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

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Morgue that is HSBC Arena

Its a cold, quiet place

I was at the Sabres Islanders game on Saturday night. Thank god they were free tickets, otherwise I would have been terribly upset. A silver priced game for the Islanders. No wonder there were sections of blue on Saturday. This team is not fun to watch at the moment. They don't score that much. They breakdown on defense way too much. They seem disinterested most of the time. When players playing hard are obvious, that's a bad sign. It means that actual effort is noticeable. Mancari, is really going hard out there. And guess what he scored, because he drove to the net and put in a rebound. What a crazy idea.

But the atmosphere in the arena, was quiet and subdued. Defeated if you will. There was no hope among the faithful, especially with that 3rd goal. When Roy scored, it woke the place up. Then when Vanek got that terrible call, it was lights out. Game Over. There is no excitement with the Sabres. The little kids are always happy. That's nice. But the real noise comes from the adults. Soon other options will seem more attractive to parents. And other people and attendance will dwindle. Forget making money on resales. No one will buy them except below face value.

The bottom line is the team that started the season, seems to have disappeared. Will it come back? I don't know. Should they wait to see? I wouldn't its time to make moves. Not a move. Trading max ain't waking up the team. Benching Tallinder didn't work. Calling Mancari didn't work, except bringing up a player that wants to play. Line shifts don't work. Connolly helped, but he is brittle and can't be trusted. What is there left to do?

Fire Lindy Ruff?

Some may say that's stupid, but this team hasn't showed effort or consistent play in "the system" last year and now again this year. Last year it was a pass for the loss of Drury and Briere, but others have lost superstars and continued on. This team took a nosedive. No matter what Lindy does, doesn't seem to work this year. Would this wake the players up, and you can't promote James Patrick either. Its someone new outside the organization. Guys lose favorite status and have to win over the new coach leading to improved play.

Make a Trade

This seems like the more obvious answer. But who, for what, or multiple players for a big name. Getting rid of Max isn't going to do anything and no one will be scared. But you trade a Hank Tallinder or a Derek Roy. People will notice. This team is infected with a lazy, sloppy play virus. Hecht almost seems immune to it. Pominville is up and down, but looks to straighten his game out. But Roy, Stafford, Kotalik, Gaustad all seem nonexistent for the most part. MacArthur was straight awful on Saturday and is 3rd line player none higher. The fourth line guys play hard, but you can't expect much from them. Sekera is struggling, bringing down Spacek. Lydman is terrible. Rivet isn't much better. Paetsch is a 7th defenseman. Numminen is probably a guy you'd rather have as the 7th, then the everyday guy he is.

Roy has a nice low value contract, and could pull in some nice player, especially if you package a Stafford with him. There needs to be another stud on the backend, to spell Numminen, then you could put Tallinder back in. Who I bet is pissed. I hope he is. The problem is, what do you get for who. You can't make a trade to just make a trade. You have to make sure it makes sense. The Rivet trade made sense. There is poison on this team and you gotta get rid of it now.
Do Nothing

The usual Regier position. Which sometimes seems to work out. Well this is the corp he wanted and this is what he is going to get. Hard play, then nights off. All through the year. Lucky to get hard effort in 50% of the games. The good effort in marketing the past few years, will wane. Ticket sales will drop and the building will be half empty again, or when the Leafs come to town, 60% leaf fans. That's not a good thing. Its embarrassing. Good for the local economy, bad for image.

Regier can't just stand pat. Its not a 7 game phenomenon, this happened last year, and even in the President's cup year. There are players on this team, you can't expect to play hard every night. He can't except that and move along. They will not make the Cup finals with that attitude. Maybe not even the Playoffs. They are in a hard division. Boston and Montreal are very good. Toronto is playing hard. Ottawa is Ottawa, but the Sabres always struggle with them.

Final Opinion

I'm leaning with the make a trade option. Usually I'm a stand pat, win with the guys you have. But its been a year and a quarter. And its not working. Time to move some pieces around. I'm not sure who, but Roy looks like a good candidate to me, him and/or Stafford.

If this was a medical issue, the Sabres need some preventive medicine, before waiting till something more serious sets in. The longer the slide, the smaller the crowds. The smaller the crowds, the smaller the revenue. Which will lead to shipping guys out because they make too much. Then we go into Golisano looking to sell the team. And there's the big bad Ballsilie just lurking across the border.

