28, 2010; 4:49 PM

Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell spoke out against the NFL's decision move the Minnesota Vikings - Philadelphia Eagles game to Tuesday night because of the blizzard. As Cindy Boren reported:

After calling the postponement "a joke" and saying that "Vince Lombardi would be spinning in his grave," on Sunday, his anger was unabated Monday, when he made frequent use of the "w" word.

"My biggest beef is that this is part of what's happened in this country," Rendell said in an interview on 97.5 radio in Philly. "I think we've become wussies. ... We've become a nation of wusses. The Chinese are kicking our butt in everything. If this was in China do you think the Chinese would have called off the game.

People would have been marching down to the stadium, they would have walked and they would have been doing calculus on the way down."

He needs to focus on the big picture: Moving the game to Tuesday -- the NFL's first on that day since 1946 -- means that there have been NFL games on four of the last five days. Who doesn't like that?

Jonathan Capehart agrees with Rendell, mostly:

"A nation of wusses"?! Ouch! But he's got a point. With our padded playgrounds and safety helmets, the next generation perhaps will never know the joys of and lessons learned from a skinned knee or an ill-advised trick on a bike, rollerblades or skateboard. What I take issue with is Rendell's musings on the Chinese. Yes, the people would have been marching down to the stadium -- by order of the state.


~~~~~~~~~~
the following game between the pens and isles ended up with these suspensions:  eric goddard (pitt,) automatic 10-game for leaving the bench...trevor gillies (nyi) nine games for delivering a blow to the head of pittsburgh's eric tangradi...matt martin four games for punching pittsburgh's max talbot from behind...apparently the nhl also thought that the isles were out of line, especially when you throw in the call-up of ahl tough-guy for the game, michael haley, and fined the team $100k...






the pens/isle melee' was on the heels of a brawl between original-six rivals montreal and boston...the fights featured habs goalie carey price and bruins goalie tim thomas do-si-do in a feingned fisticuff...it also drew some high-browed disdain from pti co-hosts tony kornheiser and mike wilbon...



wonder what governor rendell thinks of these two hockey games?

Friday, February 11, 2011

i like mike

"I have never felt comfortable...I'm always on my toes"
--mike weber, from a 2006 prospects interview with hockeysfuture.com

"always on [his] toes" because sabres d-man mike weber realized early on that nothing would be given to him, that, although he "might not be the best or most talented player on the ice," he'd be the guy "working the hardest, trying to be the smartest."

it's a great q&a with a young prospect who would spend the next 4+ years battling his way into the nhl...

what stands out in the piece is the comfort level he has with himself and his game, his focus on what he needs to do to reach the nhl and his humble thanks to the teammates who helped him early on...what also comes through in the interview is his discomfort with complacency, as there are constant references to working hard and a realization that "there are always younger guys coming up the ranks looking to take a job"...

when you look at weber's game, you see the same things that lured the sabres to pick the pittsburgh, pa native with the 57th overall pick in 2006...as a big (6' 2", 210 lb,) stay-at-home d-man with an attitude, weber represented a departure from the traditional darcy regier-era top-round pick...

although it wasn't really that shocking that weber was picked in the 2nd round that year (he was the #34-ranked north american skater at the time,) it was somewhat surprising...the sabres were in full "new-nhl" mode usually drafting highly skilled, smooth-skating puck-movers on the back end when they drafted weber, and it was a pick that got this blogger, and much of the fan-base excited...

yeah, i knew the guy could hit, fight and punish the opposition...i knew he was a stay-at-home d-man and was impressed (lately) with the way he passed the puck with authority in his own zone...but what stood out last night, and it's something that i haven't noticed with him, was his skating...he seems to be alot faster...and it seems as if it's a confidence thing, as if he's passed through a thresh-hold to another level...

as i'm writing this, i'm listening to wgr...howard simon keeps bringing up weber mentioning him to paul hamilton as well as mike robitaille...both agree with simon that weber's game is worth noting...the focus of sabres talk is mostly on tyler myers' game winning ot goal, the sabres first three-game winning streak of the season, a nearly perfect road game last night and how they're knocking on the door of the eastern conference top-eight...all well worthy of talk...

i really like the fact that simon brought up weber because i thought he played a helluva game last night and has been playing well for a number of weeks...he's playing with a ton of confidence and it shows in his skating...

there's been alot of talk about drew stafford and the panic over his impending rfa status come years end, but this morning i woke up thinking that the sabres should seriously consider signing weber to a five or six year extension...even though jeremy white today, as i was typing this, mentioned trading him in one of his typical hubristic "epiphanies"...

nah, jeremy...weber has attributes like toughness, grit, 100% effort, and attitude...he's also comfortable in himself and with his game...and...he skates with a sense of purpose which is an endearing quality to those who've watched "la core" skate with a sense of entitlement the past 3+ seasons...all of these attributes are fully ingrained in him and no matter what the situation, as long as he's physically able, he'll bring these to the table...he's the type of player that's a building-block, not trade-fodder...

yeah, i like mike



Thursday, February 10, 2011

some random thoughts for february 10, 2011

how do you go from a 3-9-2 start, which put you at or near the bottom of the league, to 2 games below .500, and very near a top-eight spot in the conference without winning three games in a row?...very simple, don't lose more than two in a row...

and that's exactly what the sabres have done...since nov. 6th the sabres have gone 22-13-3 while losing two games in a row four times, once in late november (tampa, pitt) and once in mid december (fla, tampa) and once in late december (fla, calgary)...in that same time-span they've won two in a row seven times (four times since derek roy went down on dec. 23) including the latest (vs. totonto and tampa)...

been hearing alot of squawking concerning the lack of a three-game winning streak, and it's well deserved...but at least they haven't gone into a prolonged slump

