Archive | November 2009

If The Glove Don’t Fit…


…it probably doesn’t belong to Ryan Miller. Because his glove fits. Quite well actually. How do I know this? Well, see for yourself:

(Click on this link to see video. WordPress doesn’t support <iframe> embedding so no NHL video embedding either. Sorry.)

Anywho:

EPIC. That save was nuts. It was akin to the old, playoff days of Miller when he used to rob everyone. This save is just a microcosm of Miller’s season, though. Ryan Miller has been on top of his game nearly all season. If it weren’t for him the Sabres would not have been close in so many games. His third period play this season has been outstanding and his game stats can easily back that up. Currently he is leading the league in Save Percentage (.933) and Goals Against Average (1.93). He is also top five in shutouts and wins. But, ya know, he isn’t a lock for Team USA.

 

Hooray for MS Paint

Will Ryan Miller be the goalie for Team USA? He damn well better be.

If Miller can continue his outstanding play, a factor that majorly hinges on the amount of rest he can get (We’re looking at you Lalame. And yes we are staring. In a disapproving manner.), the Sabres will easily be contenders for the rest of the season. Miller’s stamina and fatigue can, however, be greatly affected by an aforementioned idea: the Olympics. While a good majority of the league’s goalies are resting, Miller will be working his ass off for a young, “Dark Horse” team that will need as much defense as it can get. He should be fine with that though, Team USA seems to be exactly what the Sabres are, young and Dark Horse-y (?).

The Sabres tend to rally around Miller and it seems that the better he plays the more energized we get. In my opinion, Miller’s multiple amazing saves helped spark the Sabres to play at higher level and allowed them to really turn it on in the third period. As we alwys love to see, Miller was there to save the day. Let’s hope he can keep it up.

So, yeah, Miller’s glove seems to be fitting just fine.

Quick Game Preview (And I Mean REALLY Quick): Buffalo Sabres vs. Boston Bruins


Hey kids, short preview tonight due to the fact that I am doing some traveling and don’t really have time (plus it’s Friday and it’s just one of those days). So, um, here we go:

This evening the Boston Bruins (9-8-4) travel to Buffalo to go head to head with the Sabres (12-5-1).

Boston is fresh off of a 4-3 win last night over the Atlanta Thrashers. Michael Ryder potted 2 goals for his fifth and sixth goals of the season. Marco Sturm also scored early in the game. Boston won in the shootout with Patrice Bergeron getting the only goal. Watch for Boston to carry momentum into tonights game.

The Sabres, however, are a completely different story. Buffalo stayed in it the entire game but it got a little rough towards the end. Like really rough. Like 4 Panther’s goals in the 3rd period rough. Three of them were unanswered. It was disgusting. Three goals in two minutes by Florida is just unnacceptable. I can understand an empty netter but having Dominic Moore score that final goal (it was his first of the year, by the way) is just not right. IT WAS FLORIDA FOR CRYING OUT LOUD. Lindy probably isn’t too ecstatic about this loss and no doubt the Sabres got chewed out (even if “new Lindy” is softer)

This should be a grind as it always is between these two teams. Boston will try to pepper the net, Buffalo will try to stay physical. Blah blah blah, we know the story. It should also be a goalie duel between Timmy Thomas and the man, the myth, the Miller, Ryan Miller. We’ll see, Boston had Buffalo’s number last time but this young team likes to seek revenge.

Goalies are Ryan Miller and Tim Thomas. This is possible foreshadowing of the two top team USA goalie prospects, so watch out for these two to be on top of their games.

Game is at 7:30 and is on MSG.

See you tomorrow for a real game preview of tomorrow night’s game.

Go Sabres!

Game Preview: Buffalo Sabres vs. Florida Panthers


Tonight, the Buffalo Sabres (12-4-1) play host to the Florida Panthers (7-9-2). This is the second meeting between these two teams this season. The first meeting was an emphatic 5-2 win by the Sabres.