I'm not an alarmist, but the product on the ice is what matters most in this town. When that starts slipping, everything falls apart around it. Call it the performance bubble.

Well that helped a little

James McCoy

I guess after last week and the bottom of the barrel feeling I had as a Bills fan, was lifted a little yesterday. Finally went out and beat a bad team, handily. Like I said I wasn't going to be all ready for this one. Me and the Fiancee, went out and scouted for Black Friday, had lunch and went home a little early. So I got home, put on the tv. And Leodis McKelvin just returned a TD. I was like thats good, but are they down by 13 at this point? Oh no they are leading. Mmmm. Ok lets see how this one goes.

Then McKelvin picks off another one. Then the offense starts rolling. Edwards goes all crazy and does it the old screw it I'll do it myself routine. That Thomas Vanek loves to do. I'm sure every one was screaming.


That sealed the game for me. Edwards was back, and if he is on, the Bills are going to win. Tyler Thigpen contracted what Trent had over the past 4 games and turned into a turnover machine. Seriously he fumbled when he fell to the ground. Hopefully Brett Favre can't catch it next or Matt Cassel.

The defense still wasn't that great, the only difference was they got turnovers. McKelvin is developing into a decent corner, the bust label can be put away for a few weeks. Hardy on the other hand is invisible. Derek Fine is a better pick at this point.

The offense seemed mixed. Pass and run. Edwards was hitting guys. That roll out to Reed for 20 some yards may have been his best throw of the season. He's hitting tight ends, backs and recievers. Its also that that Josh Reed is back.

But still it was a nice vacation from what has been happening. But I'll probably miss next weeks game and I don't really care. Its the Dolphin game in two weeks that concerns me. If they win that one in Toronto. Who knows if they can win the next 3.

I don't want to get my hopes up again.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sabres Bruins Preview

I know I called the Bruins "boring" and "that it was great the Sabres don't play them 8 times this year" because they are terrible horrible boring games. Well some Bruins fans took that to heart, and I "didn't watch them this year" Well of course I didn't watch them. I assumed they were boring. Why would I watch that?

But now the Bruins have some talent, and they are leading the Northeast, not due to high scoring for sure, but still are a much improved team. They are defense first (nice way to say sit back), though do give up 30 shots a game. But they score 3 goals a game and are 2nd in the league in Goals against. So they are a good team and it was wrong for me to slam them. Plus they are a hard hitting team, with 3 guys in the top 20 in hits. Milan Lucic is number 2 in the league. I guess it maybe the way Lindy Ruff would like his team to play. Maybe.

The Bruins are 11-3-4, and 3-1 in their last 4. They are coming in playing well and their leader on the stat sheet is Marc Savard with 21 points. He always seems to play better against the Sabres. Young gun Phil Kessel leads in goals with 8, and hard banger Milan Lucic has 11 points. Other offensive guys are Michael Ryder, Patrice Bergeron and young Blake Wheeler. Chara only has 7 points on the year, which seems disappointing for the big guy. I don't think the defense gets to jump in plays as much anymore.

But the real star of this show is Tim Thomas. Who is leading the league in GAA and Sv%. I always thought he was a real good player who never got the credit for keeping a bad team competitve. Now they have some talent and they can win some games. If they stay healthy of course. Marco Sturm and Andrew Ference won't play, that hurts a little. The defense isn't deep so any vet out, hurts the team.

The Sabres on the other hand are struggling. Can't keep the puck of the net, and can't score. Minus the St Louis game and 6 minutes of offense, they aren't very good right now. Derek Roy is banged up and taken away from Vanek. Tim Connolly is a disaster and Lindy is shaking everything up. This team is so up and down its frustrating.

Maybe a road game, where they don't have to be flashy, is what the Doctor ordered. If not its probably another loss to a good team.

Things Tim Connolly is softer then.

Separated Shoulder Celebrating

I'm a Tim Connolly supporter, I think he's very talented. But this last injury, on a solid hit, but nothing major, he gets hurt on. What did he hurt?

The Buffalo Sabres announced that centerman Tim Connolly has an upper body musculoskeletal injury and will be evaluated on a week-to-week basis.

