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Sabres vs. Leafs 11/26/10 Postmortem November 26, 2010

Posted by calvin in Uncategorized.
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I love when the Sabres play the Leafs, as long as I’m not there. Don’t get me wrong – when I was younger I loved going to the games, but now I’d rather not scream at obnoxious Leafs fans while ducking the beer that they’re trying to throw on me. By all indications this should be a confidence boost for the guys. I’m hoping they’re getting sick of Angry Lindy.

Liked:

  • Kaleta lambasts Kulemin, and then Schenn decides to defend his teammate in a touching display of bravado. Great fight!
  • Orr goes after Gaustad and gets a triple minor penalty. Wha?!? Well, I’ll take the interminable power play!
  • Aaannnndddd they score! This Jordan Leopold fellow is all right.
  • Aaannnnddddddddd they score again! Thomas Vanek just stands there with the puck in front of him, has a scotch and enjoys the newspaper while he waits for a good time to take a shot, and then slams one home. Well played, Thomas. Well played.
  • I see that Kaleta stood up in the penalty box and applauded Orr for going after Gaustad. NICE.
  • Kessel gets a breakaway and doesn’t even get a shot off. Hee.
  • Sekera makes two nice plays on one shift to keep the puck in the offensive zone. I’m really liking his game lately.
  • Is Clarke MacArthur dressed tonight? Ohhhhhhh, THERE he is. On the bench. Huh. Nice enough kid, but I’m glad we got rid of him.
  • Kessel has been totally ineffective halfway through this game.
  • Hey, look – even the “Portland Pirates line” is dominating the Leafs.
  • Random note: You’d have to think Enroth is feeling pretty good about his game after holding Crosby & Co. to one goal the other night.
  • RJ just encouraged Harry Neale and Rob Ray to jump in and comment. He obviously wants to go refresh his whiskey, guys. Wake up!
  • Thanks to the Sabres Edge blog and Mike Harrington (@BNHarrington on Twitter, for those of you who dare to wade into that cesspool of feces, H/T to John Vogl), I know that the Leafs haven’t scored on a power play against the Sabres since March 27, 2009. *snort*
  • Luke Adam looks at home here in the NHL, I’ve gotta say. No matter what your opinion of Darcy Regier is, you have to admit he’s got a very good track record with his draft picks. Credit Kevin Dineen, Randy Cunneyworth et al for developing the talent too.
  • I knew the answer to the Cellino & Barnes trivia question pretty quickly, and I still remember a song that either WGR or WNSA (can’t remember which) did about Jason Wooley. “Jason Wooley, he’s no bully, Jason Wooley…”. Does anyone else remember that song?
  • Gaustad’s eyes were like saucers when the puck went past Kessel during that penalty kill. “MINE! MINE!” Kaleta finishes it off for the Sabres first shortie of the season.
  • The Sabres have nine takeaways. The Leafs have two. I think that’s a pretty telling stat of how the game has gone. I’d like to see zone time, but I’m not sure where to find that on the Interwebz.
  • Gaustad has won 64% of his faceoffs. Derek Roy has won 58% of his. (Jochen Hecht hasn’t fared so well at 41%.)

Didn’t like:

  • Gaustad takes a dumb penalty with a hit on Kessel. That’s how people get hurt, dude. No hitting from behind!
  • Poor Pominville can’t buy a goal. As someone said on Twitter, there are no red lights in Pominville. So sad. Update: In the first period, Pominville had five shots. The Leafs had five shots too. I find this sad for Pominville, hilarious for the Leafs.
  • Apparently Weber admires Gaustad, as he hits a guy from behind too. Bad Weber, bad! UPDATE: Weber takes another penalty. Kid’s got to calm down a little.
  • Um, Mike Grier? What’s with the penalties you’re taking lately? It’s more than just tonight. Let me give you a hint. That’s not “leadership”.
  • Now, I know they’re up, but they should really keep shooting.

On to Montreal tomorrow night. Let’s take some momentum with us on the plane, fellas!

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Goaltending is not the problem… November 24, 2010

Posted by calvin in Uncategorized.
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I don’t understand what’s going on with several of our players. I really can’t explain what’s happened to the offense of Jochen Hecht (2G, 3A); Paul Gaustad (1G, 4A,); and Jason Pominville (1G, 3A). I can’t account for why Shaone Morrisonn is a -12, or why Tim Connolly is a -9. I know a couple of the players have had nagging injury problems, and especially if they’re older players like Rivet and Niedermayer that can really hamper their games, but did those injuries really account for how poorly their seasons have progressed thus far?

I didn’t see most of the game tonight, as I was at a friend’s house. I know they didn’t play badly, but I also know Jhonas Enroth got boned in that game by his teammates. How much more do his teammates want him to do? He let in one goal against what is arguably one of the most potent offensive teams in the NHL. Somewhere, Ryan Miller was watching this game and shaking his head in general disgust, feeling a great sense of empathy with Enroth.

