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Farewell Miserable November December 2, 2011

Posted by calvin in Uncategorized.
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With the month of November in the rear-view mirror, the Sabres will be hoping Santa doesn’t have lumps of coal waiting for them in the bottoms of their stockings. Between the calamitous injury situation, the collective turtling in the face of the big bad Bruins and the simultaneous initiation of half-a-dozen rookies into the senior ranks, the Sabres actually didn’t do too badly, finishing 7-6-1 (15 out of a possible 28 points). Yes I know, my glass of Blue Light is half-full, but I do have a six-pack of PBR tallboys chilling in the fridge if things had been more miserable. Player A could have been out for the season, Player B could have broken more bones, Player C could have missed more games, etc etc (I am not naming names lest even more Sabres find their way onto the injury report). In fact, we could have gone 0-14-0 and where would we be then?!

So with that in mind, here are some things to look forward to in this festive month –

  • Ryan Miller will be back very soon. Hopefully refreshed from an early season break. And hopefully in a better frame of mind than the time he got injured when he was quite dreadful at times, no thanks to the vanishing act by the supporting cast in front of him.
  • Tyler Ennis gets to try again. ‘Enzo’ needs to be better during Take Two. In the first go-around of seven games prior to his injury, he looked nothing like his 2010-11 avatar that scored 49 points. It might help that Leino is settling in and has been playing better, but all signs point to Ennis getting first dibs on the line with Roy and Stafford as soon as he is back.
  • Tyler Myers continues his comeback. After a pretty rough start culminated in his benching for a game, Myers had a couple of solid efforts and it looked like he was back to form again. However, an innocuous-looking collision resulted in a broken bone and he has been sidelined until the middle of this month.
  • Thomas Vanek and team captain Jason Pominville have both been playing like elite wingers, and have combined to drag the Sabres out of their proclivity to slump to long losing streaks. We would love to see this pair keep scoring and lead from the front.
  • Zack Kassian is here. The fan-proclaimed future of the Sabres finally made his way up to the senior team, and promptly went about earning his keep as a physical forward with an eye for goal. If he can continue to combine his feisty approach with some timely scoring, the Sabres will be vindicated in spending the 13th overall pick on him in the 2009 Entry Draft.
  • Big Joe Finley getting a stint with the Sabres. I propose that the moniker ‘Big’ be permanently prefixed to Finley’s name – the 6’8″, 260lb behemoth is not only big, he plays big too, laying crushing hits and gleefully dropping the gloves. And in his spare time he tosses around lawnmowers and kitchen tables, and slashes team mascots too. Read all about him here.
  • The rise of Brayden McNabb. Another one of the big-bodies that is expected to form the new Sabres core, he has settled in very well, fighting for the puck in the corners, clearing the blue ice of foreign matter (and players) and distributing the puck effectively up the ice too.

Sabres vs Senators 9/28/10 Postmortem September 28, 2010

Posted by calvin in Uncategorized.
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Welcome to Hockeyville! Welcome to a 19-year-old goaltender versus Miller! Woo-hoo!

Liked:

  • How adorable was it that players had to stand behind the bench?
  • The game gets started quickly for the Sabres, as they take a couple of shots right off the bat. Only bad luck prevented them from scoring.
  • Steve Montador made a Goals and Dreams donation of hockey equipment to local kids today. All together: “Awwwwww…”
  • *cackle cackle* Nice goal, Niedermeyer. Be sure you throw away that gift wrapping. Someone could trip over it.
  • Right at the end of his shift, Kassian still almost scores. Good effort even when you’re suckin’ wind, kid.
  • I’m liking Cody McCormick. I’m liking him a lot.
  • What a nice guy Pominville is! He just hugged the Senators goaltender!
  • Oh, Matthew Barnaby, you’re still a loyal guy. We love you.
  • I would like to answer the NHL’s question: Yes, it’s the year for the Sabres to step into the spotlight. Hells yeah!
  • Great pass, Luke Adam. Nice goal, Jason Pominville! Woo! Good boy!

