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

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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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Sabres vs. Leafs 11/6/10 Postmortem November 6, 2010

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Ok, boys, it’s Hockey Night in Canada. Let’s try not to embarrass yourselves, mmm?

Liked:

  • Nice play by Gaustad to prevent Kessel from getting out of his own zone.
  • Enroth is settling down nicely so far in the first period.
  • Beautiful save on MacArthur by Enroth. That should inspire some confidence in their goaltender from the other guys.
  • Hey! Myers just figured out he’s a big guy!
  • Leopold strikes me as an efficient defenseman. Not a lot of wasted energy, and that’s not a bad thing.
  • Enroth gets Most Valuable Sabre so far halfway through the game. The rest of them get slapped in the face. EDIT: Derek Roy has earned an exemption from the face slap. EDIT: Jochen Hecht gets a lighter face slap. EDIT: Tyler Ennis is exempt. EDIT: Steve Montador gets a lighter face slap because I think he at least tried. And since I’m doing the slapping I get to set the force.
  • Wooo! The lil’ Sabres come through – Jhonas Enroth and Tyler Ennis! Yay!!!

Didn’t like:

  • Mike Grier fans on a puck? Wow, coulda blown me over with a feather./sarcasm
  • Why is Ellis on a line with Vanek? Geez, Vanek’s gonna commit hari-kari soon.
  • So Connolly’s on a line with McCormick and Kaleta? Heh.
  • Hecht is a puck-handling nightmare.
  • Man, this is some ugly hockey early.
  • If I was McCormick I’d be having words with Connolly about why he skated right over the puck when I had a scoring chance in the slot. Go around me, dude!
  • Do I need to explain the concept of the “power play” to you boys again? See, it’s when you have MORE guys on the ice than they do…
  • Enroth is playing well, but that doesn’t mean you need to test him continually. Just sayin…
  • Geez, Pominville, that was an egregious giveaway behind your own net. Wet noodle beating for you in between periods!
  • Nice job not gettin’ that puck out of your own zone, Grier. Nice job.
  • Did I mention that I fired McCutcheon from the power play three or four years ago? Yeah. Totally fired.
  • Vanek misses the net. Does the team have him on watch? Seriously.

I… I don’t know what to think. They won. THEY ACTUALLY WON.

Sabres vs Thrashers 3/16/10 Postmortem March 16, 2010

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I hate playing the Thrashers. For a team that’s not very good they certainly give the Sabres fits.

Oy. It’s most of the way through the first right now (came to the game late). Miller has been PULLED? Ugh, the world is ending.

Liked:

  • Wow, they scored on the power play! That’s a positive. Good boy, Pominville!
  • Nice job, Ellis. Look what standing in front of the net will get you? Listen up, boys!
  • They’re getting a lot of shots. That’s a positive. Work with me here, people.
  • Lalime is playing well. Miller was not playing well. WTH?
  • And apparently Mike Grier is fine. Huh. That ankle didn’t look good on the replay.
  • Toni Lydman has six shots on goal through two periods? Seriously? I’ll put that under “liked” simply because, well, he doesn’t take many shots, and he should.
  • Much as I like the lil’ scrappers on the fourth line, I’d prefer if our supposed “Top Six” forwards scored a little more often. That being said, yay Steve Montador! EDIT: Yay, Tim Kennedy!

Didn’t like:

  • Most of the first, which, admittedly, I did not actually watch after finding out it was 3-1.
  • Now was that really necessary, Rivet? I mean, I know you’ve slowed down but that guy didn’t even have the puck. Sheesh.
  • The parade to the penalty box is not amusing me.
  • Is that another stupid penalty for Adam Mair? By the way, Adam, are you confused about why you don’t get more ice time? I’m not.
  • Did Thomas Vanek just get thrown to the ground? Huh. He’s not huge, but he’s not a small man either…
  • Clarke MacArthur just blew a tire. That sucks. Oh, wait…..
  • Who thinks Paul Gaustad’s hand is not totally healed? ME ME ME! He hasn’t been over 45% in faceoff wins since he came back.
  • Harry Neale just noticed that Mike Grier is on the bench to start the third period. Apparently he didn’t notice the shifts Grier took after his injury.
  • Clarke MacArthur just blew a tire. That sucks. Oh, wait…..
  • Memo to Raffi Torres: You don’t have to try so hard. In fact, it’s probably better if you didn’t.
  • Memo to Derek Roy: “Top Six” forwards have a better faceoff win percentage than 35%. Just sayin’.
  • Awesome. Go down by one, take a penalty. Way to lead, Connolly.
  • I am mystified – MYSTIFIED – about why hockey teams don’t “play 60 minutes”. Seriously? Most of you have been playing hockey for 25+ years, and you haven’t figured out how to consistently TRY?
  • Um, Mair? Yeah… taking TWO dumb penalties in a game is not good.

