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

Friday, October 31, 2008

BIlls Jets Preview

Well this is an important matchup in the AFC East. There is a 3 team race for the top, with the Bills and Patriots tied, and the Jets a game behind. And in a few weeks it could be 4 teams going for one spot. This sunday's meeting between the Bills and Jets should be a good one, with Brett Favre coming into Buffalo and the Bills secondary trying to get together to stop him.

We know the Bills, lets get into the Jets.
Jets Offense.

Ok BRETT BRETT BRETT BRETT BRETT. Got it out of the system. But when you have a Favre led offense, it lives or dies with his performance. The offense is middle of the Road 15th in the league, scoring 26 points a game and gaining 331.4 yards per game. But the telling stat the offense is a -6 on the turnover margin. So they turn the ball over.

Brett Favre is having an allright year, with 15 tds and 11 ints. With a 89.6 QB rating. But in the last 3 games, Brett Favre's numbers are not as good 3 Tds with 7 ints and 6 sacks. Brett Favre has been sacked 16 times this year, he was sacked 15 times last year. The highly paid offensive line hasn't been that protective of Brett thus far. Brett's completion % is hovering near 70% and thats bad news for the banged up Bills Secondary, so its key to get pressure on Favre from the under achieving defensive line.

The run game looks pretty tough, so they spent money on run blockers. Thomas Jones is averaging 4.4 a carry with 4 tds, and Leon Washington is averaging 5.7 yards per carry. Obviously people are playing the pass, opening up the run for the Jets. The Jets look to have a balanced offense.

On the defensive side, the Jets are right with the Bills in the stats. They are ranked 12th in defense. They are giving up 4 more points per game and 12 yards per game. They are worse on 3rd down defense and take more penalties. Their leading tackler, David Harris, looks like he won't play so that can only help the Bills on the run game.

But with the recent troubles pass blocking and injuries on the O-line the Jets front 7 isn't the cure. They have 24 sacks this year, so they come after the qb. Trent better get the ball out quick and can't stand back there or he will get hit, and the Bills can't afford that. Putting in a quick pass, run offense, will help neutralize the defense and maybe attack it, catching guys up the field for big runs or big runs after the catch.


I'll be out scouting reception sites, so I don't know how much of this game I'll catch. I'm happy its back on Time Warner, so I could tape it if I want. But whats the point. I want to say the Bills will bounce back from Miami last week. But who knows. This team is a work in progress. I always feel on the optimistic side, but I don't know. My gut feelings this year haven't been close to what happened, so it should be close.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sabres Lightning Preview

The Lightning come into town tonight, after a win on Tuesday versus the Leafs. The Sabres are licking their wounds from a 5-2 drubbing by the Senators on Monday. The Sabres owned the Lightning last year, especially Thomas Vanek who had 7 goals against the Lightning last year, including 2 hat tricks. Both teams will be looking for a win, but Buffalo looking to redeem themselves after a bad Monday night.

The Lightning

The Lightning sure haven't been electric on the scoreboard this year for sure. Their top Scorers, Prospal and Lecavalier both have 6 points. Which rather low for Vinny. Martin St Louis has 5 points and a bunch others have 3. They appear to have scrapped the run and gun style they had. Which led to some fun high scoring games, and also led to them being awful. I guess Barry Melrose saw they had no defense and made everyone play back a bit. Steven Stamkos isn't off to a Calder season quite yet, with 1 point in 8 games and is a -3. I guess the NHL is quite the jump from Sarnia.

But lucky for them they have Mike Smith in net, who has stellar numbers for seeing a lot of rubber. He is seeing about 37 shots a game. And has a 2.11 GAa and a .942 Sv%. He is the one in the Saw Mask. I haven't seen corporate synergy like that since Disney owned the Ducks. It would be like if Tom Golisano had Ryan Miller wear a Joe Mesi mask, for the upcoming election. And sure he came to the owner about it. RIIIIIGHT.

The fact that 2 defensemen have played 8 games this far, would concern me if I were a lightning fan. And who I have back there would also concern me.


Well the Sabres suffered their first regulation loss on Monday. But its not the cause of concern, rather their players going after the other team in the locker room might be more of a concern. They get Gaustad back tonight and Rivet and Tallinder are back skating, so the days of Nathan Paetsch are numbered, who hasn't played bad, but I'd rather have Tallinder in there. So the team is getting healthier heading into november, where they need to stock up points before the eventual 10 games where they are downright terrible.

Well it should be an interesting game, the Lightning are giving up shots, but Mike Smith is keeping them in the game. I don't think Kolzig will play, but if he does, look out Thomas Vanek might go off again and put himself in the double digit goal totals.

The true story of what happened in the Locker Room area

(Mair goes to locker room after being ejected)

Mair: Oh man that Chris Neil really gets my blood boiling, lucky Duke will calm me down with his happy demeanor.

Mair: Duke? DUKE! Where are you boy?

(Looks in Pat Kaletas locker, not there)

Mair: DUKE. Come on Boy, you don't have to hide its Mairsy.

(Goes outside dressing room)

Mair: Hey newsguys Did you see a dog come by here?

Newsguy: Um yeah I think he went into the Ottawa Locker Room

Mair: Oh good, I thought he might be lost.

(Goes into Locker area)

Mair: DUKE!

Jarko Ruutu: Hey, what are you doing here? You can't be in here. Neil isn't here.

Mair: I'm not looking for him, I'm looking for my dog Duke.

Ruutu: Well Luke Richardson put him outside, since Chris Neil is really allergic to Dogs, he could go into shock if he even gets 2 feet from one.

Mair: OUTSIDE! ITS FREEZING! Duke can't handle the cold!

Ruutu: Oh, I'm sorry.

(Luke comes back from outside)

Luke Richardson: Oh man its cold out there, but man what a nice dog. HEY! Whats he doing in here.


Richardson: Oh hes right outside you're guys door, I didn't know you allowed dogs in the locker room. Plus Neil is really allergic to dogs.

(Mair storms out of the locker room, with Richardson and Ruutu following him, news guys turn on their cameras)

Mair: You have to jump into his fights, and protect that guy, all you are is a joke. You're a joke.

(Cameras off)

Ruutu: Wow he must really love that dog.

Mair: I can't believe they would put him outside, because someone is allergic. What a joke.

(Mair opens outside door and sees Duke)

Mair: There you are boy. (Duke jumps on Mair) I love you too. I can't believe those mean Senators put you outside like this. Its 30 degrees out. Lets go inside and get you a biscuit.

Mair: That Neil is such a joke.

This post is all over the map

Jerry Lodriguss

Well congrats to the Phillies for winning the World Series. Its probably a good day to be in Philadelphia. A city I like, so they can enjoy this, before having to deal with the Flyers and 76ers for the rest of the winter. I don't think I would have picked the Phillies at the beginning of the year, or even at the start of the Playoffs. I had the Red Sox winning it again. It was also nice to have it end at 10pm. A reasonable end time for a game. This game probably would have been over at Midnight, if it went 9 innings. People get to go to sleep early and the Philly fans can party longer, so it works for everyone.


The Bills are rather banged up of late. Unlike the Sabres, this team can't withstand injuries to key role players. Reed, Schobel and Butler are probably out. McGee and Youbouty are still hurt in the secondary. And the still don't know who is at center Preston or Fowler. The injury to Reed is big, since Trent trusts Josh to get that 1st down when its 3rd and 6. And Chris Brown has some frightening stats about the secondary, since the injuries started to happen there.

Completion pct. Allowed
1st 4 games – 49.6%
Last 3 games – 76.2%

Opponent passer rating
1st 4 games – 64.3
Last 3 games – 109.8

Yikes. Lets hope McGee and Youbouty are better. Because Favre isn't what he used to be, but he's still Brett Favre. Time to lock things down and win the next two games they are critical for the season. Must win game time this week. And it starts with the defense.


