Is this the year?

User avatar
Sailor Man
Posts: 7168
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 7:00 pm
Location: Humiliation Street
Has given rep: 6 times
Received rep: 26 times

Is this the year?

Post #1 by Sailor Man » Thu Oct 04, 2018 11:32 am

Last year's opening night roster had 10 new faces, and while success wasn't in my forecast, there was a modicum of positivity around the Sabres. Bailey and Baptiste looked like they may be NHLers in the near future, there was a lean, mean and clean cut Lehner who had been MMA training as part of his off season regimen, and Eichel looked ready for takeoff after missing a large chunk of the previous season with a high ankle sprain. The power play had been a bright spot in 2016-17, and there was no reason to figure that wouldn't continue under Phil Housley, who had fans excited that maybe, just maybe, the corner was about to be turned.

So then that all fell apart. Reports on Nylander's progress was middling, Lehner still couldn't steal a game, the D looked awful from start to finish with Risto being overworked and corsi-crunchers insisting he was garbage. Eichel wound up with another bad sprain. The power-play was shit. There were positives in Reinhart coming into focus as a steady offensive contributor, Mittelstadt's stock kept rising despite not being able to do a pull-up at the combine/pony show (I kept saying to friends that Mario Lemieux was a lump of cookie dough early in his career too, relax) and then BOOOM, finally a draft lotto win after all the misery and the Swede Saviour was on his way.

With Evander Kane getting traded, there was suddenly no left wingers of relevance on the team. Botterill pulled off some smooth moves to get some quality depth and a good prospect in Thompson, as well as Jeff Skinner and Connor Sheary to fill up the void on LW. Carter Hutton might still be a journeyman backup goalie, but coming off career numbers and recognizing his role as a mentor to Ullmark, he should at the very least be no worse than Lehner, and hopefully Linus Ullmark is ready to be #1 sooner rather than later.

Then we have Jack finally getting named captain of the team. The captaincy has been a bone of contention for me and many fans for ages now, going all the way back to the Briere/Drury co-captaincy, which always struck me as management trying desperately to keep them both happy, hoping one of them would eschew free agency in exchange for a few shy strokes. Eichel finally getting the C sends the message that the dirty work is finally done. There's areas for improvement, and youngsters need to keep working and improving, but the skeleton of a competitive roster is in place. Jack Eichel is now a grown-ass man, and while some say the Eichel era started in 2015, it really starts now. His $10M cap hit is now in effect, if he wasn't our man before, he sure as fuck is now.

Speaking of eras, this team hasn't been anything to look at since Pegula bought them in 2011, definitely the most impotent the team has been since they joined the league in 1970. Milan Lucic running over Ryan Miller later that year, and no one on the Sabres responding and basically shrugging their shoulders as their Vezina-winning goalie got punked, thus the whole team getting punked. Rick Jeanneret was going bananas in the broadcast booth, but no one wanted to take a few licks for the team. Paul Gaustad chided himself afterwards, but whatever... that event showed what they were, and the roster should've been blown up right away. The echoes of that night went right up to last season, with Ryan O'Reilly moping and shrugging in front of reporters, loss after loss.

There are 9 new players on the roster tonight. Like last season, I'm optimistic again, but I know I'm finally out of patience. I got a thirst for goals and wins. The top line looks as good as nearly any in the NHL, and there's offensive power dribbled throughout the line-up. If the defence can stay healthy, they can hold their own, and Dahlin is going to deliver for a long time. Housley got horseflesh to work with finally. Let's make it happen. I want analysts and bloggers talking about this team in April, and not the talk of more re-tooling, new management and the possibility of drafting Jack Hughes (unless it's via San Jose's pick from the Kane trade.)

Time's up! Let's do this.
User avatar
Sailor Man
Posts: 7168
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 7:00 pm
Location: Humiliation Street
Has given rep: 6 times
Received rep: 26 times

Re: Is this the year?

Post #2 by Sailor Man » Thu Oct 04, 2018 11:36 am

I forgot the Sharks pick is still conditional on their making the playoffs, but whatever. The Blues 1st in 2019 is still in play.
User avatar
Dr_Chimera
Registered Broad
Posts: 22082
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:50 pm
Has given rep: 137 times
Received rep: 397 times

Re: Is this the year?

Post #3 by Dr_Chimera » Fri Oct 05, 2018 12:17 am

Losing for Hughes is the way to go, as demoralizing as it is.

Too bad the Sabres struck out with Nylander. He's just not very good.
User avatar
Sailor Man
Posts: 7168
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 7:00 pm
Location: Humiliation Street
Has given rep: 6 times
Received rep: 26 times

Re: Is this the year?

Post #4 by Sailor Man » Fri Oct 05, 2018 7:44 am

Dr_Chimera wrote:Losing for Hughes is the way to go, as demoralizing as it is.

Too bad the Sabres struck out with Nylander. He's just not very good.


#Lose4Hughes is in full effect after last night. Same old shit. Crowd was booing at the first intermission, louder at second intermission, which is ridiculous but long passes missing all night, choking their sticks, lack of shooting... the booing was valid.
User avatar
Sailor Man
Posts: 7168
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 7:00 pm
Location: Humiliation Street
Has given rep: 6 times
Received rep: 26 times

Re: Is this the year?

Post #5 by Sailor Man » Fri Oct 05, 2018 4:50 pm

The theme song for all Sabres fans

User avatar
Shawnathan Horcoff
Registered Broad
Posts: 37785
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2007 7:51 am
Has given rep: 533 times
Received rep: 721 times

Re: Is this the year?

Post #6 by Shawnathan Horcoff » Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:42 pm

_Chim really is Malamud? :stare:
Also, let's keep this thread about Galchenyuk's on-ice performance, development and value and NOT bring in his personal life or race.
User avatar
Dr_Chimera
Registered Broad
Posts: 22082
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:50 pm
Has given rep: 137 times
Received rep: 397 times

Re: Is this the year?

Post #7 by Dr_Chimera » Fri Oct 12, 2018 1:20 pm

Shawnathan Horcoff wrote:_Chim really is Malamud? :stare:


Please don't insult me like this.
User avatar
Sailor Man
Posts: 7168
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 7:00 pm
Location: Humiliation Street
Has given rep: 6 times
Received rep: 26 times

Re: Is this the year?

Post #8 by Sailor Man » Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:41 pm

Having a winning record not once, but twice now is reassuring. A winning road trip through the southwest would tickle my balls immensely.

Return to “Buffalo Sabres Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest