New Sabres Fan In Need of Guidance
Hi everyone! I'm not sure if this should be a new thread or not, so mods can merge this with another thread if needed.
I've (somewhat) arbitrarily chosen (alright, it's slightly because of Cody Hodgson) the Sabres as my Eastern Conference team. As much as I'd love to dive right in, I don't know much about the team. I was wondering if you guys could help a new fan out and give me some background info and basic knowledge of the workings of the Sabre organisation and their players.
Thanks! And sorry once again if this shouldn't have its own thread.
the way I see it, we are an organization on a brink of change promised by pegula...buffalo media outlets have in multiple placed this city as tough-a-lo likely due to the influence of the miller-lucic incident coinciding with the arrivals of ott-mcnabb-tropp-foligno mixed with mccormick and kaleta.
we are an organization evidently dedicated to winning based on the boston mold of "get tougher and grind to a pulf eventually".
The team has glaring top 9 weaknesses in the form of 2 roster spaces and has a huge hole at least at 4c center.
however that being said this weakness will within a year be address because this team has a plethora of young talent 1 year away from being ready in the form of grigs, girgs and armia not to mention others.
Realistically we are currently a 6-10 seed who by next year has the potential, sand paper, young players, and money to be a legit contender IMHO
Some light viewing material to get you started.
Chris "Captain Clutch" Drury scores in Game 5 with 7.7 seconds remaining to keep the Sabres alive in an eventual series win with one hell of a shot.
Hall of Fame Play-by-Play Man Rick Jeanneret's greatest call and Brad May taking Ray Borque out of his skates.
Introducing Thomas Vanek
And Tyler Ennis
It's late or I'd give a more detailed history and recent summation.
I wish I could find Afino's post from a long time ago...but I'll paraphrase.
1) Place your hand in front of you.
2) Close your hand into a fist.
3) Apply to forehead.
4) Rinse, lather, repeat.
And now you know what the Sabres fan experience is like.
Allow me to get you up to speed, to be a Sabres fan you must:
Hate Ville Leino
Believe Grigorenko will lead our team into superstardom
Call for Lindy Ruff's firing, but Darcy is now OK by us.
Believe the Foligno - Ennis - Stafford line can not be broken up and will dominate this year
Praise Andrej Sekera for his supposed great shutdown play according to advanced statistics, although you really wouldn't mind if he was traded for a top 6 forward (ie Bobby Ryan) or a capable 3rd line center
Think Myers, Foligno, Grigorenko and Girgensons are absolutely untouchable in any trade.
Include Jordan Leopold in any trade proposal
Hate the Bruins, specifically Lucic and Chara, along with the Leafs, and to a lesser extent the Flyers (make sure to boo Briere)
Sorry, I had to do that.
On a more serious note, now is a good time to become a Sabres fan. Under our new owner Terry Pegula, our fans have a renewed sense of hope and believe that our team is on a slow rise to the top. We are cautiously optimistic about Cody Hodgson this year, and if he excels this year we have the potential to be a very good team. In past years, we were lacking in size and toughness, so in the draft and in this off-season we have made an obvious effort to get better in those aspects. This is evidenced by the drafting of Grigorenko, Girgensons and the trading of Derek Roy (hated by Sabres fans for the past year and a half, he was small yet skilled, but also a terrible locker-room guy) for Steve Ott and the signing of John Scott helps our physicality and size. It was our goal to become a tougher team to play against this year, as there is no doubt the turning point last year was when Lucic hit Miller and the team hardly responded at all. Miller was out for an extended period of time, and even when he came back it took him quite a while to regain his old form. It is very tough to predict at this point how the Sabres will fair this year, as there are a lot of "what-ifs" such as how Hodgson wil play, if Grigorenko or Girgensons make the team out of camp, if the Foligno- Ennis - Stafford line will continue to produce, if we will find a capable 3rd line center, can Ville Leino rebound, can we stay healthy, can Miller continue his hot play from late last year etc etc.
As for a breakdown of our players
Vanek - Talented goal scorer, lacks elite speed and his consistency has been questioned. He and Lindy Ruff appear not to get along at times and it would not be terribly surprising if he were to be traded.
Hodgson - Like I said previously, we are cautiously optimistic about him. He started slow upon his arrival to Buffalo, although perhaps due to fatigue and adjusting to our teams style of play. He started to come along later, and we're hoping his training with Gary Roberts this offseason will really help out his game.
Pominville - Captain, clutch, consistent, a couple years ago he was our whipping boy but those times are over. He is one of our most well liked forwards on the team now.
Foligno - Inexperienced yet in the games he played he produced more than anybody would expect (nearly a PPG player). We don't expect him to nearly keep up that pace, but his physical presence was a much needed addition to our team last year and his chipping in offensively was just icing on the cake.
Ennis - Shifty speedster with excellent hands. He was in and out of the lineup early on with an ankle sprain, and when he did play he was ineffective. However, later in the year when he was healthy and he made a position switch to center, he broke out and became our leading scorer helping towards our late season playoff push.
Stafford - In the past he has been a whipping boy for Sabre fans, as he also lacks consistency and perhaps effort. He too came along late last season, and there's no question he has the talent to be a 30+ goal scorer, but you just never know what you're going to get with him.
Ott - Newcomer, can't speak too much about him as I haven't seen too many of his games, but we're excited about his physical presence and hopefully he can chip in 10-15 goals for us.
Leino - Played poorly last year and was a big disappointment. We tried him out at center which was an idea that did not pan out. He doesn't really do anything particularly well, not a great skater, passer, shooter etc. His best asset is his ability to possess the puck. I don't believe we used him properly last year and hopefully this year he will be able to be slightly more productive.
Kaleta - Fan favorite, instigator and sometimes tough guy. Sometimes I believe he has the skills to be a decent 3rd line player and other times I believe he shouldn't even be in the lineup. He is very good at getting inside of the opponents head and getting them off of their game, however.
Myers - His production has steadily trailed off since his Calder winning year. He was hurt twice last year but played reasonably well later in the season. Got off to a very poor start and even was a healthy scratch in a game vs Montreal.
Ehrhoff - When he was in the lineup, the Sabres played very well (something like a .700 record) but he too was out for many games last year. He has a great shot, although he had a hard time finding the back of the net last year (sometimes hard a hard time finding the net at all) but there's no question he played well last year.
Sekera - Personally, I don't think much of him. He seems to always make one boneheaded decision a game leading to a goal against or a scoring chance. He's not physical and has only average offensive skills. He is a good skater and puck mover, and according to advanced statistics he was arguably our best defenseman last year. I don't buy it, and I'd gladly include him in a trade for Bobby Ryan.
Miller - Our franchise goalie. A bit of a headcase at times, yet he remains a fan favorite and is capable of stealing a game that we had no business winning. When he is on his game there's no doubt he's one of the best goalies in the NHL.
That about sums it up for our main guys. I know this is a long post, but it's after 2AM and I haven't been able to sleep. I hope this helps you become a Sabres fan this year.
Again, I'm a Canucks fan, so I'll have no problem hating both Toronto and Boston ;)
Watching Hodgson last year, I think he just needs to work on speed issues. Don't think he'll ever develop a great enough defensive game to be used in key shutdown roles as Kesler does for the Canucks, but he won't be a complete defensive liability like he was last year for us.
We just have one rule here. ELE.
Everyone love everyone
We here believe that we suck but the new core of youngsters (Hodgson, Ennis, Myers, Foligno, Armia, Grigorenko, Girgenson, McNabb.etc) will leads us to the promise land.
Vanek-loved by some hated by others(Im a fan)
Pominville- loved by all
Stafford- pretty hated but we believe he has chemistry with ennis and thats the only reason we dont want him gone
Leino- he is a mother****ing ****sucker
Leopold- he's good but trade him to wherever we can
Ott- what this team needed
Ehrhoff- some sort of german god
Sekera- the greatest sabre of all time
Miller- mixed opponions, everyone knows he can be amazing
Regher- no one really comments, he aint flashy but I think hes awesome
Leafs vs Sabres games usually have slightly more than half the arena cheering for the Leafs, and its an interesting dynamic. The fans seem to compete to be louder. One of the best non-playoff atmospheres in the NHL.
Brief team history:
1) Original owners were the Knox brothers; original coach and GM was Punch Imlach
2) Vancouver's expansion sibling from 1970
3) We totally stole Gil Perreault from you guys (sorry, we're not sorry)
4) We don't have any cups because we can't have nice things. Our first SFC appearance was in 1975, where we lost to the Flyers. Also, you should probably know that Brett Hull is a cheater.
5) Rick Jeanneret
6) In more recent history, Terry Pegula>>>>>>>>Tom Golisano
7) idk, there are probably several people here who could give a much more thorough/better team history than this, but I feel like this covers the basics.
There's currently a war going on.
On one side we have the Everybody sucks camp on the other side no it's not that bad.
Never argue with Jame, you end up always wrong, not because he's right, but you're wrong.
Everyone drafted before this season is mentally soft.
Ryan Miller will bold asap to Detroit or SoCal.
Depth is the natural enemy of the Buffalo Sabres Hfboard. Depth needs to be traded right away.
Girgensons will be the best captain in sabres history, because he retweets some quotes.
