Sabres thoughts

That’s the Sabres team we are use to seeing play. Tight defense with Ryan Miller being one of the stars of the Sabres 2-1 boring overtime win over the Thrashers. The Sabres didn’t play their best against a pretty bad Thrashers team, but what else is new? The Thrashers have always given the Sabres issues.

Just a couple of random thoughts on the game:

-What else can you say about Tyler Myers that hasn’t already been said. He made a great save by bailing out Ryan Miller who was out of position on a Thrashers Power Play. It would be a disgrace if Tyler Myers doesn’t win rookie of the year. He’s been incredible this season. The only way I can see him losing out to John Tavares is if the NHL is hell bent on showing the world that the New York Islanders are a team on the rise. Remember, the NHL knows it doesn’t have to sell hockey in Buffalo, but desperately needs to do so on the Island. Of course that’s me just being sinister, but this is the NHL. The League was sinister long before I encountered the word while watching Dr. Sinister on the X-Men cartoon-

-Way too many penalties by the Sabres in this one. But luckily when Ryan Miller is your best penalty killer, you don’t have to worry-

-Speaking of special teams, what the hell is with all this silver lining talk about the Sabres power play? Look, I know they’ve been better as of late, but for the first 30 games the PP was a disaster. Sorry, but I didn’t jump on the Ryan Fitzpatrick bandwagon after the Miami game. Also Going 1-7 against the Thrashers sure didn’t help my lack of confidence with the unit-

-I know everyone will make a stink about the Thrashers attendance for last night’s game. But lets be real, Atlanta isn’t a good sports town. Just ask the Braves during their World Series years and the Atlanta Hawks during their…well…lifetime. Atlanta has always been and always will be a college town-

Now random Sabres thoughts:

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-UGH!!! That was my reaction when I heard that Larry Quinn was going to be on Schopp and the Bulldog this past Wednesday. I have written before that I think Larry Quinn’s silence so far this season wasn’t really about him taking a backseat to Darcy in player personnel decisions (which Bucky Gleason seems to think), but more towards the Sabres PR and Quinn realizing that no one in Buffalo can stand it when the guy talks.

Now I know what you are thinking, I’m going to kill Quinn for his appearance, but I’m not. In fact, I thought it was a tad better than normal. The telling comment of the interview came when Quinn talked about how the team in the past may have fell too much in love with their own players, but this time around it could be different when it comes to trading. That’s all nice and dandy to say, but I heard this sort of epiphany before. Remember, Quinn did say that the Sabres would do everything to sign Drury and Briere, and of course whiffed on that.

Other notable news from Quinn’s interview was him talking about the Sabres possibly changing uniforms, which I don’t give a rats ass about because I’m not a fashion mogul. He also spoke about the importance of getting NHL players more recognizable on television (Um, Larrdog? try getting off Versus)

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I completely agree with Mike Schopp (whoa, what?) with his opinion that the Sabres owe it to the fans to make a move because of what happened with the co-captains two years ago. There’s a couple of reasons why the Sabres need to make a trade. Some pretty obvious, some not so much:

1) It would let the wound of the what happened on July 1st, 2007-fully heal. Look, I know some of you can whip out stats showing how average Drury and Briere have become. But wouldn’t you, as fans like to fully know that the team is all about bringing a Stanley Cup to Buffalo by making a trade?

2) If the Sabres can go deep into the playoffs, it would put the team in the position to be the toast of Buffalo. The Bills have been a complete disaster in the last say…ten years. The last time the Sabres were on the cusp of overtaking the Bills was 2006/2007. Of course, the Sabres have been average at best over the last two seasons, but with spring time hockey possibly on the horizon, it could put the Sabres over the Bills. Making a trade would only help that happen.

3)They need scoring help. Look, if you’re on board with Steve Montadour powering the PP, then you must be on board with Ryan Fitzpatrick’s season finale performance. In other words, it won’t last. The Sabres need a legit offensive defenseman to take the pressure off of Tyler Myers. Of course getting a better 1st line center would help too.

4)I don’t want to sound like a broken record (BTW, does anyone even know what a broken record sounds like these days?), but enough about the small market excuse. The Sabres do well at the gate and their TV ratings are one of the best in the country. Go for it people! It didn’t kill the Penguins future when they traded for Martin Hossa in 2008.

