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Sabres vs. Canadiens 11/5/10 Postmortem November 5, 2010

Posted by calvin in Uncategorized.
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Once again I’m late starting this game but I expect to catch up fast. Hopefully the boys will give me a good effort and not make me regret taking the night off from writing. With that said…

Liked:

  • Good hustle by Pominville to split the defense.
  • I think playing Sekera in favor of Butler or Weber is the right move considering the state the team is in right now. I think his development is just a little bit further along than the other two guys – he can be trusted more. Plus, he’s a more offensive player.
  • Is it just me or is Montador a beast? In a good way, of course…
  • Vanek’s trying hard tonight.
  • I still like the Leopold/Montador defense pairing.
  • At one point with about seven minutes to go in the first period I thought the Sabres were on the power play. They weren’t. Huh. Well, lookie that.
  • Nice play by Tyler Ennis on that first goal.
  • Pominville looks like he’s got his sea legs back.
  • Kind of funny how after these scrumbs in front of the net Ennis skates away and lets the other guys push and shove for him. Smart kid, that one.
  • Wow, really nice block by Sekera with his shin pads. Then he gets the puck out of the zone and would’ve had a play if he hadn’t been tripped.
  • Do you ever get the feeling Gaustad wins so many draws merely because he drops his “large human” body on top of the other centerman and suffocates him?
  • I like that Jordan Leopold fellow.

Didn’t like:

  • Am I the only person who wonders if Jochen Hecht has really good blackmail material on Lindy Ruff to get all this good playing time? He’s on a good line, he’s on the power play, and why? Can someone explain it to me? And I’m not talking about the last couple of games, I’m talking about the last five YEARS.
  • I heard Rob Ray mention a “Too Many Men” penalty and thought to myself – “It that’s on Buffalo I’m going to put a hole in the wall.” Thank God it wasn’t. That would’ve hurt.
  • Roy has turned ice cold. Dude needs some shooting practice.
  • Harry mentioned that Montreal’s power play was first in the league last year and is 29th so far this year. Man, that power play is a fickle, fickle mistress, isn’t she?
  • I don’t care that Mike Grier scored. I still think he’s a waste of roster space.
  • Lalime plays realllly high in his crease, which isn’t great for a guy who isn’t very mobile this late in his career. Also, do you think he has plain white pads just in case he get shipped out of town? Just sayin’…
  • Poor Myers still looks a little lost out there.
  • Don’t you not want to be the player the coach is leaning on when he’s screaming at the ref from behind the bench? Just hold on and hope you keep your hearing, man.
  • Why is Craig Rivet playing on the man advantage unit? Why?
  • I know he’s been hurt and stuff, but I expected a little more physicality from Morrisonn.
  • I don’t think anyone has more almost-goals than Thomas Vanek. Oy.
  • Oh, Tyler Myers… your mistakes are getting costly out there.

Ok, it’s 10pm and I happen to know that the Sabres lose this one. Again. So I’m not going to watch the rest and blog it. I see no reason to torture myself. Overall it looked like a pretty good game. Maybe they can take some momentum into tomorrow night. *rolling eyes*

What should we expect? September 21, 2010

Posted by calvin in Uncategorized.
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I’ve been reading a lot of preseason predictions, both from other bloggers and from the mainstream media. Some prognosticators, particularly amongst the bloggers, are angry the Sabres didn’t make more moves to improve the team (and they have every right to be), and don’t think the Sabres will be much better than they were last year. Much of the mainstream media is picking the Sabres to finish around sixth in the Eastern Conference.

Where does that leave us? Here are my thoughts:

  • If the Sabres are “no better” than last year, that’s not such a bad thing. They finished third in the conference, and were – what – one point out of second? Yes, some other teams in the conference have gotten stronger in terms of personnel, but others have gotten weaker – that’s the nature of the game. So if the Sabres aren’t better – and I don’t think they’re worse – that doesn’t seem like a tragedy to me.
  • Finishing sixth in the conference is pretty respectable. It’s not home ice advantage, but did that help us last year? Did not having it hinder the teams who finished in seventh and eighth last year? No.
  • Preseason predictions are just that – preseason predictions. Before everyone gets all upset and throws Darcy and Co under the bus, let’s see what the team can do. There’s a fair amount of new personnel on this team, and you have to admit a few things:
    • They appear to have addressed the softness issue. People have been bitching for years about how the Sabres could get pushed around. With the addition of guys like McCormick and Morrisonn that hopefully shouldn’t be a problem.
    • They did go out and get some guys in free agency. That’s been another sore spot for fans. No, they didn’t run out and sign Ilya Kovalchuk, but we all knew that wasn’t going to happen. What they did do is sign three very capable veteran players. All three should help the team. None are flashy, and yes, none are 50-goal scorers, but the team finished eighth in scoring last season. Scoring wasn’t the problem.

So if I say scoring wasn’t the problem and that the Sabres didn’t pick up a scoring winger and I think that’s ok, what do I think the problem was? Competitive spirit – IN THE PLAYOFFS (in the regular season I think it was fine, otherwise they would’ve lost more 2-1 games). And no, I don’t think it’s something that left with Drury and Briere. Truth be told, I don’t think it was there even with those guy in their last year. Before that, yes, but in the last year, especially during the playoffs, no.

Can that problem be fixed? I don’t know. Will these three new guys help? I don’t know. But having three more veterans in the locker room can’t hurt. These guys have all gone through playoff runs and played for successful teams – they all know what it takes to win. Maybe their attitude will rub off on the other guys who’ve been here for longer, maybe it won’t, but again, it can’t hurt.

My conclusion? I’m willing to see what the team can do. I haven’t seen even a minute of camp. I’ve read a few articles and listened to a few interviews, so I can’t say that the attitude has changed. Besides that, talk is cheap. But let’s give them a chance.

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