Luke Adam sucks and will never be an NHLer, nevermind that this is only his 3rd pro season.
Tyler Ennis will be a 100 point player as soon as next season.
Scott will dismember every other teams player, while Ott and Kaleta piss on their dead bodies.
Every goal Miller let's in is a softie.
Sometimes you have to sprinkle Drury and Briere in, just for the **** of it.
Every player around the league is worth way more than any Sabres player ,nevermind that they have proven more or put up better points in recent seasons.
A few things Id point out:
Look up no goal.....though it was an awesome game (I remember we watched it on the big screen at the buffalo bisons baseball stadium. Best fan experience ever ((not including being at the actual game)))
Pominville - Captain....just smooth. Plays a great 2 way game, rarely screws up. Not much to complain about.
Vanek - Great goal scorer 2 time former 40 goal scorer, averages 33 over his career. Top ten PP player in the league since the lockout.
Stafford - Big but doesn't use his size. Shows flashes of Elite talent but SUPER streaky. Can be a consistent 30 goal scorer if he applies himself.
Ennis - Small but super fast and very crafty. He is the kind of player that if he is involved in an odd man rush, no matter how good your goalie is, you can reasonably expect a goal. Shows a lot of effort. Exploded when moved to center at the beginning of last year.
Hodgeson - Not much to say that you don't already know. I'm not sure we all know what we have in him yet. He actually played 20 games with the team before he got to participate in a full team practice, holds the record for most road games in a year.
Foligno - the kind of guy nobody really noticed until he was a call up. People mostly said he'd be a 4th line tweener, but he blew us all away last year. Was PPG (IIRC) but we don't expect that to continue, but he hit everything that moved on every single one of his shifts and had instant chemistry with ennis and stafford. I'm very excited to see what he does next year.
Leino - Did absolutely nothing last year earning a lot of hate from the fans...hopefully he can pick up the shattered pieces of his game this year and be the player we saw in philly.
Gerbe- Capeable scorer, but better defensively. Very undersized but still won't back down from anybody (He actually took out chara last year in one of the most hilarious hits I have ever seen, sending him down and out of the play). He has tons of heart and that makes him a fan favorite
Kaleta - Fan favorite local boy. Raised just outside of buffalo. One of the most notorious pests in the league. Actually has some scoring talent, though he rarely puts it to use....though on occasion will put in a goal that makes him look like a top line scorer.
McCormick - Gritty tough guy. Fights. 4th line center...not sure what to expect points wise.
Tropp - Not sure what we will get from him but he plays with gritt
Armia - Elite scoreing talent. Can't come to america until he finishes his military time in finland. Ceiling is a better version of rick nash
Grigorenko - Our first first round pick, elite scoring talent big, center. Everything this team has been begging for. Will either make the team after a 10 game trial or will go back to juniors for more polish. Probably the latter.
Girgensons - Great defensively and can score. Second first round pick. Showed a lot of promise in the rookie camp. Will play in buffalo rochester or juniors...notbody really knows....the Latavian Locomotive. Moved to NA just for the ability to hit harder.
Myers - Elite defensive talent. Everyone is hoping he starts to show some consistancy in his game and turns the corner this year.
Sekera - Weird story....Foreward turned PMD turned defensive dman. Was our best shutdown guy last year. Best kept secret in the NHL on an awesome contract.
Ehrhoff - The guy has been truely great for us, playing all situations and we won't most of the games he played in. We just hope he can stay healthy, and his PP ability will get better without Gragninny there to make sure the opponant neautalized him because everyone knows hexs about to get the puck....
Sulzer - Sorry to say but buffalo won that part of the deal. He came in and had immediate chemistry with Ehrhoff, and played very well, shocking the entire fanbase.
Regehr - There isn't much to say about him. He plays well defensively, no offense to speak of. Hardly makes a mistake. Put him anywhere near Hemsky and Hemsky will become a smear on the boards (regehr HATES hemsky and is the cause of the majority of his injuries)
Leopold - Wiley vet. Good PMD can eat a ton of minutes when needed and play top 4 when needed. All in all a good guy to have in your bottom to middle pairing.
McNabb (McNasty) - Has a good defensive game, high ceiling, but also a nasty shot and a mean streak.
Pysyk - Highly skilled, one of our top prospects.
Miller - Former Vezina winning olympic MVP goalie. Hasn't played at that level in a while, but still plays very well. Has the ability to steal games that this team has no right to win, and demonstrates it 5-10 times a season. A little bit of a headcase, has a hot wife.
Enroth - Young up and comer, plays fairly well for a guy so young, some think he is our goalie of the future, but he has not shown enough to be a starter....seems to have Pittsburgh's number though.
Ruff - Been here for forever, longest tenured coach in NHL top 3 in professional sports, picks lines with bingo balls or names in a hat.
Regier - has received a lot of hate in the past, but many are starting to be alright with him since pegula took over
Ted Black - President, hired out of pittsburgh to help fix the teams image and make us a destination for both fans and players. Has done a pretty good job.
Terry Pegula - Sabres megafan that bought the team recently. Recently stated "The sole purpose of the Buffalo Sabres is to Win the Stanley Cup" Is a refreshing breeze to us after Galisano, who kept the team in buffalo and saved us from bankrupcy, but only cared about not losing money. Terry does everything he can to make this team be able to compete, with huge bonus payouts to players, to new ice care systems and laser zambonis, going all the way to little beer shelves above the urinals in the bathrooms. Has also stated "If I wanted to make money id drill a gas well"
Anything Jame says is probably not what you want to believe. He just thinks he wins arguments but mostly people just get tired of him and stop posting about it.
Larry Quinn sucks in every way possible
You are required to hate Toronto (favorite games to attend) Boston, and your choice of Ottowa and/or Philly to be a sabres fan.
Nobody liked the slug logo but the angry goat was ok.
Hasek is awesome even after the way he left
The french connection: everyone loves them
You must hate sombody on the team no matter what
Every goal miller let's in is a softee
Pessimism is required
Fighting is the only way one wins a hockey game
Matt Freaking Ellis is awesome
Leafs trade proposals are hilarious
Join us in the IRC gameday chat for games, it is a lot of fun
Woodhouse makes the best GDTs and everyone loves him
Every thread must turn into a semi or completely off topic argument for 6 pages.
The cake is a lie. Pie is forever.
Every Buffalo sports fan is just waiting for a story that doesn't end with a "but then we lost".
Greetings. Welcome to the fray!
Undisputed best draft pick in team history: Taro Tsujimoto of the Tokyo Katanas back in the 11th Round of the 1974 NHL Entry Draft.
The Drury play made grown men cry, including me.
The only video of that Drury goal should be linked the one where RJ is losing his damn mind.
criticizing those most responsible for 5 years of futility is not acceptable. It's not the coaches and leaders fault... it's the depth players and injuries.
Players you should like:
Ennis: Golden-haired Adonis, waterbug, eminently dangerous on odd-man rushes, which he creates a fair amount of. Additionally, he's obviously going to break out like Giroux did last year after Richards and Carter were traded now that Roy is gone. Duh.
Gerbe: Tiny but aggressive. He's taken runs at the likes of Phanuef and Chara, he won't back down from anyone. Also this:
Dan Carcillo pets Gerbe...
...And a shift or 2 later, Gerbe did this, tying the game to get the 1 point we needed to clinch a playoff spot:
Pominville: Great captain is great. Consistent, two-way player. Scores all of the clutch goals.
Foligno: Because seriously, what's not to like about him? He absolutely took over our last game against Toronto. He hits, he fights, he can score. He was ready to be all the things we hoped for from Kassian, but sooner.
All of the prospects that haven't played in the NHL yet: Girgensons will assuredly captain us to Cup victory, Grigorenko will set up Armia all day long on our future top line and dominate everyone, JGL will QB the PP, and Pysyk is the next Sekera.
Sekera: Because of advanced stats.
Ehrhoff: Because we win with him, and god bless him for trying to fight when *****es come at Miller.
Kaleta: Because he's a hometown boy, and a great agitator who's made a respectable hockey player of himself.
Tropp and Ellis: Because dammit they try hard.
Myers: He has every tool to be an elite defenseman in every aspect of the game; we're just waiting for him to play the way he can for a whole season, really breakout, etc.
McNabb: He's big, got a nice mean streak to him, and is a pretty good passer with a heck of a slapshot.
Ott: Because he replaced Roy.
Players you can go either way on:
Vanek: The good is he scores goals, and regularly takes a beating in the tough areas to do so. The bad is he's slow and doesn't punch anyone ever and makes too much money. Also, he's part of the "Roschester core" (Note: this does not count against Pominville).
Stafford: The good is he's awesome with Ennis. The bad is he's a streaky ****er, and he has size but doesn't use it as well or as often as he could.
Miller: He's a headcase!!!!1 Every time he gets scored on, the Mr Softee song plays!!
But he also steals us games that we don't deserve to win and is undoubtedly one of the best in the league when he's on top of his game.
Players you don't like:
Leino: Because ughhh
Everyone who plays for the Bruins, especially Lucic.
Everyone who plays for Ottawa, especially Neil.
Players you cry to yourself about at night:
Briere and Drury.
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