I see the shortened season as being a "free" year to work out the kinks, make adjustments, solidify roles, jell as a team and just simply improve w/o all the undertow that goes along with the GM or coach doing things in order to save their job versus what's best for the long term.
Who knows........ the guys who played in Rochester should already have their game legs and might jump right out and take it the old guys who've done little more than condition skate since Sept.
Playoff qualification would be icing on the cake.
Originally Posted by cybresabre
I'm looking forward to more passion (on the ice and hopefully in the stands) and another year of Rick Jeanneret calling the games.
Beyond that, although I have historically never focused on his play, I'll be curious to watch how Miller plays the first dozen games or so. That, in a nutshell, will determine for me what the Sabres asymptote will be this season.
I fully expect this team to finish in no-man's land again, 10th-11th, so a playoff berth would pleasantly surprise me.
I'm really looking forward to what this team MIGHT look like 3 years from now, but for, it's more of the same: lack of size/grit in the top-6, no great top-end talent outside of Vanek, lack of skill among the bottom-6, inconsistent D, etc.
Honestly though, I'd rather give an effort and finish 10th then suck for ages a la Oilers and Pens and then boast how we built a great team later.
I'm looking forward to Otter stirring up all sorts of trouble on the ice, and RJ's corresponding call as the mayhem unfolds.
Excited for this as well, Ott is one of the most hated players in the league and it's always entertaining having one of those guys on your team. Well, now we have Ott and Kaleta, so we actually have 2 of the top 5 most hated guys in the league
1. Hockey just being back. Throughout most of the lockout I've kind of taken the stance that I wasn't really all that bothered without hockey. Now that it's back I am SO excited to get going to the games again and just watching two or three games a night.
2. Grigs. One of the reasons I didn't have such a big problem with the lockout is that I knew this wasn't the Sabres year, wouldn't be surprised if they made the playoffs, wouldn't be surprised if they were pretty bad. Viewed it as a year to develop everyone. I think Grigs will make the team, and he'll be a ton of fun to watch. Also, I really hope I can somehow be there for his first goal at FNC... the arena is going to absolutely explode when he gets his first. Be cool to see him introduced to the fans, too.
3. Hodgson. He's been playing a ton of minutes for Rochester and should be ready from the get go, I suspect he'll get an opportunity between Vanek and Pommer, and we'll see if he can be a top six guy. I don't think 35 or so points in this 48 game season is that ridiculous of a goal for him.
4. Foligno, Ennis, Stafford. Curious to see if this line works again. Wouldn't be very surprised if it lasted shorter than 10 games.
5. Ott. He seems to be pretty excited about the season and he's a guy you love to have on your team. I think the arena will get pretty loud for his first goal, too.