The NBA started their season.

Couldn't care less.


Griffs hockey is underway, so lets hope they have more brawls with RIT in the works, nobody messes with the Griffs. NOBODY.


I love the recent comments to my blog. Basically because of the Mair incident, and the Ottawa bloggers, trying to defend Neil. I don't care if hes a nice guy off the ice, because hes a cheap shot artist on it. Yes i know he does defend himself. And for the last time the Drury hit wasn't clean, it was a head shot on the Captain. If thats not a no no in the NHL I don't know what is. I just don't like Ottawa from management on down. But I appreciate the traffic. So thanks for coming by and posting your opinion.


Last night me and the Fiance attending a sales pitch, there was a free trip for going, but ended up walking out with $3000 in cookware. He was quite the salesman and the product itself was impressive. Plus we get two trips out of the whole process. Cookware even I couldn't screw up cooking stuff with. It whistles when its done! Like a teapot! Plus you can stack stuff on the burner and it will heat all the way up. Can't wait till its delivered.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

More Sabre news and Tv news

Hey when are they gonna wear these this year? I know people can't have them yet, so are they waiting till November to wear them? Its obvious these will be the new home jersey in a couple years. They made their money off the newest logo and said hey lets make even more. Anyway....


Finally his hand is healed from pounding on a guy, to remove Matt Ellis from the lineup. That is quite the upgrade. Not only you get a guy who can score, you get a guy who brings toughness and is great at face offs back. But what about Connolly? He was close too. Are they saving him for the weekend, to get rid of Peters? Then probably in a week or so, Hecht will be back. Making sure Peters is out of the lineup.

Mair gets only a fine. Of course he does, he only wanted to chat with Chris Neil. And of course Ruutu and Richardson prevented him from a pleasant conversation. I'm sure it was money worth losing. Chris Neil better watch himself this team remembers all he's done. And when Rivet is back he'll have some tough customers on the lookout. Guys on the Sabres aren't scared of being kicked out of the game.

Tallinder will be out, Weber in again. Its the Lightning, I have no worries about a bounce back from Monday. I'll be more interested in Stamkos and Melrose.


Finally. The long nightmare is over. I can watch Bills games on Cable again. Thank god. Enough with the antenna. Its the 21st Century, you should never need an antenna anymore. Well that along with not having to go to the Basement to watch NCIS. Its cold down there. I want to be in the living room and watch stuff there. Where I can pause the tv and stuff. Its was way too long and now its over for now. It was stupid and lame. This should never have happened and if it happens in the future its going to make me even more angry then before.

Wait I think I'm busy on sunday, oh well. I'm happy for others. I'm busy with more important things, but still I'd like the option.

Chris Neil: #1 on the Sabres Most Wanted List

Should be out of the League

Well on further review it looks like Mair was going after Neil. Which comes to no shock of the Sabres, the man who almost took Chris Drury's head off, along with numerous other cheap shots in the Ottawa Buffalo contests through the years. This time Mair mad enough to almost go in the Ottawa dressing room to get to Neil. Ruutu just stood in the way. And still that move to Mair was cheap, Mair could have blown out a knee the way Ruutu stuck his stick in his legs. Though Ruutu actually got Kaleta to drop the gloves, so good for him. Then proceeded to lay on him. I'm guessing to make Kaleta squeel like a pig.

Jim Kelley, former Buffalo news writer has more on the actual incident.

Mair, ejected after an on-ice melee involving several members of both teams, took a walk, in full gear, down the hallway to the entrance of the Senators locker room. He was reportedly looking for Chris Neil but instead got into a verbal altercation with Ruutu, who chose to answer Muir’s call at the locker room door in Neil’s place. At one point Mair grabbed the Finn by his undershirt but a quick-thinking member of the Senators PR staff stepped between the two and separated them.

Chris Neil is probably the most loathed player by the Sabres. And he is a joke. Adam Mair hates him, there are a couple of fights between the two over the years.

Ironically caused by Kaleta

I like Mair Hitting him with his helmet.

I don't know what it is, but Mair protects Kaleta, like he's his buddy. Anyone touches Pat, Mair goes off like the Hulk. Well if anyone touches a Sabre Mair goes a bit nutty. But no doubt if Mair got in that locker room, there would be a long suspension for Mair. Ruutu, kept the peace somehow. Then theres this quote from the scum himself.

"I heard about it," said Neil, who has a long history with Mair. "Maybe he was trying to take a 10-game suspension because he's already had two of those. He obviously doesn't like getting paid. I wish I had been here. He was mad because I was chirping at him."

Ugh, I hate Chris Neil. I have no idea why he's still in the league. How anyone puts up with his crap. He's probably one of those "good teammates". Kaleta has a lot of Neil in him. Though I don't think he takes the liberties Neil does, close, not there yet. And he better not get there. Be more like Mair, and less like Neil, Patrick.

Well this one will brew for a while, since the Sabres and Sens don't lock horns again til January 6th in Buffalo. No doubt, Neil better be ready, because Mair will go right after him. And we might have another brawl between these two teams.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Adam Mair thinks you're a joke

Things got a little testy after the loss last night to Ottawa.

Thats right Adam Mair went after Jarko Ruutu after the game. Since he couldn't get him on the ice, after a very dirty play.

I love dam Mair, hes tough and he's a little crazy. He's Chris Neil, with a conscience. Well he did go a little insane on the Island early this year, but still the ultimate team guy. He wants to be here, he a Hamilton guy, so you know he's tough, plus he plays every night.

And he's right Jarko Ruutu is a joke.

Can't wait for the next time they play.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sabres Sens preview

I hate the Senators. I really do, its like a team was made up a bunch of douchebags, then traded for a murderer. They are the ones that ruined Tim Connolly. They ended the President cup year. They have one line, yet can beat us. ONE LINE! This year, they are off to a terrible start, shockingly because of bad goaltending. Isn't that why Ray Emery is in Russia? But doesn't it always seem when Ottawa needs to hit the panic button, the Sabres are on the Schedule? Who are now without Tallinder probably? Which makes me want to check the Portland Roster and see who is doing what, because we hear nothing.

Where I see this


One, the special Pink jerseys are sharp, but talk about the Sabres putting a stamp on this team. But the leading scorer on the Pirates is Mancari with 10 points in 5 games, followed by Gerbe and Kennedy. Good news all around. Except Enroth is struggling.

Anyway, back to tonights game. The sens are coming off 4 straight losses. Are dead last in the Northeast and people are panicking. For Sabre fans it all sounds great doesn't it? Well the leading scorer is Filip Kuba with 11 assists. One, thats not good, and second, I didn't know he was on the Senators. Really they are still a one line. Spezza and Heatley have 9 points, Alfredsson has 7 points. Then Shean Donovan and Picard have 4 points. They have two ex Lightning defensemen? oh boy their defense must really suck. Volchenkov and Phillips are a combined -11. And Brian Lee looks like a nice young D-man, and Jason Smith is steady, but he isn't getting points.

The goalies are the real issue, Gerber who is hurt is off to a terrible start, so it will be Auld tonight probably and his numbers are pretty solid. He is the hope tonight for the Sens.

The Sabres will counter with Patrick Lalime, so thats how bad the Sens are, they don't even get Miller tonight. Tallinder is probably out and that means Weber is in. I don't know if that is a upgrade or downgrade. And rumors of one of the 3 centers might be back tonight. Which is a good thing. I think the offense need more help. MacArthur isn't a second line player nor should be on the power play. But there shouldn't be a rush, they are banking points for the season. They aren't a first place team and will eventually settle in the middle. But it would be nice to beat up on the Sens.

I just think its a game where the Sens will play up, and the Sabres are in a comfortable zone. Its just one of those games where one team really wants it more then the other. I hope I'm wrong.

Good thing I didn't watch that.

James McCoy

Well of all the games to miss, because you attended a Bridal show, thats one of them. And in fact if things get worse for the Bills in November, I'll probably spend most of my time helping out with the initial stages of wedding plans. Sure I may have come home to see the Robert Royal fumble. But oh well. I am completely happy I didn't have to watch this game on a antenna in the basement. Its not fun, and that game would have driven me insane.

It was also my first anniversary yesterday (of the day we met) and got a Lynch home jersey for a present, sweet. Though my fiance calls him a killer. I say he only committed a traffic offense. Its not what you were charged with, its what you get convicted of, in my world. I needed a new home one, and Lynch is a nice add to the collection of troubled ex backs. Henry and McGahee.

Bridal shows for the ones that haven't gone, aren't made for men, obviously. But its something you gotta go to once. All the photographers stuff look the same, yet prices are all over the map. There seems to be no order or structure. And the fashion show, where the model mens stuff, you know the basic tux, because really mens wedding fashion is pretty standard. The guys are there to ham it up and entertain the ladies, while the women are there to model dresses.

I am very glad I went to the bridal show instead of staying home, watching a fuzzy game of a team that wasn't playing well, and lost to the Dolphins. Hopefully its a wakeup call, and its also a wakeup call to get going on wedding stuff, there were a lot of brides there, a lot of people are getting married and I guess no one makes wedding cakes or they take weeks to make. Its a cake, bang it out in a couple hours. If guys planned a wedding you could do it in a week and it would cost like 500 bucks. But weddings aren't for guys, they are for the ladies.

Now lets hope the Bills get their act together for the Jets next week. Thats two losses in the last 3 games. Nows the time to end a slide.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Buffalo Colorado Preview

Hey its another matchup against a team the Sabres rarely see. I love the new format. Because a Saturday night matchup versus Colorado. Its a battleground state versus a poor blue collar city. Obama is loving this matchup.

The Sabres are coming off a rather impressive come from behind win in Minnesota, so they are looking good at 6-0-1. The 'Lanche are on a 4 game winning streak, after they solved their shaky goaltender issue, well they still have shaky goaltending they just have to score a bunch to win. Its the Sabres from two years ago, or last year.

Colorado has some name scorers, Paul Stastny has 11 points on the year, Sakic has 9, Hejduk has 6 goals on the year so far, even Ryan Smyth has 6 points. Their defense is okay with JM Liles and Jordon Leopold and the veteran Adam Foote, it seems people who play in Denver like it there so people stay. The problem with the Avalanche is their sloppy goaltending. Budaj and Raycroft are not a dynamic duo and are off to horrible starts. Both GAA's are over 3. And their save percentage is below .875. They aren't going anywhere this year if that trend continues.

The telling stat in this game is the goals against per game. Colorado is at 3.29 and the Sabres are at 1.65. If you are giving up more then 3 and the other team is giving up less then 2, you figure out who probably will win.

Don't know if ill watch this one since it starts at 9, maybe a period or two. But hopefully the Sabres come home with 7 wins.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Bills Dolphins Preview

Its the old Bills Dolphins rivalry, that no one care about anymore, especially those under the age of 25. The days of Kelly vs Marino are over. Now we have Chad Pennington vs Trent Edwards which still doesn't have any ring to it. The only thing interesting about the Dolphins is their crazy wildcat formation. Which is a gimmick and only can last so long before people just figure it out. This is such a big match up, I'll spend part of it at a Bridal show. That's right its time to think about a wedding and make contacts and decide on all this stuff. That is way more important then watching this potential for a disaster. Going to Miami always concerns me with the Bills, no matter how good they are. The crowd will be terrible. The team will think they can walk through and win this game. And they'll lose to the Dolphins and Bills fans will be in panic mode. So its best to miss some of it, so I can spare my stress level and just apply that to realizing the cost of a wedding.

The Dolphins.

Honestly I like when they are bad, there is nothing worse then a good Dolphins team. I want them to have 4 or 5 wins a year. Last year was almost perfect. Seeing them lose every game would have been awesome. Their offense isn't bad. They rank 10th in the league in total yards, 23rd in points per game. They can move the ball, but they can't always punch it in. So that looks good for the Bills defense. Still they can be dangerous and there is no more dangerous weapon then Ronnie Brown. Finally coming into his draft status, the 'Fins are looking to get him the ball any way possible. Or keep it out of Chad Pennington's hands.

Whats shocking is, you'd expect Ronnie Brown to have gaudy stats, not so fast my friend. Ronnie Brown only rushes for 60 yards a game. Ricky Williams gets 41 yards a game. They get a solid run game, but nothing you can't stop.

Chad Pennington is the model of consistency, a lot of people knock him, but I think he'll get the job done for you. He throws for 232 a game, almost a 70% completion rate and not too many mistakes. But his receiving corp isn't all star material. Greg Camarillo is the leading reciever with 27 catches and 1 td. So really man up the recievers and load up the box and make Chad beat you.

The defense is a little weak. They are led by Joey Porter and his 8.5 sacks, but other then him, its a no name and a work in progress defense. They are 21st in the league according to yards given up, and 18th in most points given up a game. The Bills look they can move the ball on this defense and with some injury issues on the line, and Jason Ferguson looks like he'll play, so that will help the Miami Defensive line. But the Bills handled a very good line last week. The cornerbacks look to be a problem so look for Trent to go after them.


I think the Bills should win. They have the better team, the better QB and a chip on their shoulder. But if they slip up, here is a place they'd do it. Everyone saw Arizona coming. That and Trent getting hurt didn't help that one. And if bad things do happen, I'll be thinking about my wedding so its only good thoughts. Good thoughts.

Ok Sabres,

Enough with spotting teams 2 goals, before you have to make a comeback. Last night might have been one of those, well can't win em all nights. Then one tip in, followed by Vanek deciding to put one in where he grew up, then Derek Roy finally getting a goal for the year. But they had no business winning that game last night. The Wild don't let this happen. Or do the Sabres sucker opponents into a trap, before they charge and win the game. But they need to take it to a team. They can't just trust they will come back and win a game. They had that mindset two years ago and it got them nothing. This team isn't as good as that team, and they need to get ahead and stay ahead. Sure its fun and exciting, but what else is exciting winning games 6-2.

Minnesota thought they played a great game, but had a lazy couple minutes and lost a game. That should be a lesson to the Sabres. You can play great and lose. When you get into a habit its hard to break. This team is filled with guys from two years ago. Who still may think they can skate around and still win. Well not every night and especially not in the playoffs. Miller got lazy and put a puck in his net. That should be unacceptable. What if they lost 3-2? Thats the winning goal. Instead the score is 4-3 and its just a goofy blunder, instead of a critical goal in the third period.

Looking through the stats, Thomas Vanek once again stands out. He had two points and was a +3 on the night. On the other side, Miettinen the Wild leading scorer, had 0 points and was a -3. In the battle of the top scorers it was one sided. The 4th line was barely on the ice each with almost 5 minutes a piece. This team needs to get back Connolly, Gaustad and Hecht, so they can roll 4 lines and be very fresh for 60 minutes. This team barely has any centers and aren't hurting for offense. Imagine when they get scoring and two way play back.

Miller had a shakier game, but not as shaky as Backstrom was at the end. The last two goals were bad in my opinion. No way you let a guy come around and just stuff it in. Thats a garbage goal for Roy. But the Wild were coming off almost a week rest and the Sabres have played extra time in a couple nights with travel.

