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SEASON PREVIEW, PART 2: The Smart Tweets, and a Prediction

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Remember hockey? It’s back.

This is what it used to feel like:

 

Then we were dragged through hockey hell…

 

Fan reaction happened. This was the smartest, in my opinion:

 

And now hockey is back, and in a wonderful new way:

 

Obviously, you can add Ennis to that old tweet.

A new era of Sabres hockey begins this weekend. A few big pieces of the old core (Pominville, Vanek, Roy, Stafford and Hecht) remain in the Blue and Gold, but the culture has vastly changed. Gone are Roy and Connolly, whose games brought plenty of flair but never struck any fear against the opposition.

Yes, the Sabres haven’t played a single game yet. But they look fearsome on paper. And don’t think for a minute other teams haven’t been reading up.

 

Remember the “Hardest Working Team in Hockey?” By far, that Ted Nolan led squad was not the most talented group of guys in the league, but they were fun as hell to watch. And they were a hell of a team to play against.

This year’s squad is an intriguing mix of – dare I say it – elite talent AND fear inducing grinders. Obviously, Vanek, Pominville, Ennis (possibly even Grigorenko) et al will put up the points. This team has never really been at a lack for goal scoring in recent years. The trade of Roy for Ott might seem like a swap of points for punches, but that is far too simple. That trade might be the centerpiece around what is really an entire culture change for the Sabres.

A return to a “Hardest working team in Hockey” mentality.

A return to a team that opponents fear to play against.

Yes, the Sabres haven’t played a single game yet. But they look fearsome on paper. And don’t think for a minute other teams haven’t been reading up.

  • Foligno
  • Gerbe
  • Kaleta
  • McCormick
  • Ott
  • Scott
  • Regehr
  • Weber

Darcy Regier has been slowly, quietly writing his roster on sandpaper. Ott is just the latest piece. The best part about this new “grit,” really, is that most of these guys can score. Foligno, Gerbe, and Ott can chirp, hit, and chip in their share of points. McCormick can score. Kaleta’s got offense.

These are the types of guys that make a team a nightmare to play against – they keep the opposition’s head on a swivel and help to keep the red light active all at once. It sure doesn’t hurt that they make it far easier for guys like Vanek and Pominville to play their game.

Hockey Heaven has some Hell on ice in store for the NHL for this go around.

hell on ice SEASON PREVIEW, PART 2: The Smart Tweets, and a Prediction

This is going to be a fun ride.

 

FEARSOME Prediction:

The Sabres will take the NE Division. They’ve got veteran scoring up front, and dynamic young studs like Ennis and Hodgson that are ready to come out and party. They are deep and seasoned corps at defense. They have a roster infused with former and current team captains. They have a (former) Vezina winning goaltender and a very capable backup. They’ve got two checking lines that can control the puck and the boards (or put it the puck in the net and the bodies into the dashers).

Most importantly, this is a team to fear. Last year’s late-season mantra of “We’ve got to take their will away from them” is going to be a lot easier this time around.

Badass.

I’m hoping that’s the word that sticks to Buffalo this year. That, and playoffs.

Give ‘em hell, boys.

Go Sabres.

 

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SEASON PREVIEW: The 1st 10 Games Might be Kinda Huuu-jah

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Free Fuccillo plug in the title?

I’m going to Hell.

fuccillo SEASON PREVIEW: The 1st 10 Games Might be Kinda Huuu jah

He’s going to yell at us all season long.

Also, healthy changes something. I won’t tell you what. Don’t want to spoil it.

I wonder what other hockey commercials we’ll see during game one that we will then see 3 times a game, every game, until the end of the season. That’s one of the best/most underrated parts of game one – all the fresh ads haven’t driven you to drink (more) during hockey games yet. Beer times three is good for me. Amirite?

Sorry for all the above. Moving onto actual analysis now.

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Whatever. We’re all going to Hecht.

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Or something like that.

hecht downer Whatever. Were all going to Hecht.

Zen power (see below).

Hey, so the Sabres decided to solve their inexperienced center/crappy top PK unit probs with bringing back the same guy who possibly hallucinated himself and his Sabres all the way to the Stanley Cup last season.

Breathe in.

Breathe out.

Repeat.

This is a good signing. Right?

That’s the hope.

This is a bad signing?

Wrong.

It’s a terrible signing?

Wrong.

Breathe in.

Breathe out.

Obscenities and mediocrity! Fire people and tweet the Pegula daughters that we want Malkin! Nothing else! Malkin(s)!

