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Category: Buffalo-Sabres

Musings From the Playoffs

From Jim Kelly at Sportsnet.ca,

4) Is there an NHL team that looks dumber or cheaper than the Buffalo Sabres right now?

Former Sabre Danny Briere, who practically begged the Sabres to give him a reasonable contract offer last season, is leading the league in playoff scoring and is a big reason that the Flyers still have a chance to go from worst to first in a single season. The Sabres made it clear they had no interest in signing Briere (though for the record they did make a token effort hours before free agency opened, an effort that reminded many of their “attempt” to re-sign Ted Nolan as coach a decade earlier).

more… observations gleaned from this year’s playoffs

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: daniel+briere, playoffs

What Could Have Been In Buffalo

from Jerry Sullivan of the Buffalo News,

I miss the big hit that sets the tone for a series, like Brian Campbell on R. J. Umberger two years ago, reminding you that playoff hockey is a whole different animal.

I miss the simple, reassuring rhythm of games being played every other day.

I miss the Goo Goo Dolls singing “Better Days” on the Jumbotron to get things going before the games.

I miss the Sabres flags popping up on cars, like flowers blooming in spring.

I miss playoff beards.

more

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Ryan Miller Blogs

Over at Maxim, Ryan Miller is blogging the playoffs in a weekly report.  From today’s entry, he’s got a few thoughts to share on watching Avery the other night:

The NHL weighed in and will now interpret any actions like that as interference. Ya think? It is like when a kid is trying to annoy someone by getting as close as they can without actually touching them…the whole time yelling “I’m not touching you…I’m not touching you!” The best part is that it almost looks like Chris Drury skates over during the play to tell him to get in position. Haha.

more... *plus Miller is also doing a weekly appearance on Maxim Radio—Sirius Satellite Radio.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, NHL Media, Hockey Bloggers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ryan+miller

Pointing Buffalo In The Right Direction

from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,

Larry Quinn and Darcy Regier offered a few hints about their offseason plans during a news conference Thursday that was less clumsy than the charade orchestrated last summer. What they accomplish in the months ahead should reveal the direction of the organization for the next five years. Now, let’s do it right.

Doing it right means unloading Maxim Afinogenov, an enigma desperately in need of a change in scenery. Finally, Regier was prepared to shop him, and he should get a decent return while cutting costs. Dmitri Kalinin will be an unrestricted free agent. The Sabres wasted $5.75 million on them this year.

It means using the extra dough to reshape the roster with younger players who can grow together. If they’re convinced Daniel Paille and Steve Bernier are part of the equation, for example, get them signed to long-term deals with the idea they’ll be part of the future core.

more

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NHL Conference Call: Lindy Ruff and Ken Hitchcock

Today, the NHL hosted a teleconference call for the media to ask questions of Buffalo Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff and Columbus Blue Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock.

Here is the transcript of that Q&A.


Q. The emphasis has been in the west all year now. Now the popular belief is whoever comes out of the west is going to be the Stanley Cup champion. Do you have that sense, as well?

KEN HITCHCOCK: No, I don’t. I think one of the problems is when you have so many good teams that what’s left of your team at the end of the three series that you have to play in sometimes isn’t much. I think a lot of it depends on the damage that gets done in some of these series.

I think when you look at the competitiveness of the teams and the closeness of really almost all eight teams in the playoffs, you know, I think health is going to be a major issue on whoever comes out from this series because it has the makings, especially in these early rounds, of some really long series here.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ken+hitchcock, lindy+ruff, media, nhl+conference+call, transcripts

The Goal Of The Sabres

from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,

Ryan Miller received word that Buffalo Sabres managing partner Larry Quinn wanted to sign the goaltender to a long-term deal. That was well and good Monday, but Miller wanted to meet with management first before making any bold statements about his future with the franchise.

It wouldn’t be surprising if Miller looks for a few assurances before he begins talking about a long-term deal for big money. Miller is going to get his dough one way or another. But as a competitor, he should want a commitment about where this whole thing is headed.

The goal hasn’t been clear since the whole Chris Drury-Daniel Briere charade last summer. Are the Sabres simply trying to turn a buck? Was this a transition year for a team looking to win the Cup?

continued

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A Quick Drop

from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,

On the one hand, the Sabres collected 39 wins and 90 points – both franchise records for a non-playoff year. Given everything that happened last summer, maybe that’s not too bad on first glance.

But put that finish into the perspective of history and it becomes a fall that has been rarely seen in the NHL.

The Sabres became just the third defending points leader to fail to make the playoffs the next season in the expansion era (joining only the 1970 Montreal Canadiens and 1993 New York Rangers). Buffalo’s 23-point drop from last year’s 113- point finish is the third-highest among Presidents’ Trophy winners since the award was first handed out to the regular-season champion in 1985-86.

And by percentage of points earned, the Sabres’ drop is fourth-highest in the Presidents’ Trophy era.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Fixing The Sabres & Canucks

from Spector at Fox Sports,

Both clubs will now have a longer than expected off-season to address the problem areas that led to their decline in 2007-08.

For the Sabres, last year’s Presidents’ Trophy winners and a two-time Eastern Conference finalist, the fall from grace was significant.

The loss of Daniel Briere and Chris Drury last summer to unrestricted free agency hurt the Sabres, leaving a gaping hole of veteran leadership and skill that they were unable to fill….

As for the Canucks, the lack of offensive production that got them bounced in the second round of late year’s playoffs cost them a playoff berth this season. Yes, injuries did take their toll on the Canucks but despite that, for most of this season they held onto a playoff berth before collapsing down the stretch.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

A Hollow Season

from Jerry Sullivan of the Buffalo News,

At least they’re still alive. The standard sure has fallen for this team. Who would have imagined that, one year after winning the Presidents’ Trophy, the Sabres would be jumping with joy because they still had an outside chance to finish eighth?

The arena didn’t have much of a pulse Sunday. The fans seemed to know they were watching a squad that was going nowhere, a team that had gone from Cup favorite to also-ran in 10 months. The Sabres won. But for much of the night, they didn’t play with the sort of passion you’d expect.

There was no curtain call by the players after the last regular-season game. Presumably, the Sabres didn’t want to give the impression that their season was over. So odds are, this year’s team will never get a chance to skate around and bid the fans a final goodbye.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

No More Max

from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,

You would think Afinogenov would have evolved into a leader by now, but that hasn’t happened. He makes you long for Pierre Turgeon. He’ll make $3.5 million and become an unrestricted free agent after next season for a team looking to get younger (see: cheaper). Gee, maybe they placed their bets on the wrong guy.

Why keep him? Well, he sells jerseys.

If the Sabres think he’s a source of entertainment, they’re kidding themselves and insulting the intelligence of their fans. The only people he entertains are youngsters who are enamored with his style and can’t see his flaws. Anyone with an ounce of hockey sense can see he needs a change in scenery.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: maxim+afinogenov

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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.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

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