Not making excuses, but the Sabres need to stop this habit right now, and it starts in Colorado.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sabres Wild Preview

Its a battle of unbeatens! Kinda, its a battle of teams who haven't lost in regulation or overtime, but in the Shootout, the Sabres have a loss. Back in the day that would be called a tie. And it would be a actual meeting of unbeatens. So if we look back in time, yes these teams wouldn't have a loss. But anyway. Its a important matchup to see where the Sabres stand against a good team in the Western Conference. To be honest I have zero clue about the Wild. But the left looking logo, makes the picture great. It looks like the Buffalo Ghost will take on the Wolf? in a fight.

The Sabres are banged up losing Craig Rivet for a couple weeks, to a knee surgery, which goes in the better now then later file, adds to the mounting injury woes for the Sabres. Which so far haven't hampered them too much. But eventually it will catch up to them. And the Rivet injury could be the tipping point. Nathan Paetsch was adequate 2 years ago, but last year was very shaky, which led to Sekera and Weber seeing lots of ice time and showing they have what it takes to play in the NHL. And there is no doubt Paetsch plays like last year, Mike Weber will be in against Colorado. But enough of the Blue and Gold, lets get WILD!!!!

The Wild are leading the Northwest Division with 8 points, being 4-0-0, outscoring their opponents 15 to 7. which is similar to the Sabres 22 to 10 goal differential. Many think because of Lemaire the Wild, are defense first, lock down, boring. But I don't think thats the case. I think they are team first, and thats why a guy like Gaborik is complaining. He wants to be the man, when the course of strategy says, its the name on the front, not on the back. Thats why when you look at the roster you go, who? The leading scorer is Saku's little brother, Mikko Koivu, who has 9 points (8 assists) And the leading goal scorer is Antti miettinen with 5. Andrew Brunette has 5 points and Kim Johnnson has 4 points. Really its a bunch of guys playing hockey and playing the system. Its exactly what Lindy Ruff wants for the Sabres, but I think the Sabres have more offensive talent. The real lynchpin on the Wild is Nik Backstrom who is having a solid start to the season. With a 1.71 Gaa and a .942 sv %. He is the only goaltender who has played so far for the Wild.

This should be an interesting game I think. The Wild haven't played since Saturday, where they had a 3 game Southeast trip, against the Mighty Thrashers, Panthers and Lightning. So they could be nice and rested up, but also the Gaborik stuff might be a distraction. Its all over the blogs and with a team like the Sabres coming in, trying to have a nice little North/western trip. They probably want to play better then they did against Atlanta and Boston. So I would look for a strong opening for the Sabres tonight. Its really one of those games I have zero clue how it could go. The Wild could come out rested and run all over the Sabres, or the Sabres take it a over rested team.

I guess we'll see tonight. Hey maybe a Peters Boogard Fight tonight!!!! That would go well.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Marty not doing so hot this year.

Well beloved former Sabre, Marty Biron, is not off to a hot start. You may say he is off to a oh god he should be the backup for the Philadelphia Phantoms. He was pretty good last year, in fact I was making the argument the Sabres should wait to sign Miller and get Marty back at a cheaper rate and wait for Enroth. I obviously know nothing and would be a horrible GM.

I know the Philly defense is banged up, but his numbers are god awful lets take a peak.

0-3-0 Not good, even Thibault could win a game

.824 Sv % wow thats awful.

5.75 GAA. Andrew Peters would have a better GAA if you slapped him in net.

He has faced 74 shots and let 13 goals in. That is hey we are going to put you on waivers or trade you, because, even the Kings think that is terrible goaltending. I don't know if hes hurt and hiding it, since he's in a contract year, but those numbers aren't going to help him. As a Sabre fan, I feel confident we have the right french canadian backup.

Marty I'm sure you'll straighten things out. Or you'll find yourself back in Buffalo as the third host of the Enforcers.

Oh and Craig Rivet needs surgery.

That sure came out of nowhere. Well here comes the Nathan Paetsch experience, please play well Nathan. We depend on you.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sabres Bruins Preview

Ugh the Bruins. Its too early for the Bruins. Thank god they only have to play them 5 more times. No one plays a more boring brand of hockey then the Boston Bruins. Hey if you want to get fans back in Boston, make them play a fun style of game. Not sit back and wait for turnovers type of hockey.

Well they come into HSBC Arena off a shootout loss, one of a 30 for the Bruins this year, so they will probably be tired. They are 2-1-2 on the year already. Thats a pretty good indication of what the Bruins will be this year. They won't be great, but they won't be bad, they have enough talent and decent goaltending, but they won't be one of the elite teams in the league. They can be beat any night. They do have two 5 goal scorers already, in Kessel and Savard, but their lineup is pretty average after that. Michael Ryder isn't someone your scared of, neither is Krejci or Bergeron. Its a hard working lineup, thats led by Chara on the Blueline and a bunch of other grinders like Wideman, Aaron Ward and Brad Stuart. Tim Thomas is pretty good and having a decent year, but Manny Fernandez might get a go tonight, and he isn't having the best year with a 3.02 GAA and a .878 sv %. Thats Thibault numbers right there. But I'm not spending time on the Bruins because I hate them. So lets talk about the Sabres.

Well the Sabres are off to a fast start. They aren't relaying on scoring to bail them out, but defense. I think the Atlanta game showed if they are lazy, they will get scored on. Thats why I look to tonight for the Sabres to return to form. Their team GAA is 1.36 thats Detroit like. I think people realize that the Detroit style of game is what will be successful in the NHL. Tight defense with some offensive power. The Sabres have the offensive power, led by Vanek, Pominville and Kotalik. This is when their forwards are banged up, imagine when they can roll four lines with some scoring touch.

The Sabres can't start slow again, they have to come out strong and play smart. If they want to be the team they want to be. I'm sure Lindy has told them what they have to do. They can just look to last year and see he's right. They played wild and loose and had success, because they had so much offensive power to dig themselves out. But eventually that catches up to you. Now they have a good amount of talent, but they have to play two way hockey to win. There is a reason Vanek is doing what he's doing, he wants it. No one can stop him when he's motivated. He can be a 50 goal scorer and be one of the elites in the league. Soon that contract will look like a deal.

Hey he's been in the league as long as Sidney Crosby.


Crosby 100 in 220 games

Vanek 111 in 250 games

(and yes I know Crosby has 109 more assists then Vanek)

But that shows hes one of the elite goal scorers in the league, not in Ovechkin terrority. But Vanek wasn't the best player on his team. Now he's the best player on the Sabres. He wasn't given the ice time early on. Its time for Sabre fans to realize how good of a player the Sabres have on their hands, and for a very long time.

Tonight, I hope the beat the bruins by 5 goals. Probably more like 3 to 1. Boston is really going to play tight tonight.

Monday, October 20, 2008

What is old is new again.

Well I didn't have to worry about watching the game on Tv, since I was driving back from the fiance's parents house, to tell them we are engaged in person, so heard the game on tv. Games called on cell phones aren't that great. Its like you call your friend to tell you whats going on at a high school game. But it brought back memories of hearing games when I was a kid during the hey day, while driving around. Well this time I was driving and not in the back.

The Fiance was napping in the other seat, holding a parrot, while dogs and cats were in the back seat and I was cruising on the Thruway, listening to a tight ball game. It brought me back to the old days. Minus the many mistakes of Van Miller. Van Miller without electricity would have been a disaster, he'd wouldn't know if Kelly or Reich was in, whoever caught the ball would be a guess.