A Upper Body Musculoskeletal injury? Musculosketetal is underlined as a spelling error, because its not a word. He has hurt something that is not recognized by spell check. Its so vague that its not recognized.

So lets make a list of things that Tim Connolly is softer then.


Ice Cream



Stay Puff Marshmallow man

a pile of leaves

Jason Spezza

Ken Hitchcock

Cream Cheese

Ok you get it, Tim Connolly is prone to injury. And this will not make him a favorite to stick with the team and the end of the year or before it. He won't be a Sabre anymore. You can't put this much money into a guy that never plays. Though Andrew Peters is still a Sabre, so you never know.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I'm done

I can't do it anymore. Last night was it. I wasn't pumped up, but got into the game and heartbreak city again. Just can't, just don't want to. For what? They aren't going to the playoffs again. They'll finish 9-7 with a terrible schedule. And nothing will change next year. They'll came it was a "growing" year. More like a complete waste of ideal situations to make the playoffs. Brady is back next year, the Dolphins will be better and the Jets, I don't know. But I don't care anymore. I have so many better options to spend my sundays. Enough with football and on to living life, organizing the basement, planning a wedding or just going to Niagara Falls to enjoy it during the Winter. Maybe a movie. But I'm tired of wasting 3 hours of my life for these millionaires.

Trent Edwards is scared to throw. Brett Favre is never scared, he's like screw it, maybe something good will happen, maybe something bad will happen, whatever. I like that attitude.

The defense just can't take the ball away. Leodis Mckelvin dropped the game winning INT.

Rian Lindell and his inside 40 streak is a waste of a stat, because thats easy for Kickers these days.

The Defensive ends are worthless. Denney and Kelsey should be let go. They get no pressure. The only one who pressured was Mitchell and Stroud.

They have receivers who can't get open or aren't making themselves open. Where was James Hardy. He got outplayed by Stevie Johnson.

Whatever. They should have won by 14 points. The Browns aren't good. Brady Quinn is ok. But of course the Bills give them every opportunity possible to succeed. And its enough.

I don't want to care. I don't want to watch. I'm done with them this year.

I'm going to spend time with my Fiancee and enjoy life. Its time well spent, and I'll never be disappointed.

Thanks for nothing Bills.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Bills Brown Preview

Well here we go a Monday night game, with two struggling teams, and just like last year, snow could be a factor. I should be excited, but I'm really not. The last few weeks have sucked the joy from me about this team. Just everything you hate. No passion, no heart, just going out there. You hear the press conferences and its like oh well, we gotta cut out the mistakes, blah blah blah. How about showing up first. That would be nice.

But I guess I should make up a preview, since I didn't last week. I hate writing about the Patriots I really do. Its terrible.

The 3-6 Browns are coming into town losers of two straight and 2-3 in their last 5. Both teams are struggling. But unlike the Bills, they can score some points. Thought their season Stats are rather unimpressive they have scored 57 points in their last two games. And Brady Quinn has entered the picture playing pretty well last week, though the Broncos, are hardly a defensive juggernaut. He had a nice 65% completion rate and 6.8 per pass. I guess that Contract to Derek Anderson was a mistake.


Jamal Lewis is the leading rusher for the Browns, but is just averaging 3.6 yards per carry, like the Bills the line is struggling to block. Who basically after the one game said the team quit. Thats never good to call out your teammates in public. In the locker room is where something like that belongs.

Kellen Winslow II is the leading receiver on the team, the Tight end leading the team is probably bad. Braylon Edwards only has 26 catches and 3 tds on the season. And there really isn't any other receiving threats on the team. But the Bills make a habit of nobodies making an impression. So Steve Heiden os Syndric Steptoe could make some noise tonight.

Joshua Cribbs is their return man ace. So the Bills have to cover well tonight or they could get hurt. Of course they would have to score some points to worry about kickoff returns. But Punting could be another issue.


The Browns aren't very good defensively. They rank 26th overall and they give up 3rd downs 44% of the team. You think the Bills are bad, the Browns are worse. They don't have a ton of sacks so they aren't getting to the qb, as much as you like and have 10 total picks which isn't bad.

They are struggling to stop offenses and this game being on the road won't help them.