Didn’t like:

  • Tim Connolly? Captain? Really, Lindy, really?
  • D-FENCE. DEEEEE-FENCE, Staffy. Learn it. Know it. Live it.
  • Memo to Steve Montador: Holding the stick is a penalty. And it’s not listed under “good penalties to take”.
  • Chris Neil, I dislike you just as much as ever. Go ‘way.
  • Who forgot the tape for Bettman’s mouth?
  • I’m not at all sure I want to know how it is the announcers have seen Tyler Myers’ “pythons”.
  • Wow, guys, let me clue you in on the definition of “power play”. It means you have more players on the ice than they do. It’s an ADVANTAGE for you. Use it.
  • Brian Murray’s mouth moves WAY more than it needs to when he talks. It’s quite disconcerting, really.
  • Uh, guys? Your Vezina-winning goaltender just got bowled over. Look alive out there, at least. Sheesh!
  • Who wanted to see Kassian and Neil go at it? *hand shoots up* They never let me have any fun…

Nice win, boys. See ya on Thursday!

Sabres vs Maple Leafs 9/25/10 Postmortem September 25, 2010

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Well, I only saw pieces of this game on a tiny screen on my PC, so this is going to be a disjointed post. I was going to watch the NHL Network broadcast that was supposed to run at 11pm tonight, but it appears that it’s blacked out, so you can blame all the dummies who won’t let us watch preseason games for my inability to entertain and inform you with my hard-hitting analysis. Moving on…

  • Yes, the Leafs did not field their “A” team. Yes, the Sabres put a lot of their top guys out. Yes, the Leafs were playing their 6,397,294th game in the past two days, and this was the first Sabres preseason game, BUT the Sabres looked like the MUCH stronger team in general. They controlled play throughout the entire game from what I could see.
  • This new dude for Toronto – Kadri? Yeah, him. Didn’t look very impressive to me. I thought he was supposed to be the next coming of [INSERT SOME GOOD MAPLE LEAFS CENTER HERE]. Perhaps he needs a little more seasoning. I’d suggest rosemary. It’s delicious.
  • Hey, uh, Pominville – I thought I heard you spent a lot of the summer taking shots. Were they AT THE NET? Eesh.
  • Stafford looked like a beast. Lets keep that up for a full season and we’ll talk.
  • I love Gerbe, but I hope to hell his mouth doesn’t write a check that his pint-sized body can’t cash. I mean, I know Gaustad and McCormick and Morrisonn et al will have his back, but geez, he’s a little punk.
  • I liked what I saw of Kassian, but I need to see more.
  • I thought Sekera played a good game. I didn’t notice Schiestel or Adam much. I saw Butler make a couple of good plays.
  • Miller was in mid-season form. Enroth played well too.
  • Roy had a very good game. Way to dive for that poke check to bail out your defense. That’s showing leadership when wearing the “C”. Good job.
  • Vanek and his “I hate myself and everything around me” attitude are back. Let’s hope that translates into forty goals.
  • Did Connolly play tonight? Yeah, he did. I heard he made a good play. I didn’t see it, so I can’t confirm the sighting.
  • Didn’t see enough of Morrisonn to form an opinion, but a pairing of Morrisonn and Myers does seem beast-like to me…
  • Poor Goose got hurt in his very first game. Kind of like Poz! At least Goose was able to come back and finish the game, unlike Poz…
  • Niedermeyer’s goal looked nice, but it looked like Kassian made the play more than he did. Other than that I really didn’t notice him, so I’ll reserve judgment on him too.
  • Ennis’s game picked up as time wore on. He’s a scrappy kid, I’ll give him credit for that. I’m curious about what he can do if he makes the team. I’d like to see him add about twenty pounds to his frame. I could beat that kid up.
  • I agree with Mike Harrington that CodyMcCormick is an upgrade from Adam Mair. He had a decent game tonight.

Did I miss anyone? Wow, that wasn’t bad considering how much of the game I actually saw! I’m still mad that NHLN blacked out the game. Curses!

PS: I know I didn’t insert a Maple Leafs center. That’s how little I care about their team.

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