But still, this was a huge win. If the Broncos help the Bills out, the Bills will go into the AFC East portion of their schedule with a 2 game lead. Thats a nice cushion, its insurance against a slip up in New England or New York. Finally the Bills look like a real team. Its like water in the desert. We have been longing for this for so long. Beating good teams. The Jaguars are good, the Chargers are good. Their schedule doesn't have great teams, no Titans or Steelers. Not their fault. Honestly to make the playoffs, they will need to go 5-5. Thats pretty easy to see the Bills doing.

Trent Edwards, what is there left to say. He is the real deal. He looks like Brady. How many times do we see Brady early on, avoiding hits, sacks, getting those first downs. And you would curse the tv up and down. Now Brady is different. But early Brady. Sharp, quick, not big numbers, but didn't kill the team. That is what Edwards does. He gives you a sense of calm, that ok Trent is going to do it. I think we'd be shocked if he threw that game ending interception or the Interception Rivers threw in the 4th. How long have we felt as Bills fans, where we knew the team would pull it out? A decade? Flutie era?

The defense is coming together as a solid unit, draft picks, free agents. Actual leaders on the defense. Not its all about me guys, like Spikes, Fletcher and Clements. Oh Nate how is all that money and still losing? Nothing like being a Playmaker, and languising out in San Francisco, where you are never on prime time tv, the Bills are on primetime. Thats a killer contract and I knew when I heard that one in 2007. The Bills on the other hand made smart signings and trades. Its like Darcy Regier took over the Bills. Hey he might have, the don't have a GM, so he might be the secret Bills GM.

So the power was out, people listened to the game on Radio, and the Bills beat a good team. I guess what was old, is new again.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Bills Chargers Preview

The Bills are finally back home, from their two game NFC West trip and the bye week. Now they return to play a AFC West Opponent. In what I call the weird schedule season. With 8 west coast opponents. The Chargers are coming off a nationally televised beatdown of the Patriots. And they are a week away from the London game this year. I don't know but if the Bills weren't 4-1 they'd be calling this a Trap game. And it still might be. Don't think the Chargers are high on the horse, knowing that winning the AFC west will only take 10 wins. They know 7-3 is very possible for the rest of the season. But I get feelings on games and they are usually wrong.

Whats going on with the Chargers?

Well the Chargers are 3-3, including the talked about Bronco loss, but a loss is a loss. They crushed the Patriots, beat the Jets and the Raiders, who they had to come from behind to beat, just like the Bills. The Chargers offense is ranked 12th in the league, but thats with yardage in mind. But they average the most points in the league. They have a big time offense. Led by LT and Phillip Rivers. Philip Rivers has an impressive 14 td passes and just 4 tds. And has a 109 rating on the year, so you have to stop Rivers. LT is only average 3.7 yards per carry, which isn't that great and only 4 tds. So do you put in more secondary to make the Chargers run? Or stop the run to force the pass? Chris Chambers might not play, but still have weapons in Vincent Jackson and Antonio Gates.

The Charger defense, even though had a great week last week, aren't very good in the stats. They rank 28th in yards given up, 14th in points given up and dead last in pass defense. They are getting lit up in the air. They are giving up 267 yards a game in the air alone. Which must put a smile on Turk Schonerts face. I would look for Trent Edwards to shine. The Chargers do have a good pass rush, but they must live and die by the blitz. I think Robert Royal might shine or Fred Jackson with the screen pass. But the line must protect and after Arizona that will be a point of emphasis. But the rush will be coming.


I will be traveling back from the girlfriends family. So I'll probably miss the entire game, catch some on radio. I don't know why I see a win, its just a feeling. I also thought they would crush the Raiders and Rams. Obviously my gut is wrong on the Bills. I think the Bills will come out of the bye ready and hungry to back on course. They were derailed in the desert, now are home, rested and ready to beat one of the top teams in the AFC.

I hope my gut is right this time.

Sabres weekend preview

I won't be around much this weekend so I'm getting two previews done in one post. Call it lazy or call it economical. But the Sabres have a interesting two days ahead of them. First comes the Canucks fresh off a 4-3 Ot win over Detroit. In fact they are in the middle of a 6 game road trip. Which can't be fun. If there is one place where they could have the night off, Buffalo looks like the night. Out of conference, they are 3-1, and coming off a hard night. Atlanta is off to a slower start at 1-2-1, or 1-3. And are coming off a 1-0 loss to the Devils last night. But maybe a home game in front of the "home" crowd will do them good. Or half the crowd being Sabre fans, might depress them highly.

More on the Canucks

Two former Sabres head into town, Taylor Pyatt and Steve Bernier, both we expected a lot from but turned into wastes of time. Pyatt is prospering in Vancouver and Bernier is looking good already, well playing with the Sedins will do that to you. Well the Sedins have 5 points each, along with Alex Burrows. Ryan Kesler has 4 points. Taylor Pyatt has 1 point and is a -2. I thought the Canucks on the year would be having trouble scoring, but with 16 goals they are averaging 4 goals a game. Which is good, since their savior Roberto Luongo hasn't started well. With a 3.21 GAA and a terrible .895 sv%, he is having a terrible start. And I wouldn't be surprised if Sanford gets a start tonight. They need Luongo and a game versus the Sabres isn't very important. The Canucks are off to a surprising start. They give up a lot of goals and score a good amount of goals. Hey like the Sabres a few years ago!

More on the Thrashers.

The Thrashers are off to a iffy start, but that was predicted since they didn't look to hot on paper. Some guy named Bryan Little is off to a hot start leading in goals and points. And is now on my fantasy team. Ron Hainsey is also off to a good start with 4 points, proving the neighsayers that they overpaid a little wrong. Its Atlanta they have to overpay to sign a Ron Hainsey. Kovalchuk only has 1 goal in 4 games. The Thrashers only have 11 goals in 4 games. But have only give up 12. Lehtonen sees almost 35 shots a game. So opportunties can be had against the Thrashers. Their defense doesn't look too great, and Matheiu Schnedier must be wondering how he got here. The Thrashers are the Thrashers and they are won't be very good. If they actually played in a quality division they would be dead last in the East.

The Sabres

Our beloved Sabres are looking pretty good, but of course they could lose one of these games. They are still banged up at center and have Clarke MacArthur on the 2nd line. The game in Atlanta looks like one of those "letdown" games. But who knows where this team is. I think we still think they are immature and will fall flat. But if it takes a team just to outright outplay them to beat them. What if they are really good? Can we take that? Honestly I just want the Sabres to come out and dominate these games and show the league, yeah, the Sabres are back deal with it. Try to score on us, go ahead. Can't too bad. Here we just scored 3 goals in 5 minutes on you.

Go Sabres.

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.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sabres Rangers Preview

The 2-0 and almost centerless Sabres are heading to MSG to take on the fast starting Rangers and Captain Clutch, Chris Drury. Who only has 1 point in 5 games this year, but of course he's paid the big bucks for "intangibles". Its a early season test against one of the better teams in the East, that really doesn't mean much come 2 months or 5 months from now. But its better then watching a debate or wait no Pushing Daisies will be more entertaining then the Rangers. Who are horrendous team to watch. No fun and the game is slow. But they have Dmitri Kalinin who might go hide in the corner when Lindy Ruff looks at him. SAVE ME COACH RENNEY! Lindy is mean!

The Rangers

One of the hottest teams in the league with a 5-0 start. But the guys with the most points, you would probably not pick. Brandan Dubinsky and Aaron Voros. Dubinsky is one of the great young players in the league and Voros is a guy who wasn't even up full time with the Wild last year. Right now one of the better offseason acquistions that no one paid attention to. Then the lineup fills out with a roster of decent players that seem to languish on other teams. Like Zherdev, Naslund and Redden. Well Redden didn't languish, he just took a beating in the Ottawa Press. The blue line isn't what I call great, but Marc Staal is a nice young talent. Dan Girardi is better then most think and Kalinin is Kalinin. Plus Paul Mara and Rozsival who are both good in their end.