Look, I don’t want to sound like this angry Sabres guy. The team has been a good story this season and is riding high. But if Larry Quinn and company are serious about winning the cup, shouldn’t they put their best foot forward and try and win it this season? Their under the cap and they have a nice group of young talent to trade from. If you think the Sabres winning a first round series is a great season, then you must hate what I have to write.

The bottom line is that if the Sabres aren’t active, another team will be. Being active could equal being better than Buffalo. If that happens, then I think we know where we can place the blame.

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One last thought about the Sabres trading. Look, we all know the Sabres won’t make a deal for Ilya Kovalchuck like most fans would hope for. But I don’t want to hear about how he wouldn’t fit into Lindy Ruff’s system. I know most fans hold Lindy’s system in high regards, but sometimes a good coach is suppose to adjust to the talent they get.

Marty Schotenheimer traded for Joe Montana and didn’t tell Joe that they were going to play Marty ball and run the ball 30 times. He adjusted the team’s philosophy around Montana and his previous strengths. Tony Dungy didn’t tell Payton Manning that he was going to run the Colts offense like he did in Tampa.

It’s not like Ruff isn’t use to coaching an offensive style. Look, all I’m saying is I don’t want the Sabres to bring in another blue-collar (Ugh, hate that word) type player who will score 10-15 goals. They have enough of those guys.

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6 Responses to Sabres thoughts

  1. joe says:

    Kovalchuck wasn't a good example, it's just whenever someone mentions a player who just plays offense, it becomes taboo to bring him to Buffalo. God forbid someone can actually just score. I haven't done research yet on what players would be out there during deadline time.God I hate that cliche of "make a trade to make a trade." That's straight out of the Robistrator handbook…lol…The team needs offense and you and I both know that a lot of the teams are going to be active. I just don't want to see the 10th version of matt ellis or Dominc Moore coming to Buffalo.

  2. Heather B. says:

    Let me try that comment again…I get what you're saying, Joe, but I think your argument is flawed. Of course Indy built their system around Manning. They drafted him with the intention of him being the cornerstone of their franchise for the next 15 or whatever years. That's completely different than changing your entire system to accommodate a player who will be with you for the last three or four months of the season and then be gone again once the off-season comes. Telling all the players who are already here that they need to change to fit the new guy is silly especially since, as boring as you may find it, the system they're playing has worked very well so far. If Kovalchuk was going to be a Sabre for the next ten years, okay, great, build everything around him. That's not going to be the case. And using the Penguins as your argument for making a trade is stacking the deck more than a litte since even after trading for Hossa they had two of the best players in the NHL on their roster. That would not be the case for the Sabres. Trading away too many assets for a rental who doesn't pan out could do a lot of damage to their chances in the next few years.I know that you're disinclined to buy the company line, but in this case people who are questioning Kovalchuk are right. As gifted as he is offensively – and he is breath-takingly gifted – Kovalchuk plays a completely different kind of game from the Sabres. He's a very me first player. He doesn't pass, he doesn't skate hard to get back, he doesn't support his teammates, if he doesn't have the puck, he doesn't look interested, he's clearly used to being on the ice when he wants and for how long he wants. I'm sure some of that is the result of him spending his entire career in Atlanta with little to no talent around him – he's had to be a one man show – and maybe you can break some of those habits. But not in the couple of months before the playoffs start. I think we've seen enough trades/signings go bad around the league to know that it's not as easy as dropping a star player onto a roster. He has to fit the team, the style, the coach. I don't think Kovalchuk does. And that's hard for me to admit because I love him. I can't wait to see him play somewhere with talent around him.I think the idea that the Sabres owe the fans a trade is ridiculous. They owe it to the fans to try to win a championship. That might not mean a trade. If they get a great opportunity, I want them to take it, but I don't want them to do something just to do something. That's not smart. Of course, I'm not sure why they need to make up for Drury and Briere at all considering that the Sabres are currently second in the conference even without them. Why are we all still reeling from that?