~~~~~~~~~~

vancouver d-man dan hamhuis got leveled by the ducks ryan getzlaf last night and was out of it for a few moments...no comment on the hit here, except to say that it was a hockey hit, but ya gotta look at the canucks and see possible trading partner...their defense has been battered all season and, even with the return of sami salo possibly on saturday, they are still missing keith ballard who may be out 4 weeks and alex edler who's out indefinitely with back problems...

if darcy regier were to talk with 'nucks gm, mike gillis, i'm sure he'll bring along photos of nathan paetsch, jeff jillson and rory fitzpatrick...been there, done that, got bounced

~~~~~~~~~~

i want toronto's first-round pick in the 2011 draft...boston has it, and it looks to be around a top-five...word on the street is that it may be available...

bruins gm peter chiarelli is believed to be taking a look at rookie center zach hamill first, but "acknowledged he’d have to consider taking a look at what's available in the trade market."

ummmm....hello...darcy?....you remember jim benning, don't you?...yeah, he was with the organization for a while and went to boston where he's now assistant general manager...seems as if they could really use a veteran center as well as a veteran d-man...sure, it's within the division, but think about it--a top-five pick in the draft this year


~~~~~~~~~~

sorry guys (and gals,) i've not been sold on andrej sekera all season...love the way he can move the puck up-ice, don't like much else...as previously blogged, he needs to get away from tyler myers...myers has enough problems of his own and really doesn't need the scatter-brained defensive liabilities that rej brings to the table...park his ass on the third-pairing or, better yet, move him at the deadline...

one thing that makes rej moveable is the fact that the sabres are deep with "puck-movers" in the organization...marc-andre gragnani was poised to make the sabres out of training camp before his quest was derailed by injrury...last season was an ahl breakout year for the 6'2", 200lb. third-round pick (2005)--he had 12 goals, 31 assists and was a plus-2...this season's he's looking to better those marks...presently he's second on the team in scoring with eight goals, 24 assists and is a plus-11...the sabres also have fast-developing drew schietsel as well as tj brennan, alex biega and nick crawford plying their trade in portland...in addition, dennis persson, who at one point looked to be a lost-cause/first-round-bust, seems to be "getting it"...

would it really hurt the sabres near or long-term to move sekera, especially at the deadline when they'll get the optimum return?

~~~~~~~~~~


did y'all realize that portland back-up (and williamsville, ny native) david leggio is 14-4-0-1 with a 2.64 gaa and has a .915 sv%?...not bad for an undrafted free agent...(for more on him check out my previous blog)

~~~~~~~~~~

with the trade of ottawa's mike fisher to nashville today (no real surprise in "mr. underwood" heading to music city,) the 2011 trade deadline is off to an early start with the fisher deal being the fourth in the last 24 hrs...

with the gun sounding, how long will it be until regier joins the race?...yeah, i know...february 28th, noon is the over/under with the heavy money on the over...

peace


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

looking for that #2/3 lw, part deux

ahhhh, the trade deadline...and new ownership ta boot...both are headed buffalo's way pretty soon...the question to ask would be, "will any player(s) be headed to the sabres under the directive of new owner terry pegula and his hockey people?"...

a few things to look at as we head towards the trade deadline:
  • i doubt the sabres will trade for a true #1 center at the deadline for a myriad of reasons including availability and cost...although nothing is impossible, it's highly improbable
  • the defense is pretty much set, although if the opportunity to snare a top-pairing d-man (like robyn regehr?) were to present itself, solidifying the d is always a good thing in the stretch-drive
  • back-up goalie is still a problem, but will it be addressed?...(shrugs)...it should be, but it's getting to the point where it doesn't matter...they'll be riding miller all the way (perhaps right into the ground)
in addiiton to personnel, there's always the financial aspect...not only is the player's actual salary/cap-hit a serious consideration, but the ancillary effect of the player needs to be taken into consideration as well (see previous blog)...

the sabres have relied upon revenue-sharing for the "viability" of the franchise post-lockout...i can't see them deviating from the norm for the rest of the season...pegula and his people will have a clean slate for next season and the opportunity to formulate their plan over a full season...