Florida is coming off of a 4-3 shootout loss to the LA Kings. Florida blew a 2-0 lead, allowing the Kings to score 3 unanswered goals. With 5 minutes left in the game, Oreskovich (what a name!) tied it up for Florida sending the game into overtime. Defenseman Jack Johnson was the only shooter to score in the the shootout giving a win to the Kings. Hooray.

The Sabres last played on saturday and won a hard fought game 3-2 over the Philadelphia Flyers. Buffalo got off to a quick start, which we tend to do often, by scoring just 3 minutes into the period. Towards the end of the second period, Tyler Ennis scored his 1st career goal in his 1st career game. I’ve said in the past that he was going to be something special (anyone who scores 85 points in 61 games should be). Philly scored once in the beginning of the third but the Sabres sealed the game with a Paul Gaustad goal. Jeff Carter (who ironically is on my fantasy team) scored for the flyers in an attempt at a comeback but Buffalo held on for the win. Not necessarily a bad game by either team. I would’ve like to see more shots by Buffalo, though. 25 is a bit weak.

And now it’s time for the Hot and Not… As my main man Mike O’Malley used to say: “Let’s kick to Mo for the rules! Mo!”

(in an english accent)

Who’s Hot:

For Buffalo:

Tomas Vanek: Vanek has 5 points in the last 6 games including 2 goals in that span. One of said goals came in last game’s win over the Flyers. Vanek is clearly the best offensive player for the Sabres and a majority of the success of the whole team tends to hinge upon his success. If Vanek scores it seems as though the team does well. For some reason or another, he has become the beacon of light that this team looks to in troubled times. When Vanek struggles, the Sabres often struggle. If he stays healthy and productive, this could be a hell of a season for TV.

Clarke MacArthur: MacArthur has answered the call as of late and is keeping his productivity up. He had an assist last game and has three assists in the last four games. He started the season very goal heavy so it is nice to see him add assists two. His assist total has caught up to his goal total giving him 5 goals and 5 assists for (you guessed it!) 10 points. Watch MacArthur (Park) tonight, he’s looking to put on in.

For Florida:

Steven Reinprecht: Wait… What? Steven who is hot? No. Can’t be. What’s that you say? He’s leading the team in goals? And points? That’s strange… I don’t remember him being good. Oh, that’s right, that’s because he isn’t. Or wasn’t. This season is a completely different story. He has 9 goals in the 18 games that the Panthers have played this season. Through 73 games last year he scored 14 goals. That means that he has more than half of the number of goals this year that he did in the entire season last year. Wow. And just to put this into perspective, Buffalo’s leading scorer (Vanek) has 6 goals. Reinprecht has 9. STEVEN REINPRECHT HAS MORE GOALS THAN ANY OF THE LEADING SCORERS ON THE SABRES. HE’ STEVEN FRIGGIN REINPRECHT. WHAT THE HELL? That’s also one less goal than Sidney Crysby. Weeeiiirrrddd.

Who’s Not:

For Buffalo:

Mike Grier: Now I understand that Grier is not necessarily an elite scorer but he only has three goals this season. That’s a bit pathetic. Oh and he has 0 assists. None. He’s supposed to be a playmaking power forward. That whole playmaking part generally deals with assists. Assists mean that plays are being set up. Just play your game Mike. Work hard and get rewarded. We love players like that here. It’s why we fell in love with you in the first place. He may not play tonight though so we shall see.

Jochen Hecht: Come on man. Really? You’ve played in every single game. You’re a lead by example type. What gives? I’ll tell ya what gives. Chokin’ Jochen has 2 goals and 2 assists. Woo. Jochen needs to step up or step out. He’s supposed to be a veteran presence who adds plays and goals on a conisitence basis. He likes to pride himself on defensive play, but that can only go so far. You’re not Jeremy Roenick, Jochen. You’ve gotta score. For me it’s either step up or step out.

Dick Jauron: Come on, you had to see this coming. In case you didn’t know, I’m also a pretty big Bills fan. So, uh, here’s to you Perry Fewell?