  3. Heather B. says:

    It's a cliche, but it's what you said. You suggested that the way for the Sabres to prove they're serious is to make a trade. What if they don't get any good offers? What if everyone is asking for too much? What if they don't like any of the players available? Do you still want them to make a trade? Do they not want to win if they don't make a deal? I'm just going with what you said.I'm not saying they shouldn't make a move. I am saying that I agree that Kovalchuk might not be the best fit. I could see him being a really poor fit. I will say I agree with you about the offense/defense. I could totally live with him not being the most defensively responsible player if I thought that would be his only issue. Put him with responsible linemates and let him go. I think there would be issues beyond defense though.I'll admit, I'm just not super high on trade deadline deals. Teams give up a lot of stuff, and what they get in return rarely actually pushes a team over the top.

  4. joe says:

    It's late, so excuse my spelling (which is worse than normal) People get so wrapped up in the team giving up their youth. Everytime a team gives up prospects for a big named player, all of the Sabres employees gasp at how much was given up. I can already cue up WGR saying, they gave up too much, like they know how some kid in Winnipeg plays like. Lets look at some blockbuster deals over the years.2007: Ryan Smith (rental) was traded from the Oilers to the Islanders Robert Nilsson and Ryan O'marra and a first rounder. Yes, I know Smyth didn't do much for the Islanders as the Sabres beat them, but it's not like the Oilers got rich off the deal. 2008: Hossa deal: Hossa and Dupuis traded for Colby Armstrong, Erik Christensen, Angelo Esposito and a 2008 1st-Round Draft Pick. Man, those Thrashers are reaping in the rewards of that deal. The trade was pretty much Hossa for Armstrong, with the Penguins knowing they wouldn't resign himDo I even bring up the Campbell deal in which we got Big Bear for 16 games and shipped him to Vancouver?Where the hell is Yuri Novotany these days? He ain't setting up Ove these days…I'm sure they had to drug Darcy Reiger in order for him not have a break down when Yuri turned in his jersey (Or did Darcy hire a witch doctor for Yuri? :)The Sabres have trained the fanbase to think that deadline day is the devil. If you can show me a deadline trade that crippled a franchise in giving up too much youth, please let me know. Cause I just googled trade tracker for the last 4 years and I didn't once go my god, that deal bit them in the ass. And to give an example about my system comment, look at Bill Belichick, he's won in every single system. When the Patriots didn't have Randy Moss or Wes Welker, the Pats played conservative for the most part…yet When he got his new toys, Brady passed for 50 touchdowns. Belichick didn't tell Moss to go down the field and run block. Even Bill Cowher changed his philosophy a couple of times to a more open offense with the guys he got.In order to win in the new nhl you need some semblance of scoring. Just look at the two last cup winners. I'm not saying Lovalchuck l is the answer at all, I've heard the stories. I'm just talking about the Sabers and people's view that an offensive minded hockey player won't fit here. I'm also getting annoyed Sabers employees who get bent out of shape when someone asks about making a trade. There's a reason why Canada and TTS shut down on trade deadline day, it's because teams get better.This year is different than the Sabres from 05-07, because there wasn't really that many needs the team had (grit would of been nice on the PT team) But this time around, the team needs a little extra in the scoring department. Admit it, there's about 2 guys on the Sabres two lines that you wouldn't mind trading. As far as the Sabres oweing it the fans, I should of probably combined my small market reason with that. you always hear about small market this and small market that pisses me off. The NHL is a small market. Trust me, no one in NYC ever talks Rangers, even when they met the Sabres in the playoffs two years ago. There's literally like 10 other teams in the NHL that do better at the box office than the Sabres do. Look, I have no clue what deals are out there. But are you really comfortable with this team's first two lines in the playoffs when scoring gets tougher? I have faith they can win a series if things stay the same. But If Quinn's goal of winning a cup is for real and other teams who've gone deep in the playoffs have made deals, why the hell can't we?

  5. Timothy says:

    They need more blue-collar players!!!

  6. Heather B. says:

    I think they need to make a deal for offense. I just want it to be a smart deal. I don't want them to make a trade (drum roll please….) just to make a trade. 😛 That's all, I'm saying. I don't think not making a deal is necessarily indicative of them not wanting to win.I'm fine with trading some prospects, but if the Sabres want a big name player, I think they're going to have to trade someone on the current roster. I'm not sure how wise that is considering they'd most likely be getting a rental who will be gone in the off-season.It is the Sabres party line that trade deadlines are overrated, but they're right, they are. None of the teams you mentioned above were crippled by what they gave up, but none of them won the Cup because of what they got back either. Trade deadline deals aren't the devil but they're not the cure-all either.

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