Tuesday, August 14, 2012

You know it's slow in hockeyland when...

...the most interesting piece of "news" is an expose' on a twitter rumormonger.

Seems as if a "tweetybird" with tens of thousands of "followers" who's thought to have access to the inner workings of NHL front offices, @HockeyyInsiderr, is nothimg more than a 17 yr. old high school free lance "writer" from Quebec.

Irony is that I came across this piece through a noted hockey rumor site run by an "anonymous blogger."

I know. It's as earth-shattering as picking up the National Enquirer and reading an expose' on photo-shopping in tabloids.

It is what it is.

For the full piece click here.


WGR had one of it's polls out. It had to do with the Bills offense and their performance (or lack there-of) in their first preseason game vs. the Washington Redskins, a 7-6 loss.

Head coach Chan Gailey let QB Ryan Fitzpatrick call all of his own plays and Fitz proceeded to call 16 pass plays out of the spread, many with an empty backfield in no-huddle.

It didn't yield much. Four possessions, two first downs and three points.

The question posed on GR was, "After seeing [that] performance are you concerned with the Bills offense?"

Leave it to the Buffalo media to start the fretting. The poll has been up for days with nearly a third (30%) of the responders answering "yes."


Fitz has been working with quarterbacks coach David Lee all camp, trying to iron out kinks in his throwing. In addition, the Bills may have a rookie in Cordy Glenn starting at left tackle this season.

What's the best way to get tape on Fitz and Glenn?

By putting them in obvious passing situations facing a real pass rush.

Nothing more, nothing less.


The Sabres have a hole at the the #3 center spot right now.

Much to the chagrin of would-be coaches putting Steve Ott or Ville Leino in the pivot to fill out the line up, neither of them are centers (although Ott takes faceoffs with regularity.)

Which is something that makes trading center Tyler Ennis for winger Bobby Ryan pretty far-fetched. Even if, as some have suggested, the Sabres were also to couple that trade with a trade for Edmonton's Sam Gagner, who is a third-liner/top-nine at best.

Unless the Sabres somehow manage to land a bonafide #1 center, they'll be headed into the season with Ennis and Cody Hodgson as their top-two.

It's been suggested here that veteran free agent Jason Arnott would be a good fit for the team, as would Philly forward Matt Read.

But a wild card in the scenario would be #14 overall pick Zemgus Girgensons.

Girgensons has the type of team-first drive and simple north-south game to make a legitimate run at the spot out of camp.


The team will still have some work to do with line combinations outside of the Ennis, Drew Stafford, Marcus Foligno line.

What to do with the other two top-nine lines is up in the air, but one could envision something like this (barring any changes):

Leino, Hodgson, Thomas Vanek
Ott, Girgensons, Jason Pominville

On the Hodgson line, moving Vanek to right wing shouldn't be much of a problem. He's played it before and shown he can produce.

But the key for that line is using Leino's ability to control the puck while looking for trailers. And trailers is what Vanek and Hodsgon would be on most occasions. Skating is really not their forte'. Hockey sense is.

Whether finding an opening for a scoring opportunity, or working a cycle, that line will draw the attention of the defense. Which opens up possibilities for the Sabres d joining the rush and jumping into the play.

As for the Girgensons line, you have different styles of play all with a team first attitude.

Rookie Girgensons would benefit immensely by playing between two vets like Ott and Pominville.

As a line they could be a coaches dream doing whatever's asked of them. Pominville and Ott know how to score and they know how to play defense. Girgensons has shown the same attributes as well.

Just some possibilities as the off season drags on.


The Sabres top draft picks from the last two years are having a rough summer.

Via our good friend Kris Baker of Sabresprospects.com, the Sabres "top threats are quiet."

Joel Armia (#13 overall, 2011) and Mikhail Grigorenko (#12, 2012) have combined for 1 goal and one assist (in different tournaments) in eight games.

Not something to panic over, but not something that should sit well with themselves and/or the Sabres organization.


Bob Dylan once sang, "If there's an original thought, I could use it now."

Yup. Couldn't agree more.

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