The big names on the Rangers though are Gomez and Drury, there two big acquistions in the 07 offseason. The team is going to be built around them. Thats why acquiring a Markus Naslund can only help. Redden I feel is on the downside of his career and will break down later in the year. But its their team and they will go as far as these two inspire them to go.

But the lynchpin on the Rangers true success lies in net with King Henrik. His numbers once again are fantastic. Its 4 games so its a good sample size. A 1.25 GAA and a .949 sv %. The Rangers are very tight on defense and then have a quality goalie like Lundqvist will only lead to success and very low scoring games. It seems they want to copy the Devils. Which is unfortunate to all hockey fans. Especially ones in New York. Jagr at least did what he wanted and that was exciting at times. Drury is rarely flashy, but gets the job done, the same with Gomez.


The Sabres on the other hand have Clarke MacArthur centering the 2nd line. Which isn't the ideal situation. Matt Ellis gets some game time to be on a banging line with Kaleta and Peters. Who couldn't buy a fight right now. The center position which was a strenght has caught the injury bug. Anymore and will see Gerbe up here sooner then later. The Sabres are also 2-0 and we'll see Ryan Miller who played well last Friday how he does tonight. The Sabres have all the excuses, but their coach won't let them take it.


A good close game, that will also be boring because its the Rangers.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The least anticipated trade deadline in Sports.

The NFL trade deadline, might be the only thing in the NFL that doesn't get anyone pumped up. Free Agency, the Draft, training camp. But compared to Baseball, Hockey and even the NBA. The NFL trade deadline comes and goes every year and no one blinks an eye. Is it because its too early in the season? Why is it in Mid October? What if it were in November, would more deals get done? Is it because people have to learn new systems and its a waste? Cap issues? I have no idea. But Tony Gonzalez and maybe Roy Williams are the big objects possibly up for trades.

The Bills are rumored to be one of the suitors for Tony Gonzalez and it looks like a 3rd is the price to pay. I'm sorry but a 3rd for a Hall of Famer who will only help the team and is under contract for several years. Its a deal I would do. He's not a head case, he's a great teammate, he just wants to win and Kansas City won't be winning anytime soon. He has given a lot to the Chiefs and its nothing personal. He would upgrade the Offense overnight. Lee Evans and Parrish would be better. Lynch would probably get better running lanes, with teams scared of Gonzalez. And Trent is accurate and needs a TE like Tony.

But the big thing is, the Bills are looking to get better. They are in the rumors. Isn't that great for once? The team is trying to be in the thick of things. I guess we can just hope that Tony Gonzalez is a Bill at the end of the day. But the Bills will not overpay. They covet draft picks and don't just give them away. They might trade a pick for Gonzalez and then trade a player like Crowell or McCargo for another pick.

Or they might do nothing and go with who they have. Bills Fans were pretty happy before we heard about the Gonzalez's trade wish. But we always want the Bills to be better. And Gonzalez would make the Bills better.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sabres Islanders Preview

A Columbus day affair between the Sabres and Islanders, well this sure won't be well watched around the country. Buffalo fans will watch, since half the population works for the government and they don't have to work today. But really no team excites me less, then the Islanders. They should move the team and get it over with, or just dispand it, and spread the players around. The only way to get out from the terrible Dipietro contract. But this one is on the schedule and the Sabres hopefully don't take the day off.


Well the Islanders are a weird mix of players, ancient relics like Bill Guerin and Doug Weight. A guy who could become a superstar in Kyle Okposo. Then a bunch of role players like Mike Comrie, Bruno Gervais and Andy Hilbert. You look at the lineup and no one scares you. Now with the recent Rick Dipietro news where he might have to get more surgery on his knee. Chris Campoli, Mike Sillinger and Andy Sutton are on the IR. And Radek Martinek is hurt. They are already banged up and key players are hurt. Leaving Joey McDonald to save the bacon. Which in two games he has. But New Jersey and St Louis aren't what we call offensive juggernauts.

This won't be a pushover, the Islanders I'm sure will come out and play hard. Have a goalie no one has a book on. And with the new coach, each player is trying to show he's the man. Its also hard to do in depth analysis of a team thats played two games against one thats only played one game.

The Sabres

Coming out of the Montreal game, the team has to be feeling good. Well except Tim Connolly who I have given up on, now. Come on a cracked vertebrae? Does he have the weakest skeletal system in the NHL? What a bunch of crap, to use a phrase my girlfriend uses. Lucky for the Sabres they have the Islanders who I wouldn't call high scoring, and I feel will open it up a tad more today, since they aren't playing a good offensive team. I know Roy wants to play around so does Max. This could be a high scoring affair, or the Sabres could play it close and get their defense down.

I personally don't know what the Sabres are anymore. The high flying team of the past seems dead to me, and are turning into a lockdown team, that will take advantage of turnovers and win games 2-1, 3-2. The days of 7-6 are over with and Lindy Ruff I think has the team where he wants it.


I think the Sabres will win, but its too early to tell who the 2008-09 Sabres really are. But its nice to have a little afternoon hockey.

What we get from the Bye week.

The bye week, where you can really enjoy football and not worry about the Bills and root for teams that we not normally root for. Like the Texans or the Chargers. Or you can go do things outside the house, and yesterday being gorgeous was a good example of that. We went to the Home Show and actually bought a trip to Vegas. It was a good deal, we have been wanting to go and its anytime in the next year. Then head to the Pumpkin farm in Clarence, which the backup was out to like Sheridan. It was the oddest thing I've ever seen. Everybody in the region was going to the Pumpkin farm and only knew the one route. We never went in, since it costs 5 bucks to get in, what a ripoff. So I only watched a bit of football. It was nice to get away.

But coming out the bye week, the situation looks even better for the Bills. The Patriots lost, the Dolphins lost and the Jets didn't look hot against Ryan Fitzpatrick and the terrible Bengals. The Bills still have a 1 game lead in the AFC east, the Cardinals look pretty good in their win versus Dallas, the Rams beat the Redskins, and the Raiders are bad. The Jaguars are playing pretty well now. Now the Bills wins and their loss doesn't seem so bad right now. Who knows what the score against Arizona would have been if Edwards played the whole game. There is no doubt the score would have been closer had Edwards played the entire game, win, probably not, but closer.

But the bye week leads to a rested team. McGee gets to recover, Edwards might be ready to go, but no one knows. But a home game is always a cure for a loss and its a matchup against a tough team in San Diego. I like the Bills this week. They have tons of time to recover from the crap in the Desert. The Chargers won a big game, now are thinking about having to travel to Buffalo then London. The London game, might be in the back of their mind the entire time. Passport issues, travel, tickets other promotions they probably have to do for the league. While the Bills game is a mild distraction. While the Bills are looking to come out strong and send a message to the league they are for real. Before finally getting to division games.

Then there is the Tony Gonzalez rumor. Oh boy look out if that even comes true, lucky for us the Trade deadline is tomorrow, so we won't have to wait long. I wouldn't put any money on it. Nor believe it would happen, but oh my I'd love to see Tony Gonzalez on the Bills.

And there isn't a #88 on the Bills, so the Jersey is available.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Sabres Canadiens Preview

Game 1 of 82, which means there about 81 more of these previews, not including any playoffs. Which are sooooo far away. But for openers sake, this is a good one. Not the Islanders or some other team like Carolina or Atlanta who I would not care 1 bit about. But its the Habs in their 100th season. This is the proper way to kick off the season. And the fact that Montreal should be really good doesn't hurt either. The party in the plaza is on tonight, its supposed to be nice out and the Sabres are debuting their own fashion line. This team is sure run by a business man. They are trying to squeeze every last drop out of Sabre fans and I applaud them for it.