For Florida:

Greg Campbell: Campbell has the potential to be a very good defenseman. He’s shown signs of it in the past. However he needs to put up some points if he wants to do so. Not a ton of points, just some. I say this because his 0 goals and 1 assist really aren’t cutting it. Time to show what you’ve really got Gregory.

Notes:

Thomas Vokoun will be in goal tonight for the Panthers. He is coming off of a close loss so watch for him to try to be on top of his game tonight.

In net for the Sabres will be Ryan Miller who has been the man and the legend lately. He is on the ball and is clearly the top goalie in the league right now. He’s leading the league in save percentage (.939), Goals Against Average (1.77), and wins (12). He’s pretty much the coolest guy ever right now. EVER.

I leave you with this quote from Bryan “Ribbitts” Sibbitts: “Everything is hot in Buffalo right now. The Sabres are playing well, the Bills will be hot soon, the weather is actually nice, hell even in the wings are hot. Oh and go Avalanche!” Yeesh. What a guy.

Game is at 7:00 on MSG

Go Sabres!

Game Preview: Buffalo Sabres vs. Philadelphia Flyers


The Sabres (11-4-1) are coming off a 2-1 Shoot out victory over the Calgary Flames yesterday night. And as for the Flyers (10-4-1) came off from a 5-1 over the Ottawa Senators on thursday night. These two teams come together to battle in the thunderdome, not really but the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia.

Both Teams are coming of previous wins and both teams want to continue their streak. Currently the Flyers are taking names and numbers because of their 5 game win-streak.

Who’s Hot:

On the Sabres side of things:

Jason Pominville will be my vote for this game today. He saved us in the shootout against the Flames when he “froze up”  Miikka Kipursoff. He has had a better start off to this season and I believe he can keep wearing that little A on his shoulder.

Ryan Miller has been our heart of the team. Miller leads the NHL with a 1.75 goals-against average and also leads with a .940 save percentage.

For the Broad Street Bullies (Flyers):

Ray Emery-

Sabres fan seem to like Ray Emery Alot!! He has been hot this season. At first he had a slow start he now has a 2.18 goals against average and a .924 save percentage. The flyers team is defiantly backing up Ray Emery.

Who’s Not:

Sabres- The Hecht-Kennedy-Grier Line. I was hoping for Kennedy to blossom with these 2 veterans but this third line needs to step it up this game against the Flyers

Flyers-Daniel Carcillo has had a slow start this season with only racking up 3 points. He’s a grinder that can find the net which is a bonus for this team but he just hasn’t been able to find his way.

Notes:

Again the Sabres are gonna have to measure up to the Flyers who have that 5 game win streak. This is gonna be a great game to watch tonight.

7:00 P.M. MSG-HD

Game Preview: Buffalo Sabres vs. Calgary Flames


On this fine Friday evening, the Calgary Flames (11-4-1) travel to the Buffalove to take on the Sabres (10-4-1). These two teams are eerily similar. Both teams have a nice mix up of veteran players with young soon-to-be hotshots. Both teams also have superstar goaltenders, Mikka Kiprusoff and Ryan Miller. This should be a physical, flashy, fun-fest of blood, sweat and maybe even tears (depending on whether or not Dion Phanuef gets checked).

The Flames are coming off of a not-so-fresh (their last game was Tuesday) 1-0 win over Montreal. A game with one goal over a rival? What a shocker… Calgary peppered Jaroslav Halak (who coincidentally is my fantasy goalie) with 31 shots. Only one such shot got through and it was off of the stick of superstar Jerome Iginla. It was Calgary’s fourth straight win. Yikes. Look for them to carry that momentum into tonights game.

The Sabres are coming off of a victory as well. The Sabres played pretty well in a hard fought win over… Edmonton? That’s ironic. Why is that ironic you ask? Because Edmonton is Calgary’s biggest rival. Anywho, Stafford netted his fifth of the season in a game that saw Steve Montador finally pot his first goal. Hecht got his second (Woah! Don’t work too hard there Jochen!) goal of the season on an empty netter.

Time for everybody’s favorite, the ole Hotsandnots.

