Kukla's Korner Hockey
My thumb is down to the Buffalo Sabres' lust for Connor McDavid. I'm well aware that all 30 NHL teams would not hesitate to smile at the thought of McDavid in their lineup, but most of them would be highly disappointed if that came to pass because they won the draft lottery after finishing in last place.
Until or unless the Sabres decide to change the conversation regarding themselves and McDavid by vowing to finish as high as they can, they are to be judged by the comments they've made. Owner Terry Pegula has stated that the way to improve is to do what Pittsburgh did - draft Sidney Crosby with the first pick a year after selecting Evgeni Malkin with the second pick. Well, there are other ways, but I digress.
General manager Tim Murray is anxious to see the Sabres lose "properly" if they must lose. "Let's get Connor with honour" would be the rallying cry. The Sabres are probably bad enough to get the most favourable draft odds by trying their best, and so they should say and do everything to suggest that 30th place is not acceptable….even if that is the goal.
-Dave Hodge of TSN.
I wonder if words for the linesman went along with this tap?
added 11:42am, Ennis talked about the incident this morning..
Rick Jeanneret joined Brian Duff on the Buffalo Sabres pre-game show and gave us some great news, he is feeling good and at this moment is cancer free.
from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,
It's pretty obvious a good bunch of the Buffalo Sabres have gotten the message, whether it's from their owner or their fans or anyone in between, that losing is acceptable and not something to be accountable for.
The Sabres played Washington Generals to the Harlem Globetrotting of the Pittsburgh Penguins over the second half of a 5-0 loss Saturday in Consol Energy Center. A virtually empty Buffalo dressing room greeted the media when the doors were open a few minutes after the team fell to 2-9-1 on the season.
Captain Brian Gionta, Cody McCormick and goaltender Jhonas Enroth were present. The rest of the group took the exit-stage right. Not much presence by this team during games, not much after them either.
"On the bench when it's 1-0, everybody puts their head down and looks for something else to do. To be accountable, you have to stand up," coach Ted Nolan said grimly. "If we win a game, they're all in there and they want to talk. But when you lose, they want to hide. It's the one thing where no one is going to come in and help us. The only way to get through tough times is you've got to be tough."
BUFFALO, N.Y. (October 31, 2014) --- The Buffalo Sabres today announced the team has assigned forward Sam Reinhart to the Kootenay Ice of the Western Hockey League.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
It’s not a matter of if, but rather when the Buffalo Sabres flip pending UFA Chris Stewart.
There’s nothing imminent as far as we can tell. We reported earlier that the Boston Bruins have him as one of their targets and another Atlantic Division team the Ottawa Senators had talks earlier this month with the Sabres. The Senators tried to trade for him before the trade deadline last spring. They spoke again to Buffalo a few weeks back but nothing came of it for now.
The Bruins, meanwhile, have been hammered on defense by injuries, so perhaps their need would be best served there, but a source said Thursday that Boston’s plan right now is to ride this out, knowing that within a month or so most of their injured blueliners will be healthy. No panic trade in store.
more hockey topics including the Kings' salary cap issues and the Carolina Hurricanes...
from John Vogl of the Buffalo News,
There have been some horrible, downright despicable performances by the Sabres since they were founded in 1970. Pity anyone who watched one worse than Tuesday’s outing.
Buffalo’s 10th game of 2014-15 had folks looking to the calendar to see when this season will be over. Only 24 weeks and 72 games left!
Pity anyone who stays with this train wreck the whole way.
Goaltender Michal Neuvirth was the only player to show up for the Sabres, who slept from the opening faceoff to the merciful horn in a 4-0 loss to Toronto. Buffalo had just 10 shots, the fewest in franchise history, and looked worse than the peewee team it was compared to earlier in the season.
“It’s embarrassing,” right wing Drew Stafford said. “There’s no other way to describe it. I don’t know how we expect to win games let alone be competitive with that going on. We need to just wake up.”
from Ryan Dixon of Sportsnet,
The ultimate success of Buffalo’s complete reboot will largely be determined by the high-end picks the Sabres have either already made (Sam Reinhart, second overall last June) or are on target to make in the next year or two. That said, players like (Cody) Hodgson, Tyler Ennis and Marcus Foligno will be huge factors in determining just how fast Buffalo turns the corner, and how far it can go upon getting properly directed.
Hodgson has been a particular point of interest for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the fact he was part of an out-of-the-blue, one-for-one trade between Buffalo and the Vancouver Canucks that sent ruffian Zack Kassian the other way in February, 2012. While Kassian has developed into a rugged third-liner capable of chipping in offence with Vancouver, there remains no doubt that Buffalo made off with the more skilled player. Two years ago, during the lockout-shortened 2013 campaign, Hodgson posted the rough equivalent of a 25-goal season on a team that was just starting to crumble. And while his production dropped last year, Hodgson still registered 20 goals on a last-overall squad that was the only outfit in the league that failed to average at least two tallies per game.
from David Pollak of Working The Corners,
The tone in the room depended on who was doing the talking. Nobody wanted to label the Sabres one of the NHL’s weak franchises, though that’s undoubtedly true. Points don’t lie.
“The fact that they’re 1-7 when they came in? If you look at their lineup they’re a pretty good lineup. A lot of skill and a lot of speed,” Marc-Edouard Vlasic said. “If you look at their record, obviously it’s embarrassing that we lost but they play well. Just by looking at their record, 1-7, we shouldn’t have lost this game. But, they’re a hard-working team and they play a good system, and we were too late on waking up in the third.”
Likewise, Logan Couture wanted to focus more on the Sharks than the opposition when asked if it stings more because that fourth consecutive defeat involved Buffalo.
“I think it stings that we lost four in a row. I could care less what the Buffalo Sabres are doing right now,” he said. “The San Jose Sharks have lost four straight games, two at home, and haven’t played well.”
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
As first reported by TSN, the Bruins have been chasing Chris Stewart as a replacement for Jarome Iginla. The wide-shouldered forward scored 15 goals for St. Louis last season before he was shipped to Buffalo in the Ryan Miller trade.
Several factors, however, stand in the Bruins’ way of acquiring the free agent-to-be: cost and competition.
Buffalo GM Tim Murray is hungry for draft picks. Murray’s wish list would include Philadelphia’s 2015 second-round pick, which the Bruins received from the Islanders as part of the Johnny Boychuk trade....
Through seven games, the Flyers were 2-3-2 while allowing 3.71 goals per game. Part of that is on Steve Mason (.878 save percentage after five starts). But the goalie’s defense has not played with structure. They’re without MacDonald and Braydon Coburn, who are out for the next four weeks because of lower-body injuries. Points will be hard to come by for the Flyers. Their second-round pick could be in the low 30s.
The Bruins also have company in the Stewart hunt, just within the division. Ottawa has been interested in Stewart before. The Senators could use a No. 2 right wing (formerly Ales Hemsky) behind Bobby Ryan. Tim Murray was formerly an assistant in Ottawa to GM Bryan Murray, who is his uncle. Tim Murray knows the Ottawa system firsthand.
Columbus could also enter the mix.
more plus other topics including the shrinking fighters club...
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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