But enough with clothing, onto the hockey game.


The Canadiens are pretty much the same team as last year, minus and plus a few parts. Streit is gone, but Josh Gorges is in. And on of the forward side, Ryder is out Robert Lang and Alex Tanguay are in. All in all pretty much an even trade all around for the Canadiens. The most important parts are still in place. Cary Price is back and should be better. 7 of the top 10 scorers are back including the top 2 in Kovalev and Plekanec. The later is a Sabre killer, I'm not sure how many goals Tomas Plekanec has against the Sabres last year, but it seemed like 20. The Habs were very good last year, their Power Play is always good and with it being the 100 year anniversary it should be a big year for Les Habitants.

Being the first game of the season, its perfect timing for the Sabres to jump on the Habs, before they really get rolling. There is only 6 games this year, so they don't have to worry about getting behind in the division. Win 2 games and they should be right up there with the Habs all year. In theory at least.

Well lets hope for the best, but its great to have hockey back. And by January we'll say when are the playoffs?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Sabres Preview Part 2

Mark Mulville

I love how Kevin Sylvester doesn't even hide who he works for. I work for the Sabres, I am also a Journalist, but yeah I'm wearing a Sabre jacket, jealous John Vogl?

Well Craig Rivet is probably the one player we all will be looking at for a couple months. He's the new guy, he's the new captain, and is supposed to be the guy to solidify the defense. And that is where this preview is focused. Defense.

Defense First

Calling the defense last year, average, would be a compliment. They were not good. Nothing signified that more then having Weber and Sekera playing top pair minutes. Tallinder struggled, Lydman struggled, Paetsch was terrible. Spacek was probably the best player all year on defense, Pratt was adequate and they got rid of Campbell who wasn't that awesome. Now they bring in a solid physical guy like Rivet. Have Numimmen back for the year. And Sekera is way more experienced. Plus Weber has to go to Portland. They have 8 solid NHL defensemen right now. Plus Card and Funk if things get dicey.

The solid play of 6 or 7 guys is critical for the Sabres this year. Ryan Miller isn't Hasek, who can have a terrible defense in front of him and win games. He isn't that good. But you put a solid group in front of him and he'll make the saves you need to keep a lead. Just like Osgood in Detroit. There is no doubt this group is an improvement on last year. Everyone struggled, and everyone is looking to make up for their poor play. Sekera and Spacek probably have nothing to make up for, but I'm sure both will add to their play.

But the key is Tallinder and Lydman. The so called "top pair" really didn't shut anyone down last year. The Ottawa line routinely lit this team up last year. These two really have to bring their A game this year. No lazy passes or defensive lapses, or this team will be in trouble. Their play was pretty typical of last years Sabres. Off and on, interested and bored, score 10 goals or get shutout. I like to call the 2007-2008 season, the Lost Season. Because their was no identity, you had nothing to rely on. You knew the players, but nobody wanted to take charge, nobody seemed to care, it was all about who wasn't here, and who was leaving. Now, people are locked down, the past years are exactly that, in the past. Thats why Tallinder and Lydman should be better this year. Because its time to move on.

It will be interesting to see who they put Sekera with. Rivet or Numimmen or Spacek. I would put him with Teppo. The young kid could really learn under Teppo, and turn into the best defensemen on the team. Then have Spacek and Rivet together to really bring toughness to the blueline. Yes it would put the tough guys together and then have more skilled players without a backup together. But its just what I would do.

Goalie Time

Now we get to Miller. The man with the new contract. The Face of the Sabres. This is his team now. No matter if he doesn't want it. Ryan Miller is the Buffalo Sabres. The future and success lies on his skinny frame. Like it did on another skinny goalie a decade ago. Last year wasn't good for Ryan. He played too much, let in too many goals, and really showed what he can and cannot do. A bad year, but also a good year. Good as in "HEY DON'T PLAY ME IN 76 games I CAN'T HANDLE THE WORKLOAD" good. Now, the contract is over with, a better backup is in town, and we know what Ryan Miller can do. There are no questions. And when you don't have questions, you can approach games with the right mindset. Especially true for Lindy Ruff.

Lalime seems to me the perfect backup. Former starter, played pretty well in front of a young Blackhawk defense, and in front of a more mature crew, should really play well. His job is simple. Spell Miller, don't suck, and be supportive of Ryan when he comes off the ice. And if you want to heckle players on the bench, go right ahead we love that.

Anyway, the Sabres should be fine on the backend. No matter the pairings. Miller and Lalime should be solid. And I'll leave the captain doing what a captain should do. Someone touches a teammate, they get a pounding.

I saw Max at Wegmans

I forgot where I got this

So I'm going to my Girlfriends for our Wednesday date night and on the way home I stop at a Wegmans in Amherst to get some flowers. I love their roses, they smell so nice along with their Lilies, pick up some Oriental Lilies they are very nice. Anyway, I head to the express line and someone comes in after me. And at first he looks familiar, but then I go oh man thats Max, he's pretty tall, I always pictured someone shorter, and of course I take a peek at what he's buying. Don't judge me you all would look at someones groceries.

Well it looked pretty healthy for all the vegetables and fruits, thats good he's taking care of himself and makes stuff for himself. But then I see something else. And I go oh no.


Hes got Dry mouth and sensitive teeth! There goes the season. How can Max play well, if his teeth and gums are bothering him. Always looking at a water bottle and thinking of getting to the bench, because his mouth is dry and needs water. How is he supposed to produce? We can only hope the Biotene does the trick and keeps Max's mouth properly saturated.

Our season rests on that products success.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Sabres Preview part 1

"That One"

Well its almost here boys and girls, Sabres Hockey. On Friday the Sabres will match up with the old hated rival Montreal, hated on my end, and kick off this 82 game shindig. I have been really ambivalent to hockey of late, but lately interest is ramping up. Todays preview will be devoted to the forwards.


The former strong point of the club, but the talent declined with the loss of Drury and Briere and the constant injury status of Tim Connolly. But still the Sabres weren't terrible at Center, even though they lost a lot of scoring punch. They still had a ton of talent. Hecht and Roy turned into very good centers, Mair and Gaustad turned into adequate centers and now with the return of Connolly, we can move one of the guys to wing, more likely its Mair. Last year was a real learning year. The old take a step back before you take a step forward. This is a team thats going to be in most part together for a while. Roy, Hecht, Gaustad are going to be here for some time.

So the Sabres better be sure that they are happy with these centers. Roy and Hecht are top line talent, All Stars? No. But they will bring in consistent offense. And both are excellent in their own end. Both are great on the penalty kill as well. Gaustad is that great 3rd or 4th line center. Doesn't have hands of stone in the offensive end, won't be a liability on the backend and is killer on draws. Tim Connolly is the wild card. If he's healthy, you may want him to center Roy and Vanek, with Pominville, Paille and Hecht as your number 1 or 2. The guy is a master with the puck and with two excellent scorers he could make a unstoppable line.


Ahh the wings. Where the real scorers lie. Well kinda. But Thomas Vanek is ready no doubt to make up for his terrible start last year, a year where he still had over 30 goals. Jason Pominville is more then likely the new captain at the end of today. Plus the two big question marks on the season Kotalik and Afinogenov. With their contracts ending will they sulk, score or turn into trade bait later in the season? Then there will be the guys sitting a majority of the time, Peters, MacArthur and Ellis. Then there is Drew Stafford. Who everyone was high on. Now, I don't expect much from Drew Stafford. They could trade him away at this point and I wouldn't blink an eye. Nathan Gerbe has way more upside then Drew in my opininon. Dan Paille is a better player then Drew Stafford. But if he has any heart, he'll fight his way up the food chain. Finally theres "The Kaleta" who is nothing more then a skating hitting machine, who doesn't need a stick. I like him a lot.


