New Sabres Fan In Need of Guidance
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07-26-2012, 01:12 AM
Join Date: Jul 2011
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.
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