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08-05-2011, 12:58 PM
Talks to Goalposts
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Originally Posted by Miller Time View Post
Erhoff, as another poster pointed out before, took the bulk of the Canucks offensive zone starts... which he'll probably continue to do with the Sabres, who have Myers/Regher to handle the defensive zone starts...

while I understand your point about Leino's "soft minutes" with the Flyers compared to the Sabres, i think you're overstating that point.

consider Briere for a second... his best season, by far, came as the #1 centre for the Sabres, where as dangerous as they were through 3 lines, he was still likely to face the opposition's top d and defensive forwards...
he moves to philly where, like Leino, he gets "sheltered" by the depth of quality fwds they have, and his numbers actually declined.

toughness of opposition is something to be considered, but far more telling is chemistry (both with linemates and coach/system) and roster balance, and those, imo, will be a far greater determinant to Leino's success (along with health) than wether or not he ends up drawing the oppositions best on a nightly basis.

also, Leino was largely brought in to repalce Connolly, and I'd argue that Leino is far better equipped to help his team -overall- than Connolly who is primarily a point producer and whose overall game isn't nearly as developped as Leino.

on paper, i think all three teams measure up pretty closely, but of course games/seasons/cups are NEVER won on paper, or according to any set of stats (except game winning goals & wins I suppose... 16 in a playoffs being the only 100% predictors of success).

on paper, we should never have seen a sub-40pt season from gomez, but once the puck drops the papers go out the window.

buffalo's moves this offseason, to my estimation, seem to be almost perfect fits to their needs, not unlike Cole's addition for us. remains to be seen which of the three teams stay healthy and build the best chemistry in order to give themselves the best chance at success.
Bruins are proven... habs and sabres will be looking to prove it, when I look "on paper", I see better odds at the sabres navigating to a top-4 spot (based on better depth and better roster balance) as compared to the habs.

either way, interested to see how it plays out.

edit* would seem Vegas bookline disagrees with me, putting the habs @ 20/1 compared to 30/1 for the Sabres (and 10/1 for the bruins)
Briere was having a career season on team with a very strong group of offensive players team than was colllectively having a massive amount of puck luck (team shooting was an absurd 12.3%). Briere's offensive totals were going to go down after that pretty much regardless. The 2007-08 Flyers couldn't possibly compete with the 2006-07 Sabres as an enviroment to rack up points.

Leino having a good year while sheltered also wouldn't nearly be as big a concern if he also was 27 years old with only one good season. He was nothing special in the AHL and couldn't manage to do much of anything in Detriot. Even in Finland he only had one significantly good year. He's too old to consider significant improvement at all likely. I cut him a lot more slack if he had shown the ability to get things done outside of extremely favourable circumstances, especially when he needed a lot of puck luck to not be a minus player in those circumstances. He's a bit of the anti-Bogosian where all his good qualities were obvious because of a massively favourable situation. His warts will probably be exposed in the light of real responsiblilties.

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