For about a 1/3 of the Sabre forwards, this is a make or break year. The 3 next big free agents, Connolly, Afinogenov and Kotalik. We've seen all the upside and all the downside. They may all walk at the end of the year. And it may not be a bad thing. The Sabres have budding talent in Portland and is ready to replace with cheaper, maybe better players. But with the opportunity to score big in the next offseason, these players may help the Sabres now. Imagine if all 3 have career years. They are hungry, play every night, play like their future is on the line. (Which it is) If this happens the Sabres are one of the teams in the East to contend with. If 1 or 2 turn into a cancer, it could derail the entire year. Unless Darcy can ship them out for some hockey sticks. Drew Stafford is also going into a RFA year. And if he wants to maybe get poached with a outrageous contract, he'll have to bring it this year. He has struggled since his rookie year. He to is a player I wouldn't be surprised to see traded at the deadline. If the Stafford we've seen comes back this year, to cash in, the lineup on the forward end, would have zero to little holes. 60 minutes of hell.

Potential Lines

Well the lines are the most important aspect of the team and I've thought about it, how I'd like to see them lineup. But Lindy Ruff is a much smarter Hockey man then me. But these are the lines I'd like to see.

1) Paille----Hecht-----Pominville
2) Roy-----Connolly----Vanek
3) Kotalik---Gaustad---Stafford

But of course Goose is out, soooo we'll shake those up for the starting lines to begin the year.

1) Paille Hecht Pominville
2)Afinogenov Roy Vanek
3)Kotalik Connolly Stafford
4)MacArthur/Ellis Mair Kaleta

That doesn't seem too bad, doesn't it. Thats a solid lineup. Well if all the players show up every night, which we know with this Sabre team isn't a guarantee.

Tomorrow Denfense

Monday, October 6, 2008

This is why JP Losman is a backup.

When Edwards was down I was like oh no. Please get up. Oh god.

Then the moment pops up well. Maybe JP Losman will guide the team and lead the team to victory. Then the botched handoff to Lynch. Oh no. Here we go.

Sure its not JP's fault they lost. The defense was terrible. But there is no question JP makes this offense not as good, not as strong. 2 fumbles, 1 interception and 5 sacks. And we all know JP takes sacks because he can't make reads. His individual stats were pretty good. 1 touchdown thrown. The typical long ball to Lee Evans, which should be the title to the JP Losman Biography, long to Lee. But he'll always have that sack at the wrong time. Turnover the ball in his own end. It was JP Losmans career with the Bills all wrapped up in one game. Some goood, some bad, and a whole lot of not good enough. Plus the defense fell back into previous era. Where they collapsed and didn't stop the team when they needed to. The injury to Ko Simpson might be another factor. When he's in there, they just seem better.

I have no ill will to JP Losman, he's just not a starting QB in the NFL. He's a quality guy, who tries hard, but he just doesn't have what it takes to be in the NFL. I think all Bills fans, hope that Edwards is fine and the bye week helps. Time to prep for San Diego.

I blame the antenna nonsense for all this.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The 2008-2009 Sabres are almost here

With the recent demotion of 8 players to Portland, which looks like a heck of a team, this leaves them with 25 players, 2 over the limit. With Gaustad injured, it looks like Weber will be sent down, simply because its the easiest option the team has. Why risk sending a MacArthur through waivers just to keep 8 defensemen.

So to start the season the forwards in my opinion would be.

Pominville, Roy, Hecht, Vanek, Connolly, Stafford, Mair, Kotalik, Peters, Kaleta MacArthur, Paille, Afinogenov, Ellis.

The defensemen would be Lydman, Tallinder, Numminen, Spacek, Rivet, Sekera and Paestch.

With Miller and Lalime in the nets.

Obviously you only dress 20 guys a game. So Paetsch, Peters and Ellis are riding the press box for the little bit, and if Connolly is hurt still Ellis takes the spot. Who I don't know anything about nor does he have a number yet.

I haven't been excited much about the hockey season yet, but with the roster coming together, I am getting there. I'm sure opening night next week we'll see where I am at. Probably at home with my girlfriend, saying how about we turn on that Sabre game, you know check how bad they are this year.

But its nice to have a sports option during the week now. I'll post a more in depth Sabre preview later in the week. Enjoy the anticipation.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Bills Cardinals Preview

Onto week 5 and the Undefeated Bills take on the Arizona Cardinals. They head to the desert and play for the first time at the University of Phoenix stadium. I'm not even sure the Bills have ever played in Arizona. I couldn't tell you the last time the Bills played the Cardinals on the road. In fact the last 5 times they played, the Bills are 4-1, so history is on their side. Neil Lomax has the most success in Cardinals History vs the Bills. Well in the last few games. There might be someone else. But lets compare the teams since they've both played 4.


Bills 16th in the league 27.2 points per game and averaging 319.5 yards per game
Cardinals 5th in the league 26.5 points per game and averaging 377.8 yards per game Defense

Bills 7th in the league. Giving up 15.8 points per game and giving up 280.5 yards per game
Cardinals 9th in the league. Giving up 25.8 points per game and giving up 305.8 yards per game.
So when you look at things, the teams are almost even. The Jets game really skewed the points on the defense. The offense is definitely generating some offense and points, but the defense is giving up just as much. The Bills have a more sting defense and a offense that is +12 per game. The Bills are a +1 on the Turnovers while the Cardinals are a -3. Its a factor in the records.

More about the Cards.

This is their second home game of the year, they beat the Dolphins pretty handily the first game, plus they are coming off a unsuccessful eastern trip to Washington and New York. The Cards should be in a bad mood come Sunday and would love to give the Bills a Loss. They are led by Kurt Warner who yes is still starting and still producing. Completing 2/3rds of his passes and has 8 Tds on the year. 5 of those to the injured and out for this game Boldin. So Fitzgerald and Breaston have to show up and it helps them that Terrance McGee won't be suiting up for the Bills.

The rushing game is pretty average with Edgerrin James and Tim Hightower. Though they do have 5 rushing tds between them. But neither are big rushing threats. James is on the downside of his career and hightower is more the change of pace back, that isn't doing to well in his rookie year.

The defense is underrated and after getting shredded by the Jets, and probably pretty angry. Bertrand Berry their leading sackman is doubtful and probably out. Adrian Wilson their best defender is a game time decision. Both absences will help the Bills offense. The Bills are getting breaks in the injury front this year, I guess its karma for last year. They hold teams to about 100 yards rushing a game and 200 yards passing a game. They are no pushover as last week may have shown. Before the Jets, they only gave up 23, 10 and 24 points in their first 3 games. Plus they pressure the QB, so Trent has to be quick, he has been hit too much the last two weeks and has to stay clean this week to win.

Special teams wise, they are pretty average. Rackers is a good kicker and Dirk Johnson is a adequate punter. The Bills shouldn't have a problem containing Breaston in the return game.


Well a lot of people are taking the Cards in this one. The game isn't a sell out and I know a ton of Bills fans will be there from the West Coast, and maybe from Buffalo. So the crowd won't be a factor. The Bills can score, and the defense can contain a decent offense in my opinion. Though the secondary has not been tested yet. I see a good ole fashioned shoot out, but not sure who will win. My heart says the Bills, but they might be thinking about the Bye week and the Cardinals need some pride restored after the beat down in NY. I just hope to watch the game


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