I can’t freeging believe they lost this game. Toronto helps them out and how do the Sabres repay their neighbors to the North? They LOSE. Grrrrrr….

Back in action on Thursday.

Sabres vs Stars 3/10/10 Postmortem March 10, 2010

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I was out tonight and DVR’d the game, but I ended up fast-forwarding through parts of it. Despite that, I noticed several things…

For this game, and this game only, I am only going to do a “Liked” section. Without further ado:

Liked:

  • 42 shots? Nice!
  • Allowing only 19 shots? Nicer!
  • It was good to see Vanek get one. I’ve been worried about that boy committing hari-kari if he didn’t score soon. And of course if he did that he’d use his stick.
  • My opinion: Tyler Myers has the Calder sewn up unless some other youngin’ really steps up his game.
  • Mancari had a good game, and it’s about time. I don’t think he’s going to get too many more chances. Without the roster limit in effect, maybe Mancari will remain with the big boys even after Gaustad and Stafford come back.
  • I love Pat Kaleta. That is all.
  • I saw an end-to-end rush and was truly surprised when I saw the person streaking up ice was Steve Montador. Huh.
  • Tyler Myers and Henrik Tallinder, together, cover the entire width of the ice with their reaches. They are large humans. (H/T Doc Emrick)
  • Did they give that goal to Pominville? I hope so. He’s looked like such a sad pup lately.
  • Man, I wish Grier and Hecht had hands. It’s painful to watch.
  • Ryan Miller, to his credit slammed the door and gave his team a chance to win.
  • Roy had a good game. I was impressed when he didn’t throw it down the ice blindly at the open net that first time. The second time he had more time and space and went for it, which I’m fine with, but making the smart play the first time was good to see.
  • Marty Turco does not seem to be terribly good at hockey.
  • I like Niskanen (sp?) a lot. Can we trade, say, Paetsch… oh, wait. Um, MacArthur? Oh, wait… man, I think a lot of the albatrosses are gone! Who will we use as trade bait?!?
  • 10 takeaways by the Sabres to one from Dallas? I guess that’s how you get puck possession, eh?
  • Adam Mair won 73% of his faceoffs. Perhaps Goose’s broken wing has afforded him time to tutor his fellow centermen… although it appears Connolly and Ellis skipped that session, as both of their win percentages, well, sucked.

The Sabres play both Friday and Saturday nights, apparently both against Western Conference teams. Bring ’em on!

Sabres vs Capitals 3/3/10 Postmortem March 3, 2010

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So I was planning to do two separate posts today: one about the trades and one with this postmortem. Life conspired against me and I haven’t seen too much of the first period of this game, so I’m going to combine posts. Because I can.

To the trades first:

  • Upgraded at one position: from MacArthur to Torres
  • Lost a second rounder, gained a third and fourth rounder
  • Cut out some dead weight (can I get a “Hell yeah!” on that?)
  • Dumped some salary

Grade: B+
While I would’ve loved a big-time acquisition, we all knew that wasn’t going to happen. Considering how conservative Darcy Regier is, this is a pretty good day for him. I can’t really fault him for what he did.

On to the game…

Liked:

  • Gotta like no Clarke MacArthur and Nathan Paetsch. Now that I’ve said that, moving on…
  • I do like how Jochen Hecht is willing to shoot from anywhere. I would bet he scores 75% of his goals that way.
  • Faceoffs help with puck possession, and for what it’s worth, Connolly and Roy, through a little more than two periods, are both over 70% in faceoff wins.

Didn’t like:

  • No Sabres shots six minutes into the second period? What’s up with that, guys? You do realize you can’t score if you don’t shoot the puck, right? Huh. Maybe you don’t.
  • Um, letting professional hockey players in alone on your goaltender is not a good idea. Letting REALLY GOOD professional hockey players in alone on your goaltender is a horrible idea. Just thought I might reiterate that.
  • Once again allowing too many shots. Y’all don’t need to convince us you have a great goaltender – we know, so start playing some defense in front of him so he doesn’t have to do all the work.
  • And now Versus has decided not to work. I think this is a sign from the hockey gods.

Ugh, I’ve got a migraine coming on – might be cutting this post short and going to bed. UPDATE: After over 10 minutes, Versus is still down for me, so I’m giving up. Sorry peeps.

Sabres play the Flyers on Friday night. Who the heck is the goaltender over there now that Emery is on season-ending IR?

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