Breathe, dammit!

 I’m not going to play the Euro card. I’m not going to play the Euro card. I’m not going to play the Euro card.

You people have no Zen power. Hecht instantly IMPROVES the Sabres. Who did you want? A 38 year old Arnnott, for 48 games, who’d have to spend time learning Lindy Ruff’s “system” and possibly costing us a game in the process? An 18-27 year old (depending on which birther you talk to) Grigorenko centering a third line* with a pair of scrubs designed for puck control schemes only? This team and its youngsters need solid veteran competition.

Heck, Hecht is the perfect guy for the 3rd and 4th line. Like it, or not: he’s consummately consistent, defensively sound, knows “the system,” and really, really, really is passionate about playing this season. (For certain: it is his last.)

So why not embrace him?

I’m not going to play the Euro card. I’m not going to play the Euro card. I’m not going to play the Euro card.

Not enough palms for my face.

Also, Euro card: played.

euro card Whatever. Were all going to Hecht.

Hecht is a damn fine defensive forward, who possesses the offensive talent to produce goals from the 3rd and 4th line, or even when short-handed. Captain Pommers said he looks great, when he played alongside him in the DEL lockout penitentiary. Pommers is our captain. He’s earned it. He’s as consistent on the ice as… well, Hecht. More talented for sure, but this team must have consistent players like these for a short 48 game playoff push.

All I can say is “Welcome back” to our once again longest tenured Sabre. The only beef I have with him is that my wife thinks his eyes are “deep pools of mystery.” Thankfully, she also thinks his face is all “weirded up like a mosquito.”

Euro-hate.

Fan-lust.

Fan-ire.

No, fan HATE. Is this really a thing?

As in the title:

We’re all going to Hecht.

Let’s hope there’s a shiny Cup at the end of the journey. And please, Hockey Gods: protect his head. I do fear for him in this way.

#ProtectTheLid

Go Sabres.

*Yea sorry. Grigs and Girgs are not guaranteed roster spots in a 48 game season. Welcome to the playoffs, already.

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Grading the Lockout: Pegula earns a Passing Grade

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With that hideous lockout thing finally over, it’s time to deal with our conflicting emotions: do we return to the FNC? Do we re-up with NHL Center Ice? Do we buy tickets? Do we boycott the first game?

Folks, it’s time to move on.

The Internet fan petitions didn’t stop this thing. Our laments on Twitter went unheard. That YouTube video from the father son duo (wherein the father had terminal cancer) did nothing to get the NHL or NHLPA moving. I said this at the beginning of the lockout: “Even if a (fan) petition was signed by terminal cancer patients, all it could possibly garner from the NHL is something like a quick ‘Thanks for your passion’ statement.”

And yes, we learned that Derek Roy’s Ferrari is loud when he starts it. Evander Kane has a cellphone (and iPad) made of wads of hundred dollar bills.

Don’t stop enjoying hockey now. Go to the games. Don’t boycott anything. Have fun. Dream of a Cup.

But none of this is news. None of it is surprising. The NHL is all fun and games between CBAs, but when it comes to the lockouts, we are reminded that it is also an grossly obese animal that requires an incredible diet of cash to stay happy. Again, not news, but it is what it is.

This just part of the process and price we pay to see the best in the hockey loving world skating in Buffalo, NY.

It’s time to move on, and enjoy the game again.

As for Pegula – yes, he voted (as all the owners did) to go ahead with Gary Bettman’s lockout. However, he also:

  • Kept everyone on staff
  • Erected the French Connection Statue
  • Held the innovative “Sabres University”
  • Is helping to rebuild Buffalo
Pegula Grading the Lockout: Pegula earns a Passing Grade

This guy gets an A+ in my book.

 

This lockout will continue to sting for a while, but those emotions will pass. They always do. Bettman called us “The best fans in the world” for our tendency to return to the game. Hey, he’s an idiot. Whatever. The fact is, we never left the game. Hockey has continued all over the city during the lockout.

Don’t stop enjoying hockey now. Go to the games. Don’t boycott anything. Have fun. Dream of a Cup.

And if you see Pegula, shake his hand. He’s done a lot in the Queen City already, and without a doubt, he’s got more for us on the way.

Go Sabres.

 

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#NHL #Lockout Tweet of the Day: Sabres Prospect Knows his Boobs

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So what if the lockout is over.

This is priceless.

share save 171 16 #NHL #Lockout Tweet of the Day: Sabres Prospect Knows his Boobs
Posted in: Sabres

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