Well this is the season for the Bills tonight. I know thats a statement, but if they lose, its over. Kiss it goodbye and the fire Jauron talk gets going. Of course with the resigning of him, that won't likely happen, a new coaching staff won't make the team better. They need a same system to master, before moving on again.

I don't care who is hurt and who is not. Just go out there and play. You gotta win, now show some emotion and get through this. The schedule isn't hard. You can make a run and 11-5, 10-6 isn't out of the question. It starts tonight. But don't color me excited. This team has taken that feeling away from me, with the last 3 performances. But tonight could restore it all with a nice big win.

The other Blue and Gold Team

Well things sure have been shaky lately in Sabre land.

They were healthy, but now banged up again. They played better hurt. Maybe injuries will help. Well except for that last 10 minutes versus Pittsburgh. Oh my god that was terrible. And their goal horn isn't much better. How annoying is that thing. Ok they scored I get it.

In the last 10 games the Sabres have gone 3-5-2. After going 6-0-1 in the first 7. And have given up 30 goals in those 10 games, that's 3 goals a game, versus 12 goals in the first 7. Thats 1.7 goals a game. Since their 6-0-1 start, they have given up almost a goal and half more a game, in the last 10. If they don't see that as a problem I do. Its the same issue as last year.

With the talent on the team, and the experience in the system, they should know better. But yet game after game, lazy back checking and uninspired play lead them to lose. Its not just one guys, its almost everybody. Connolly and Hecht, are almost the most consistent two way guys. But guys like Roy and Vanek and especially Max, are just brutal at times. If they can just ship him out or maybe someone else. Just for picks, they can bring up a Mancari or a Gerbe, who are lighting things on fire down in Portland. Thats really encouraging is what is happening in Portland.

Lalime has morphed into Thibault. Which means Lindy will trust him less, and overuse Miller. Which is another problem. In his last two games his sv % was .739 and .821. 11 goals on 51 shots. Thats pretty much 1 in 5 shot of the puck going in the net. Thats horrendous. Why would anyone put him net, especially with lazy defense.

In the last 5 games

Rivet -6
Tallinder -5
Spacek -5
Sekera -4
Numminen -2
Lydman 0

On the Forward side

Max -5
Roy -7
Vanek -6
Kotalik -6
MacArthur -4
Gaustad -3

We have a problem. Lucky for them, its only November and there is plenty of time to fix things. But they are in a very competitive division and conference. So they can't take time to fix things. It needs to be done by the 1st of December. I was never under the impression they wouldn't struggle. All teams have a down stretch. But this is a bad down stretch losing to Columbus 6-1? No. That can't happen.

Its time for them to play the did in the first part of the year. Lock it down. Turn turnovers into goals. Don't be flashy or lazy. This must be driving Lindy Ruff insane. Benching isn't working. Because your benching Kaleta, who isn't the problem. Bench Roy. That will send the message. He is struggling this year. Sit him down. And if he quits, trade his ass. Gerbe is Roy, but maybe better. You have a replacement. Trade him for something juicy. I'm sure someone needs scoring for a quality player.

Tightening up defensively will improve everything. Goaltending will be better, and offense will capitalize on lazy play from opponents.

Blue and Gold Sports Roundup

Totally fumbled that ball

Well it was a busy week in Buffalo area sports, or the ones I care about, and really that's all that matters.

First off the Sweet Home Panthers, totally whipped on last years Champ Aquinas. As a proud '99 grad of Sweet Home High School, its nice to see them succeed. They were always good when I went there, but never could beat Niagara Wheatfield. I guess John Faller wasn't the problem, it was not talented enough players. Plus I thought the QB spot was weak, but Casey Kacz, is a very smart QB. He knows how to play football. He's not probably college material but, still a good leader.

Now its on to Rochester to play Corning West, then on to the Dome for the State Title.


The Griffs didn't start the season well, losing to Akron 56-46. Really the Zips? Well Frank Turner played decent, along with a new transfer Chris Gadley, but the same result as last year. Shooting 35% isn't going to get it done, plus it looked like a poor game all around. But Coach Parrotta comes up with another gem.

"We talked in the offseason how we wanted to out rebound our opponents, get to the foul line more and take care of the basketball," Canisius head coach Tom Parrotta said. "I don't think we're going to win many games when we throw the ball around that much."