Who’s Hot:

Buffalo:

Drew Stafford: Staffy’s goal last game now gives him the team tie for goals with 5. The players that he shares the lead with are Clarke MacArthur and Thomas Vanek. They both also have 3 assists. So does Stafford. This means that all three of our leading scorers have 5 goals and 3 assists. Just food for thought. Anyway, the aforementioned goal was crucial to the game because it allowed the Sabres to gain early momentum, something we are quite good at. If Stafford can continue to get shots on net (he’s second on the team in that category), then we will likely be watching him light the lamp several more times throughout the course of this season. This is Stafford’s season. It’s either step up or step out.

Tim Connolly: Timmy C is the man right now. He had two consecutive assists last week in helping set up both Stafford and Steve Montador. He’s pretty good at that whole “play-making” thing this season. Like really good. He’s leading the team with really solid number of 11 assists. Hopefully Timmy can take this hotness and transfer it to goal scoring. No one can touch him when he gets going so he needs to get going. He is trying, he’s third on the team with 41 shots. I bet he nets one tonight. Just sayin’.

Calgary:

Jerome Iginla: And why wouldn’t Iggy be hot? The man is a machine. A MACHINE I TELL YOU. But seriously he is one of the scariest goal scorers in the league. Once Iggy starts, there ain’t not stoppin’ him. His goal last game is just the icing on the cake to his torrid pace. The Flames have scored nine goals in the past four games. A decent number. But here it is: Iggy has scored five of those goals. Five of them. One more time, with feeling, five. That’s just ludicrous. The Sabres D needs to shut him down early or we’re done for. I guarantee it. Iggy is just waiting to bust out a two goal, two assist game. Just. Waiting

Rene Bourque: The fact that his name is Rene (tee hee) doesn’t even matter this season. And it probably never will. Even though Rene is a really girly name. Just sayin’. Why doesn’t matter (outside of the fact that a player’s first name has little or nothing to do with how well he plays)? Because Bourque is playing ridiculously well. The 28 year old is leading the Flames in points with 18 and assists with 12. Oh yeah and he’s second in goals behind that Iggy guy. Wow. His assist last game just proves how well he has been playing as of late. Watch for Rene to make some plays on the second line.

Who’s Not:

Buffalo:

Patrick Kaleta: Buffalo’s own work horse of a winger needs t0 step it up. He started the season quite strong, carrying the team on a occasions. Now Patty K needs play his game. He needs to get physical,win battles. Ya know, Do Work, Get Money, all that stuff. If Kaleta plays his game then plays will come. They always do.

Tim Kennedy: This is by no means a knock on the young Kennedy. I love this kid. He’s a great little player. He has also been in a bit of a slump as of late. Kennedy needs to remember what got him here. Hard work and play making (sound familiar, Kaleta?). Tim needs to start using his speed to his advantage and work his way outside the big forwards he’s playing against. If he can get to the outside and throw pucks at the net, good things will happen. Especially with Mike Grier as his linemate. You can do it man, I have faith in you.

Calgary:

Jay Boumeester: This is a bit of stretch. In terms of goals, Jaybo is supposed to be one of the best offensive defenseman in the league. This year, he’s not. He’s got one goal. Only one. That’s not very much fun at all. He just needs to use his big, heavy slap shot to get pucks through. It’ll happen, hopefully not tonight.

Notes:

The Sabres have their hands full tonight. Calgary is 5-1-1 on the road. That’s quite the road record. We shall see if the Sabres can get the job done tonight at home.

Red-hot Miikka Kiprusoff is in goal tonight for the Flames. He has a .920 Save Percentage and 2.49 GAA. He is also coming off of a shutout.

Ryan Miller gets the nod tonight bud Patrick Lalime (or Lalame, whatever you perfer) is back in the lineup.

Both goalies are at the start of back to back games.

Game starts at 7:30 and should be on MSG.

See you tomorrow for (possible) analysis and yet another Sabres vs. Flyers game preview.

Go Sabres!