I heard Marc-Andre Fleury stood on his head, but come ON, we all know that despite his Stanley Cup ring Fleury is not an elite goaltender. So what was the problem this time, guys? I am one of the most patient, rah-rah fans you’ll find, but even I want to shake my favorite player (Pominville, as most of you know) and say, “If you shoot ten feet wide ONE MORE TIME I’m going to make you shoot five hundred pucks a day until every single one of them goes into the net. With Ryan Miller goaltending. And you blindfolded.”

But despite all that, I’m still thankful we have a team to bitch about. And that’s the most important thing.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Angry Lindy and his idea of new lines November 24, 2010

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So Lindy Ruff went mental on the guys today after he didn’t like the way they executed a power play drill. If you want to see the (pretty entertaining) tirade, go here. Good for him! Maybe some of these guys will wake up and figure out that a 12.8% success rate on the power play, good for 26th in the league, ain’t gettin’ it done.

As for lines, here’s what Lindy drew up on the ole’ chalkboard today to deal with the injuries. I still like my suggestions better, but whatever:

Vanek-Roy-Ennis

Gerbe-Hecht-Pominville

Stuart-Gaustad-Grier

McCormick-Adam-Kaleta

As for this apparently apathetic power play corps, he’s got Pominville-Vanek-Gerbe, with Roy and Myers at the blue line; and Ennis-Gaustad-Adam, with Jordan Leopold-Andrej Sekera at the point.

Ryan Miller is definitely out for tonight. Who thinks they’re going to get creamed by Pittsburgh? *raising hand* Sigh.

My suggestions for new Sabres lines November 22, 2010

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Since there are so many injuries on the Sabres, I thought I would add my two cents and help out the coaching staff since line juggling is going to be inevitable. So without further ado, my suggestions for new Sabres lines:

FORWARDS-

  1. Hecht-Sabretooth-Pominville  (Sabretooth can be our #1 center!)
  2. Vanek-Roy-Tony the Tiger (I figure he’ll have a good shot from the slot)
  3. Ennis-Frodo-Gerbe (We’ll call that the Hobbit line)
  4. McCormick-Gaustad-Kaleta (This line is fine)

DEFENSE-

  1. Leopold-Montador (Again, this line/pairing is fine)
  2. Myers-Paul Bunyan (An added bonus -he can change the light bulbs in the Jumbotron when they burn out!)
  3. Sekera-Mike Myers (He’s Canadian, so he plays hockey, right?)

GOALTENDERS-

  1. Optimus Prime
  2. Tasmanian Devil (he’s the backup, of course)

 

The Cup is ours.

Sabres vs. Lightning 11/20/10 Postmortem November 20, 2010

Posted by calvin in Uncategorized.
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After a very good game last night, let’s see how the guys come back tonight. Lalime is in net – apparently Miller is once again day to day with a lower body injury.

Liked:

  • What a shot by Vanek.
  • The ability of hockey players to stickhandle on their knees never ceases to amaze me.
  • What a save by Lalime on Stamkos at the end of that power play. It gives me faith. It does.
  • Montador and Leopold both have a very good first pass out of the defensive zone.
  • Nice shot, Pat Kaleta. Didn’t score, but it was a nice shot.

Didn’t like:

  • Poor Pominville can’t buy a goal these days.
  • Lazy penalty, Vanek. I’d like to see some stats about how many hooking penalties Vanek takes versus the other forwards. I think he takes significantly more than other forwards do. Anyone want to argue with me? Feel free to do so in the comments.
  • And an egregious giveaway by Connolly leads to Tampa Bay’s first goal. Connolly’s in a contract year, right? So he’ll be a UFA and we can finally get rid of him? *dancing a jig*
  • Aw, and then Connolly gets a goal disallowed. Bad Pommer, bad!
  • The Sabres are having an awful lot of trouble keeping Tampa Bay out of their zone in the second period. This does not bode well.
  • Aaannndddd those good feelings about Lalime are gone. WOW. How did that puck go in?
  • Memo to Paul Gaustad: Just because you played a great game last night does NOT mean you can take three penalties (through two periods so far) in tonight’s game. DO YOU HEAR ME? STOP IT!!!!
  • If that Hall goal ends up being the GWG I’m going to have a bad headache. From banging my head on the wall. Repeatedly.

Final score: Sabres  1 Lightning  2

And I really wonder what Lindy Ruff and Darcy Regier will think about this game. You can blame Lalime for that horrible goal, but the rest of the team didn’t score goals. Lalime can’t score goals, people. He only let in two – you can’t put the entire loss on him, IMO.

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