You think Coach Parrotta? Really just being careless with the ball isn't going to win you games. If these kids know that, why don't they play that way? You know like the Sabres should play the system yet don't.

Anyway its back home Tuesday vs the UB Bulls. Theres the first win of the season


The Men's hockey team beat Connecticutt, after being embarrassed by giving up 3 short handed goals in a power play. They are 4-1-1 in the conference and 5-3-2 overall. And yes they get a automatic bid to the tourney if they win their conference unlike another team (cough Niagara cough)


The womens basketball team knows how to get it done, more leadership, but open with a win over UB. The men should watch the women play. They shot 48%, gave up only 5 free throw opportunties and have good shooters. Marie Warner had 22 points. And Amanda Cavo had 10 points.

I have much higher hopes for, then the Men's team. This team could push for a tournament bid, especially if Marie Warner is that good. A clutch scorer around good players, with a good coach in Terry Zeh. Look out come March.

They Massacre St Bonaventure this Wednesday.


I'm sure other people did other things, but I don't care about them. UB, Niagara and other High Schools are worthless, if they don't wear Blue and Gold, they ain't nothing.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Sabres Blue Jackets

Well here come the Blue Jackets, which continues the parade of irrelevant hockey teams into HSBC Arena. Atlanta, Saint Louis now Columbus. Philadelphia finally ends that streak only to restart again with the Islanders. Good thing its easy to sell Sabre tickets, otherwise there would be some empty houses the first couple weeks of November.

The Jackets are average at best. 7-7-2 on the year and 3rd in the central divison. They came off a bad 5-2 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes. So they probably are looking for a good game tonight against a flip floppy team in the Buffalo Sabres. Who can look great, bad and indifferent, all in the same period sometimes. The "system" that Lindy preaches sometimes doesn't get into their heads. Its like Lindy is Mr Kotter, and the Sabres are a bunch of sweathogs. Good guys but sometimes just stupid and lazy.

You look over the Columbus lineup and its a lot of who, and Unh? Like Derick Brassard is their leading scorer with 15 points, also leads in goals with 7. Rick Nash is 3 on the team in points, Jason Chimera is just in front. Jakub Vorchek has 11 points and Kristen Huselius has 10 points. Their one big acquistion RJ Umberger only has 8 points which isn't a shocker since hes no better then a 3rd line player. Mike Commodore is also playing alright. And Freddy Modin is struggling with a -8 in 10 games.

The Columbus goaltending is pretty shaky. Last year a strength, LeClaire who got a big deal is just getting off the IR but his numbers are terrible. Freddy Norena isn't much better, the only one playing alright is Steve Mason. But I think they stick LeClaire out there tonight to get him some action, since he's costing them some money.

The Sabres are once again switching up lines, due to the injury to Sir Breaks-a-lot, Tim Connolly, they should look like this according to John Vogl.

Thomas Vanek-Derek Roy-Ales Kotalik (same)

Jochen Hecht-Clarke MacArthur-Jason Pominville (new)

Daniel Paille-Adam Mair-Drew Stafford (new)

Andrew Peters-Paul Gaustad-Maxim Afinogenov

Pat Kaleta is out again and Patty Lalime is in the crease tonight.

I'm sure you can get some cheap scalped tickets to this one tonight. The Blue Jackets don't pack the house. But its Friday and its getting colder, so why not head down to the Arena and have some fun.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sabres Blues Quickie preview

Well first off I just won some tickets on EBAY for this game, these games you can get em low. Mine went for 56 for 2. So me and the Fiancee are heading for the HSBC arena for some hockey action. I'm pretty excited for this one, I love seeing the odd teams, like the Blues. I saw Columbus last year and it was a terrible game, but its different. Northeast teams are boring. Western Conference teams are exciting.

Well here are the probable lines tonight, thanks to John Vogl

Thomas Vanek-Derek Roy-Ales Kotalik

Jochen Hecht-Tim Connolly-Jason Pominville

Daniel Paille-Clarke MacArthur-Maxim Afinogenov

Andrew Peters-Paul Gaustad-Adam Mair

No Kaleta or Stafford, which is fine, Peters wasn't horrible the first few games. Actually looked like a hockey player, and Kaleta is progressing as well. Stafford is just, ugh. He needs a wake up call.