Even More Waiver Wire Wackiness: Sabres keep Mair.


After clearing waivers, the Sabres have decided to keep Adam Mair. Dick move, Lindy, dick move. You just don’t do that to a guy. Not cool. Even if I don’t agree with the decision from a management level it’s also not good from a personal level.

Here is what I think the conversation looked like:

Yesterday

Lindy: “Ok, so we’re putting Mair on waivers, correct?”

Darcy: “Yep.”

Lindy: “Ok, so he’s likely outta here?”

Darcy: “Yep.”

Lindy: “So we’re gonna put him through the emotional anguish of not knowing whether or not he’ll be on an NHL team?”

Darcy: “Yep.”

Lindy: “Ok. Well, let’s see if he clears Waivers and then we’ll talk.”

Today

Lindy: “Well Adam, it looks like you cleared Waivers.”

Mair: “So, uh, this is it?”

Lindy: “Pretty much I guess.”

Mair: “So I’ve gotta readjust to a completely new team, town, coach and system?”

Lindy: “No.”

Mair “Huh?”

Lindy: “Surprise! You’re staying! Have fun riding the pine!”

Mair “This blows man…”

Sorry Adam, looks like you’re stuck here. Oh, I mean I’m sorry that you’re stuck here. I don’t have much use for Mair these days. Oh well, god forbid we do anything around here. I promise later that I will publicly eat my words if Mair does ANYTHING of note this season.

Game preview tomorrow.

More Waiver Wire Wackiness: Drew Miller Placed on Waivers by Tampa


Today Bob Mckenzie tweeted that Drew Miller of The Tampa Bay Lightening was being placed on waivers. Drew is a semi-hardworking little fella who has only spent 3 seasons in the NHL. He’s played a total of 67 games in his career playing 53 of said games with the Anaheim Ducks. He has a whopping 3 career goals and 9 career assists. None of those points came this year.

But none of that matters. Like at all.

I want him. I REALLY want him.

Why?

BECAUSE HE IS RYAN MILLER’S LITTLE BROTHER. How awesome would that be? We could have both of the Millers! Maybe they could combine forces and Drew would be a ridiculous goal scorer under the guidance of his big bro!

Or maybe we would have wasted roster space on a somewhat underachieving left winger who really has no place on the Sabres roster (a roster that has plenty of depth at left wing with a couple of guys named Gerbe and Ennis waiting in the wings).

A guy can dream though…

In all seriousness though, Drew will probably end up on a team that needs him and needs depth at left wing. Lowly teams like Carolina or St. Louis might grab him as a means to shake up their rosters. He has potential and is still pretty young at age 25. He needs to step up or step out soon, though.

Either way, the Sabres will likely not touch him. But it would be nice.

Quick News Comin Atcha!: Adam Mair to Waivers


Today the Sabres put Adam Mair on waivers. And it’s about friggin time. Yeeeesh. He’s good. Really, he is, but he’s just not cutting it in the 716 anymore. He needs a change of scenery and we don’t need him. He’s been nonexistent this season. He’s played in three games amassing a whopping 0 goals and 0 assists for, you guessed it, 0 points. He’s also a minus 1 but that doesn’t really matter.

He started the season coming off of knee surgery but there is really no need for him. Other than the past two games, the Sabres look good. Good in an awkward-fast-physical-sudo-Calgary-Flames-but-not-as-odd-but-younger-but-not-young-and-inexperienced-but-experienced kinda way. Or something like that. Unfortunately for Mair, he doesn’t fit in to the jumble of weird that is the Sabres offensive machine this year.

Best of luck to Mair in the future. He’s a good guy, a solid but dirty enforcer and has crazy work ethic. He’s a rich man’s Matt Ellis. Except without that whole “goal scoring” thing.

See ya round Adam… Or not. One of those two.

Game Preview: Sabres @ Bruins


The Buffalo Sabres (9-3-1) travel Boston tonight to take on the mediocre Bruins (6-7-2).