that being said, as scary as it is for the sabres to be involved in a stretch-run with jochen hecht, tim connolly, rob nierdermayer, paul gaustad and rookie, paul byron at center, that may be what we're looking at for the rest of the season...hell, tim connolly may not even be here march 1st...

as for the right wing, jason pomminville, drew stafford, patrick kaleta, mike grier and even thomas vanek--who has seen plenty of time there--make for a pretty solid right side...

the problem for me is still the left side...tyler ennis and thomas vanek are in the top-six, then the we're looking at nathan gerbe and cody mccormick...gerbe is still inconsistent and mccormick is bottom-nine, although i like what both bring to the team...so it's back to an area we looked at back in november in looking for that #2 lw ...

the three players we looked at were, tampa bay's simon gagne, cory stillman of the florida panthers and wojtek wolski who was traded from the phoenix coyotes to the ny rangers in the interim...

here's three more as the trade-deadline draws nearer:
    brooks laci
  • brooks laich, washington capitals--the caps, by their standards, are having a very average year...washington is a highly skilled team, as we all know, but their 2.69 goals/game average (17th in the league) is way off their pace of last season when they lead the league with 3.82 g/g...they are strong on the wing and weak down the middle with only bonafide #1 center nicklas backstrom as a legit top-six...they have big bodies on the wing in jason chimera and mike knuble and they have the mad skill of alexander ovechkin and alexander semin out there as well...soon-to-be ufa laich comes in at 6'2", 200 lbs...the former 6th round pick (ottawa, 2001) is not affraid of the "bloody-nose" areas and has scored 20+ goals in each of the last three seasons...at 27, he seems to have found his game, much like undrafted free agent rene' bourque of the calgary flames...although he's having a mediocre year by those standards, and remains inconsistent, his play is north-south and edgy and he leaves it on the ice every minute....why would the caps trade him?...the caps could really use a center behind backstrom, especially a set-up man...tim connolly would certainly fill their void (while creating a void at center for the sabres)...both are ufa's come seasons' end and this could be one of those deals that benefit both teams...although there are cap problems for washington (they have $1.6m in cap-space to work with,) in this scenario, the difference could be made up somewhat easily...
  • curtis glencross
  • curtis glencross, calgary flames--the flames are one of the hottest teams in the league right now...they are 7-0-1 in their last eight, and this surge has them knocking on the door of the western conference top-eight...28 year-old glencross seems to be following in the footsteps of fellow undrafted free agent bourque and has potted four goals during the flames run...although it doesn't look as if he'll reach the level of bourque, there's no reason to believe that he can't be right around 20 goals consistently...his price is right--$1.2m--and the guy works his butt off every game...his skill level is a notch above mccormick and, even in his inconsistency, he's still more consistent than the young gerbe is...why would the flames move him?...might be an low-impact ancillary move to free up some cap-space...the flames can take on about $1.3m in salary right now so moving glencross would give them even more to work with as they climb to a playoff spot...
  • nick foligno, ottawa senators--sentimental pick?...mmmmmmm, yeah, in a way...in my humble opinion, i'd really love to see the sabres enter the pegula-era with the brother's foligno (nick joining sabres prospect marcus, who, btw, made the hockey news' hot list this week) battling for the blue and gold...is there any reason to think that foligno could contribute more in the goal department than mccormick?...i'm not sure, he's still young, and at 23, the former #1 pick (28th overall, 2006) still has up-side...maybe you can look at his last goal when he rifled a backhand from the slot top-shelf (i really like players who can pot a goal on the backhand) as a window to his skill-level...he's a character guy as well as big (6' 0", 210 lbs.) and gritty...ottawa will be in sell-mode this deadline and foligno might be available for a pick...that pick will probably be no less than a third, possibly a second and either well within darcy regier's comfort zone...
all-in-all, i really can't see the sabres making a big splash at the deadline, and this season i'm really ok with that...adding some punch on the left wing would be a move that would allow the team to up-grade without doing much damage to the roster for the start of the pegula-era...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

final score philadelphia 7, buffalo 4

now that i have your attention, how many times have we seen the sabres in a similar position that tampa found themselves in tonight?...especially, it seems, when buffalo was up against the flyers...

on many occasions over the past 3+ seasons we've seen the sabres play competitive hockey only to have a late second period goal against change the momentum heading into the third period...how many times have we seen the sabres implode into a fetal position when the going got tough and pressure began to mount?...

tampa bay fell apart after the controversial, game-tying goal from jordan leopold early in the third period and proceeded to give up four more unanswered goals thereafter...how many times have we seen the sabres wilt like that after a questionable call that went against them?...

that was not typical sabres hockey tonight vs. the lightning, at least post-driere...

regardless of the past, regardless of what some may think of the absence of derek roy, regardless of the status of tim connolly, craig rivet, rob niedermayer or anyone else, the fact of the matter remains that the sabres are climbing towards the top-eight in the eastern conference...

next up is florida...can they finally win three in a row for the first time this season? (shrugs)

stick to the mantra:  two points, by any means necessary