For the Blues, Kariya is iffy with a foot, but the guys to look out for on the Blues are...

Andy McDonald with 16 points

Paul Kariya with 15 points

Brad Boyes with 14 Points and 8 goals

Keith Tkachuk with 11 points 9 goals

The Blues are bad in goal and bad at defense. They give up more then they score which makes sense, since they are last in the Central division. And haven't won in 3 weeks. Oh no.

Well hopefully they don't find their game tonight, because the Sabres have looked bad in the last two, especially on defense. I would look the team to be back in position, or fear their job. Because Lindy can bench guys now for lazy play. I like that option for Lindy. Also, probably Lalime tonight, which is good because my Fiancee things Miller is crap. Though I will miss her bagging on him if he let in a crappy goal.

See you at the Arena.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Effect of Bad Football part 2

Chris McGrath

I got so angry I totally forgot the other part of my last post.

The other effect of bad Bills football is the fact I lose total interest in the rest of the league. The fact that the Titans are 9-0. The fact that the Giants are pretty damn good and might repeat as Champions. The Falcons are 6-3 and their rookie QB looks pretty good. Another rookie is leading the Ravens to a 6-3 record. The fact everyone in the AFC East is above .500.

Bad Bills football, makes me not want to watch football in general. I don't want to see teams playing well, because it makes me even angrier.




It makes you watch Cold Case or go outside and do chores, because its something to get your mind off your awful football team. Its not like the Lions who are pathetic bad. And you expect them to lose. Expecting your team to win, and they come out and play terrible is way worse.

I did not expect that yesterday I really didn't, and it made things worse. Before a Steelers vs Colts matchup would make me go, oooo I want to watch that. After it was like I don't care. Turn the channel. In fact me and the Fiancee watched a Veggietales movie. Actually it totally got my mind off everything.

If the Bills won, I'd go to Football sites and read everything, now I just look at political stuff, or god forbid do actual work. Maybe the Bills are trying to be productive.


The effect of bad football

This is a tough post, there is no way I want to talk about yesterday. It was brutal. The Bills were just crap on both sides of the ball. The defense just couldn't get off the field. The offense couldn't stay on it. Just looked like they are completely off page, everywhere. It was nice to get the TD late to make it look better. That play worked. Why didn't it work earlier. But really the story is the struggle of Trent Edwards. Bad throws, just not in rhythm with anyone.

In the last 3 games he has thrown 2 td's and 5 ints.

His rating has been a 67.2, 79.3 and a 49.2.

Yesterday his average pass completion was a 5.2. Thats pathetic.

Its like he completely regressed. In the course of 3 weeks. Along with the entire team.

The 3rd down defense is whats killing the team. The Patriots converted 3rd down 61% of the time! Thats unacceptable. Which is the same percentage the Jets had the previous week. Miami only had a 27%, but thats because they aren't very good.

The worse part is that this team got the fanbase all excited and in 3 weeks have ripped the heart of the Bills fan. Their lack of passion, lack of effort at times. They seem lazy, they look like they don't care. No one is angry, no one is frustrated. Its the same old lines every week. I want Jauron to out someone in public. Tell how terrible the defensive line is, fire them up. That 4th quarter drive by the Patriots was terrible. No pressure, just dink and dunk all the way down the field. The defense didn't do a thing.

This monday they have a home game on national tv. This will tell who they are and what they are. If they are flat and play like crap, the season is over I don't care if they play another game. Its a game to reclaim the season. And if they do play flat, Jauron should be fired on the spot. There is no excuse to come out flat 3 weeks in a row. THEY WERE ALL IMPORTANT GAMES AND THEY SUCKED IN EVERYONE OF THEM.

The season is going down the toilet, and I'm rooting for a team that doesn't seem to care. It would be different if they did everything they could and lost. But they are giving half effort, and losing. That is unacceptable. There are 7 games left. They go 5-2, they are probably going to the Playoffs.

The season isn't over, and its just 3 games. Injuries aren't an excuse. They have a favorable schedule down the line, Cleveland, Kansas City, San Francisco, Miami, Jets, Denver and New England. They can win all 7 of those games.

