A new year, with the same results.

5 Jan

It’s been a long time since I’ve written a post. Mostly because I felt I had nothing to write about. Everything pretty much stayed the same with the Sabres, and not in a good way. So I stepped away for a while, because watching them was so frustrating that I didn’t want to sit here after the game and go over it in my head again. After last night’s frustrating loss, I did nothing at work today but make notes about the team the entire day. So I’m going to play a little game called “What Needs To Happen To The Sabres in My Eyes.”

First off, what in the hell is wrong with Miller? He is letting in soft goal after soft goal. Now, I’m used to him letting in one per game or so, but these past few games have been out of control. I almost threw my remote through the tv screen during the Boston game alone. He has been caught out of position one more than one occasion lately, and it’s costing us games I don’t want to say that he is the only reason we win games, but come on. We all know that he’s the backbone of this team. You are silly if you think otherwise. This is no longer 2006. I don’t know if his whole engagement has him unfocused or something, but come on Ryan, we don’t pay you the big bucks to play like that. GET UNENGAGED!

Watching the game last night made it all too clear that this team isn’t the lightning fast team it used to be. Colorado was skating circles around us.  Now, I’m all for veteran leadership, but having TOO MANY vets is also a problem.  Players like Niedermayer, Rivet, and Grier… they just can’t catch up to some of the younger players such as Duchene. They are simply too slow in today’s NHL.  It is time to get some younger blood out on the ice. Players such as Vanek, Pominville, Montador should be held in the veteran status now. They should be able to help the younger kids and show them what needs to be done on the ice to help the team and themselves.

I wouldn’t mind seeing Lalime get waived and Enroth brought up. Let’s face it, I do not think we are making the playoffs this year. And if by some miracle we do, we aren’t getting anywhere in them. Why not give Miller some rest and time to get his head screwed on straight? It would be good for Enroth to get some playing time at the NHL level. He did a fantastic job the last stint he had up here, and while he does need to work on some of his positioning and such, now is the time to do it. Not next year when they are competing for a top spot in the conference. (Which I do believe will happen once we shed some dead weight.)

I wish that they would buyout Hecht and Goose. Both are having horrible seasons. Hecht has hands of stone, and the only goals he can score are when he’s practically on the goal line and shoots at the awkwardest angle possible. Goose might as well be invisible. The only thing he has been good at is face-offs. Buy them both out and you have 5.5 million to spend.

Next year I would love to see some fresh new faces. Kassian and Foligno have both impressed the hell out of me from what I have seen during the World Juniors. I’d personally love to see them both up next year. Gragnani too.  Give him a chance with the big club for a few games.

The guys that are safe with me are:

  • Adam- He’s got a big body. I really like what I’ve seen from him so far.
  • Ennis- Aside from last nights debacle he looks good. He can stick handle extremely well. I see flashes of Briere in him. He does need to learn how to handle it a bit better in some situations and get the turnovers down.
  • Leopold- It is sooo nice to have a defenseman who can score goals. He and Montador took some time to get adjusted to each other, but have turned out to be a nice pairing.
  • McCormick- He is one hell of a teammate. Will stand up for anyone, and is a very hard worker. I’d like to see an extension.
  • Miller- As rough of a season as he is having is he still the face of this franchise. He just needs to get focused and get back on his game.
  • Myers- He needs to let the pressure not get to him. He is going to be a great, great defenseman in the future, perhaps one of the best in the history of the franchise. He is still young, so don’t be so quick to jump on him. He still needs to learn.
  • Pominville- He had a rough start to the season, so I let him slide a bit while coming back from his concussion. He is back on his game now with a nice point streak.
  • Roy- His injury was a huge blow to this team. He was the leading scorer and was really coming into his own this year. He was usually the choice by the fans to give the “C” to.
  • Sekera- He is having a nice comeback season. He and Myers make a fine 1st pairing. He has one hell of a shot, and needs to use it more.
  • Stafford- Wow. Talk about a nice surprise. Has two hat tricks in two weeks, all against the Bruins. Has been a nice addition to the offense.
  • Weber- He is fun to watch. Isn’t scared to hit someone, or go after them. Has had some defensive lapses, but he will learn.
  • Vanek- Who else is gonna score goals?

The guys that are not safe:

  • Butler- He has had so many chances to prove himself, and he has yet to do it. He’ll get another shot somewhere else.
  • Connolly- The glass body just does not impress me.  Has only 17 points in 27 games. Not exactly one of the top 20 center in the league.
  • Gaustad- Like I said earlier, he might as well be invisible. He just doesn’t really possess hockey skills.
  • Gerbe- I don’t know if he is NHL caliber. If he is, I don’t think he fits on the Sabres.
  • Hecht- I think we’ve seen enough of “zee german!” Time for a change of scenery.
  • Kaleta- This is a hard one. And he is only here pretty much based on how much time he spends injured. He only played 55 games last year, and 51 the previous one. He is definitely one of the leagues top agitators, especially with his borderline hits. (Stop leaving your feet!)
  • Lalime- He just does not have it anymore. And if he does we see it once every two months or so. It’s pretty clear Ruff has no confidence in him, and with a record like 9-25-5 in the past 3 years, who can blame him? He has no wins this year. Miller is the only reason he’s still here.
  • Morrisonn- I had high hopes for this guy when he was signed. Those hopes are fading. He is a good hitter, but a pretty slow skater.  I had hoped to see him paired with Myers after he was with Green in Washington, but that was nothing short of a disaster.
  • Niedermayer- Good god. Why is he still playing hockey? Has no goals in 30 games and is pretty much as useless as you can be. Moving on!
  • Rivet- Ha. I left a good one for last.  As the captain of these misfits he has been scratched more times than I can count.  I really wish he would just relinquish the “C” and let one of the forwards run with it. He has pretty much close to no business being on the ice anymore.  He has horrible decision making, is slow to the puck, and I’ve seen him give up on the play more than one. It’s a pretty safe bet he will be retiring at the end of this season.
  • We’ll just go ahead and throw this one in here too- Brian McCutcheon. SOMEONE has to be able to make the power play better. Because it sure as hell isn’t him. I’ve never seen 5 on 3’s look as bad as when we are on one. It’s straight up laughable.

Alright, I think that makes up for my two month absence.  It definitely helped me blow some steam off. What are your thoughts are to what should happen to this team?

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