The Bruins are coming off an overtime loss to the equally mediocre Montreal Canadiens. The Canadiens scored first off the stick of big Glenn Metropolit. An entire period passed before the Patrice Bergeron netted his 5th of the season to tie the game. Camalleri scored the lone shootout goal to clinch the game for the Habs.

The Sabres got murdered by the Flyers last night in a game that saw Calder nominees Tyler Myers and James Van Riemsdiek each score their 3rd goal of the season. We all know the story. Young defense failed yet again. Buffalo didn’t shoot quite as much as they could have. Blah, blah, blah.

Today, however, is a new day. Let’s see what’s up.

Who’s Hot:

Buffalo:

Derek Roy: Roysie netted his second of the season on a powerplay goal. He later got his 9th (!) assist of the season later in the game on a Tyler Myers powerplay goal. Look for Roy to try to continue his scoring pace with points tonight against a somewhat uncertain Bruins team.

Boston:

Patrice Bergeron: Patrice has been on fire as of late. He leads the team in goals and points. What a machine. But seriously, he scored the lone goal for the sad, sad Bruins yesterday in a game that the “B”s really  needed. Watch out for Patrice tonight. He’ll most likely try to pepper young Enroth with shots.

Who’s Not

Buffalo:

The Buffalo Sabres: The Buffaslugs have not looked good as of late. They looked atrocious last night. It’s not like the Flyers even turned it on that much last night. They only had 6 more shots than the Sabres. Buffalo needs to step it up tonight on the road if they want to stay on top.

The Boston Bruins: The Bruins looked just as bad as the Sabres as of late. They’ve lost 3 straight games. That’s just not acceptable if they wish to be considered part of the elite of the NHL.

Notes:

Tukka Rask gets the start tonight for Boston. He’s a solid backup in the shadow of Timmy Thomas.

Jhonas Enroth gets the nod tonight for Buffalo as Ryan Miller needs rest and Lalame is injured.

Watch Danielle Paille tonight in his first game against the team that drafted him.

Game is at 7:00 on MSG. Go Sabres!

Game Preview: Sabres vs. Islanders


Tonight the red hot Islanders (5-4-5) travel to Buffalo to take on the luke warm Sabres (8-2-1).

The Islanders are coming off of a 3-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers. Brandon Witt netted two goals in a game that also saw John Tavares score his fifth of the season.

The Sabres last game was against their foes of tonight. The Islanders routed the Sabres 5-0. No one looked good for the Sabres. It was a sad start to (an otherwise fun) Halloween.

Lets take a look at who’s who for each team tonight.

Who’s Hot:

Sabres:

Jason Pominiville: Pommer has been quietly having a decent. He was a bright spot (if that’s possible) against the Islanders last game. He peppered the net with 8 shots. This shows that he can penetrate the Islander’s D and get shots off. Look for Pommer to try to get one in tonight. He has 3 goals and 6 assists for 9 points which is second on the team in points.

Islanders:

Matt Moulson: Moulson has been collecting points consistantly and currently leads the Islanders in that category. He is also leading the team in goals. And is fourth in assists. He’s doing OK I guess. But really though, watch out for Moulston tonight. He’ll be ready to take on the Sabres flat defense along with linemates John Tavares and Kyle Okposo (watch out for Okposo too).

Who’s Not:

Sabres:

The Entire Defense: WAKE UP DEFENSE. STOP LOOKING SO FLAT FOOTED. IT’S JUST NOT COOL. The defense looked flat against the Leafs and looked atrocious against the Islanders. This is to be expected sometimes because of the young nature of the majority of our defense (Butler, Sekera, Myers) but the older guys (Tallinder) need to off set this with veteran leadership. If the D-Men come out looking poor tonight, there is no way we are winning.

Islanders:

Um, no one, really… The guys who are supposed to be good are playing well.

Notes:

Biron is in for NY as he always has Buffalo’s number.

Ryan Miller gets the nod after last week’s extravaganza of suck by everyone. Also, Jhonas Enroth is up for the injured Lalime.

Go Sabres! Game is on at 7:00 (now) on MSG