I'm just angry, I hate being set up like this. Its not fair. It ruins sundays. Thank god for the Fiancee or things would be really bad.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Sabres Thrashers Preview

Today is a special day for me, since its the 1st anniversary of me and my Fiancee's first date. So we'll be downtown at a local establishment. There was a Sabre game that night too. A OT win over the Boston Bruins. (had to look that up) So I probably won't watch much of this one either, the only thing I have to worry about is the pre hockey crowd. Which wasn't bad the last time, but its Friday, not Wednesday, so i got two factors. Anyhow, onto the game.

The Thrashers

The Thrashers are a good scoring team, they are also a bad defensive team. Which leads to scoring 34 goals on the year and letting in 49 on the year, which is bad. Letting in a lot of goals also leads to a 4-7-2 record, but are on a 2 game win streak. And the fact they played last night in Atlanta and had to come back against the Islanders, means they are probably a bit tired. Oh and the Sabres are rested. Plus Jochen is back. Predicting a shooting gallery tonight, would be like predicting Obama would win, pretty easy by looking at the facts.

Ondrej Pavalec has won the last two games, but it looks like Lehtonen is healthy. So he might get a start, a change from the parade of backups the Sabres usually see. Lehtonen's numbers are a tad shaky for the season, 2-5-2 3.44 GAA and a .903 Sv%. On that hand why not start the hot hand. Wait, Lehtonen is starting since being out with the Flu and back issues. GET HIM AWAY FROM TIM CONNOLLY!!!!!!

You would think Kovalchuk is the leading scorer or at least the top goal scorer on the Thrashers. But you would be wrong. 4th in points (10) and 3rd in goals (5). So he hasn't got going this year, and if I were him looking to get shipped out. Todd White has the most points (14) and Slava Kozlov leads with 8 goals. Bryan Little who I never heard of, until this year is having quite the start of the year with 6 goals and 11 points and a +5, on a team full of minus players. Ron Hainsey is looking like a nice pickup, for the points hes putting up on the team, but he'll be playing lots of minutes with the injuries to Schneider and Bogosian. The team looks to be two lines, then not much else.


I'm guessing Miller gets the start tonight and then Lalime tomorrow in Boston. I guess to keep the shutout string going. Jochen finally comes back tonight and haven't seen what they have done with the excess spot. I agree with Vogl to send Stafford to the minors. He has been downright invisible most nights. He's great in the shootout, since he copied Kotalik. Maybe it will wake him up, or it just sets up him getting shipped out. I bet you could get a nice vet, for Staffy and Max. Or just get picks and pull up a Mancari or Gerbe. Well the Sabres are just dealing with a Surplus right now. And with Hecht back, I'll look for Pominville and Roy to get better. Well my outlook is a nice night out with the Fiancee. For the Sabres a high scoring affair thats entertaining for the fans.

Bad Defense+healthy team= Obama like blowout

Thursday, November 6, 2008

12 Game review

Well 12 games into the season, which is a good taste. The Sabres have to be pretty happy with their play for most of it. Last week was a bit of a bad stretch, but those weeks will happen, and its how you pull yourself out, is what matters most. Shutting out two opponents is a good sign.

They are standing 1st in the Northeast and 2nd in the Eastern Conference. Thats higher then most would have said about the Sabres, and have done that with missing key players for a lot of the season. Hecht, Connolly, Gaustad and Rivet. They have the best goals against in the league, giving up only 25 goals in 12 games. Defense was not what the Sabres were good at last year, and having two straight shutouts is a sign of that after giving up 10 goals in two games. 10 goals in 4 games looks much better. And is a better reflection of the season.

Ryan Miller is showing he's worth every penny of his new contract, and proves me wrong based on old numbers. I guess using old numbers to predict future earnings, is just as bad as political polling. Well his GAA is 1.62 and his Sv% is a high .942. Thats 1st in the league in GAA and 2nd in the league in Sv%. Not usual terroritory for Ryan Miller. (Who my fiance still thinks is crap) Its funny every time she says it. She doesn't like his form. But Ryan is playing much better then last year, and Lalime minus the Ottawa game is also much better at the backup position.

