BUFFALO SABRES PAPER IN JAN 12
From Hockey Heaven; Written by Steve Dowling on 2012-01-11
The Buffalo Sabres came into this season with very high expectations, with some experts even predicting that the Sabres would win their first Stanley Cup. The season to date been virtually the opposite, with the team in the same position they were in last season. Coming off last night's 2-0 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Sabres remain 5 points out of a playoff position with 40 games remaining. They will most likely have to go 26-14 in those games to make the playoffs. Below is my midseason report card for the Sabres:
Forwards: The Sabres are led by their core group of forwards. This core includes captain Jason Pominville and assistant captains Thomas Vanek, Derek Roy, Paul Gaustad, and Drew Stafford. All 5 players had very good seasons last year and were looking to build on this. Vanek and Pominville did just that, each going on a point per game pace. They are carrying the hockey...(Read More)
From Hockey Heaven; Written by Steve Dowling on 2012-01-05
Buffalo Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers is scheduled to return to the lineup Friday after missing more than a month with a broken wrist. Myers, who by many is considered a franchise defenseman, should give a huge boost to a Sabres team that is struggling to win games. With Myers in the lineup, the Sabres were 12-8, however with him out of the lineup they went 6-9-3 and have fallen out of a playoff position. Despite Myers struggles this season, it was evidenced how much the team missed him not only by how much their record fell off, but how much their special teams statistics. Myers is a helpful defenseman at even strength, but his biggest asset is his play on special teams. Myers was a part of the number 2 penalty kill and a top 10 powerplay while he was in the lineup. Once Myers went out of the lineup, the penalty kill fell from 2nd to 9th, and the powerplay fell from 9th to 15th. Getting...(Read More)
From Hockey Heaven; Written by Steve Dowling on 2012-01-01
The 2012 World Junior Championships are in full swing in Edmonton, Canada. The best teams always seem to be Canada, Sweden, Finland, Russia and the United States. As usual, the same teams played well this year, except the United States. The United States lost 3 games in the round robin portion of play, knocking them out of medal contention. Canada won every game to get a first round bye, as did Sweden on their side of the draw. Team Russia is the defending champion. The games are being played in North America for the 4th straight year.
The Buffalo Sabres have 2 prospects playing in the tournament. 2010 first round draft pick, defenseman Mark Pysyk, is playing for Team Canada. 2011 first round draft pick, forward Joel Armia, is playing for Team Finland. The tournament is very good indicator of how NHL-ready a player is. A player can vastly increase or decrease his draft stock by his play...(Read More)
From Hockey Heaven; Written by Steve Dowling on 2011-12-05
The NHL Board of Governors is meeting to discuss realignment for the 2012-2013 season. The general consensus is that there will be 4 divisions, hopefully aligned by region. The main reasons for the realignment are because Atlanta moved to Winnipeg and Detroit wanting to move into the Eastern Conference to reduce travel in their schedule.
The thoughts that I had for realignment are 4 divisions. In the Eastern Conference, the first would include Toronto, Montreal, Buffalo, Boston, Ottawa, Chicago, Columbus and Detroit. This would keep the Eastern Conference rivalries in tact, as well as keeping rivalries between Chicago and Detroit in tact.
The second would include the New York Rangers, New York Islanders, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New Jersey, Carolina and Washington. This would be the Eastern Conference teams, keeping the rivalry between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, as well as making...(Read More)
From Hockey Heaven; Written by Steve Dowling on 2011-12-02
The Buffalo Sabres have not gotten off to the start that fans, players, coaches and management have hoped to. They have received inconsistent goaltending from their star goalie, little secondary scoring and a lot of turnovers from their defenseman. They also have the same probably as the beginning of last season when they could not win home games. Through 24 games this season, the Sabres have a record of 13-10-1 for 27 points. This is good for 7th place in the Eastern Conference. They have a record of 6-7-1 at home, but 7-3-0 on the road.
Forwards: The Sabres have had some top heavy scoring to start the season. Wingers Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville have been fantastic. Vanek leads the team with 12 goals and 27 points, with Pominville 2nd with 9 goals and 26 points. After that, Luke Adam has had a solid rookie campaign, with 8 goals and 16 points, while Derek Roy also has 16 points....(Read More)