An attempt to be humorous and logical about the Buffalo Sports Scene.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Do these 3 games tell us anything about the Sabres?

(daily news)
Kalinin once again showing what he does best. Let people score.

Well we are 3 games into the season for our beloved Buffalo Sabres, and they have 3 pretty impressive victories. They played two very good teams, controlled them and beat them. They played a crappy team and blew them out. Kicked their butt all over the ice. But can we learn anything from 3 games and project it for the season? No they won't go 82-0, but this is a better start then the Presidents Trophy year, because they look better on the defensive side.

First, the defense. 3 goals in 3 games. Thats pretty good. They give up 24 shots a game. But its not like 4 guys are eating up ice time its a bit spread out. They have a top pair, Spacek and Sekera with 23 minutes a game. Lydman and Numminen average 19 minutes, while Rivet is at 17 (and got kicked out of one game) while Tallinder is last with 16 minutes a game. It is obvious Henrik hasn't recovered. And with the defense first policy which seems dominates the message, he could be on the outside looking in or get shipped off for a center. We all know a capable replacement lies with Weber. And a decent 7th in Paetsch. There is definite top 5 for Lindy Ruff and Tallinder is not on that list. He was on the ice for the only goal last night. Probably not his fault, but still. I think the injuries are in his head and the weight is taken off Lydman who looks better. The defense depth was once a issue, but now I feel they are ok. Weber, Paetsch, Card and Funk can all play in the NHL. I just hope they don't have to quite yet.

Second, goaltending. Getting Miller signed and getting a capable backup, I feel has relieved all the pressure off Miller. He only has to think about Hockey. Not about money or playing all the time or having the team rely on him. They need him to do his job and not be superman. Lalime can play 15 to 20 games and there probably won't be much of a trail off. They will be against weak opponents, so really the transition should be seamless and Lalime will probably get more goal support. Which is too bad for Miller.

Third, the forwards. Thomas Vanek has decided to be the Man this year. He's paid like it, now he'll play like it. The gooses's roost likes to call him Atlas. Which seems fitting. I think money got to him, but with that over with, he can relax and just dominate. He has 5 goals in 3 games already. 2 on the power play, and 2 shorthanded. He's playing 20 minutes a night and has 18 shots on net. You know what those numbers mean. He is becoming a superstar. Superstars play power play and penalty kill. They are dangerous at all times. Derek Roy and Jason Pominville are playing to their normal standards. Ales Kotalik has decided to play and Dan Paille has emerged as a talent. Clarke MacArthur is providing some quality play and Max isn't crapping the bed. The injuries to Jochen Hecht and Paul Gaustad hurt, but will give time to guys to make the team have better depth. Tim Connolly is done in this town. Unless he comes back and has 80 points, his time as a Sabre has come to a close. Then there is Drew Stafford, some people are a big fan, me ehh. I think he's lazy. He's young and needs a good benching right now. He has 0 points, yet is second in shots on net. He is also riding the pine more often then not. He needs to show up pronto, or he'll be replaced when the team gets healthy.

3 games isn't that great of a sample size. But they are showing everything of making a great team. Timely scoring, scoring on the power play and short handed, and playing great defense. Time will show where the 2008-09 Sabres are, but right now they are heading in the right direction. This is a different team then years past, and I'm happy about that.

No comments:

Blog Archive

About Me

My photo
Buffalo, NY, United States
A Stay at home dad, who has more hot takes then your average stay at home dad.