The offense is pretty much the same. Except for Vanek deciding to put the team on his back. He has been impressive and his 11 goals in 12 games shows that. Roy is struggling thats evident, and theres no reason for that, with Vanek on his line. Pominville is getting back, he misses Hecht and he's back so look for Jason to bump up his nice numbers. 3 players have 9 points, Spacek, Pominville and Kotalik. MacArthur and Sekera have 8 points and Max has 7 points. Scoring is being spread out, though Vanek has almost a third of the teams goals and that has to change. But the offense has not doubt suffered from the injuries to the centers early on the season. But with all them healthy again, well Connolly is Connolly so, I'll look for offense to get better.

The reason for the good start, 8-2-2, is they are playing for most of the season, a team concept. They play good defense and can buzz in the offensive zone. The first period of the Devils game is a good example, if Weekes was shaky, they would have 5 goals in that period. This is the team I think Lindy always wanted to have, but had young players and players that weren't good on the defensive side. They have that tough captain, and a team that is a team. Really look up and down the lineup, these guys have been together for years. Its how you make a team and it takes years. Finally this is the team that they wanted to build and the fact theres more brewing in Portland makes me excited for the Future.

Kevin Lowe might have done the Sabres a favor, we can look at that statement 3 years from now.

I'll talk it about now

Well its Thursday and its taken that long to want to talk about the Bills, last Sundays game took a lot out of me. Its one of those oh no, are they going into a free fall that they wind up 6-10 seasons, that pretty much destroys all fun about the Bills and the beginning of the season. Thanks to the Sabres recent shutdown, its not all gloom and doom, that and Obama. But the Bills always rear their head. I think last Sundays game took a lot out of me and Bills fans. They have lost 3 of their last 4. And their wins over "quality opponents" diminish by the week. Jacksonville, isn't that good, San Diego is bad and the Rams, Seahawks and Raiders aren't very good either.

The only positive I take from the three losses. Is that they are making critical mistakes to lose games. Its not like they are playing well and losing. They are making lots of turnovers, and bad plays and mental mistakes and losing. It shows they do have talent and when they play well, they win. Even when they struggle a little and not turning the ball over, they pull games out.

Yes there are injuries, and other issues, like the run game, there is only one real fact. The team goes as far as Trent Edwards. How he plays, determines where this team goes. If he plays real well this week in New England, they will win. I guarantee it. But he is a 2nd year player and he will struggle. We just haven't seen it. The more they open things up, the more mistakes happen. Though his line could help him out a bit, with pass protection and running the ball.

But thank god for the Fiance, or last Sunday would have led to full blown sports depression. But just seeing her, makes that go away. This Sunday if things go badly, and its the Patriots, I'll try to look at her and think of the future and all the misery from watching bad Bills Football will go away.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Sabres Devils preview

Well the Sabres snapped their 2 game skid, with a good 5-0 win against the Capitals. Now they head on the road to play in Newark against the Devils. The big news is that Martin Brodeur is hurt and will not play tonight. So no Miller Brodeur duel tonight, instead the Sabres get Kevin Weekes. Oh and Paul Martin is also out tonight. Nice, time for Vanek to get ahead of that Goal game average.

Lets talk Devils

The Devils are off to a good start, 6-2-2, and are in 2nd in the Atlantic. They have scored 30 goals this year, while only allowing 22. But of course of the year Weekes has only played 33 minutes on the season. Their defensive corp is young, for the most part, with the exceptions of Salvador and White. But guys raised in the system. Oduya, Greene and Mottau. A bunch of guys you've never heard of for the most part, but keep things locked down.

On the offensive side of things, Zach Parise is the leader on the Devils. He has 9 goals and 14 points on the year, and a +7. He is followed by Rochester Native Brian Gionta with 8 points, and Elias and Zajac with 7 points each. They aren't a high scoring team, but can get goals when they need to. And don't forget Zubaz is still on the Devils. Though their special teams aren't so hot. The Sabres have an adequate power play and with the return of Connelly, will be even better the more time he gets.


The Sabres look back on track and are playing one of the better teams in the East, so a good win on the road would be a great way to get even more confidence back. I hope the Sabres don't just expect to win with Brodeur out, because the Devils will lock things down and take advantage of mistakes and the Sabres can make some mistakes. Its time to get back to the hockey they played in the beginning of the season and forget what happened a week ago. They need all the points they can get.

About Me

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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.