Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Buffalo News,
The Sabres still have talent but five of a kind has become genuinely unkind this season. They have been stifled by their own play and not-so-subtle changes in a league that has returned to tight checking and close quarters. Teams are intent on buckling down on defense and exploiting teams relying too much on skating alone.
“The message is there,” Ruff said after practice Tuesday. “You watched the playoffs. You saw how tight it got, and the scoring chances got fewer and fewer. Coaches are pretty good at looking at video and wondering what’s going on and [experimenting]. There is a little bit of a trend developing.”
from Stan Fischler at the Hockey Journal,
Thomas Vanek has yet to show signs that he can live up to his big payday, while second-year man Drew Stafford, who played so well in his rookie season, has been a disappointment as a sophomore.
When you add the depleted blue line missing regulars Teppo Numminen, Dimitri Kalinin and the previously rejuvenated Jaro Spacek, it’s evident that head coach Lindy Ruff hasn’t faced this level of trouble since the pre-lockout days – and those battles were fought with Drury and Briere.
much more on the NHL and one bit we covered yesterday…
from WGR 550,
Plenty of veterans missed practice this morning at HSBC Arena. Adam Mair has an ankle injury that Lindy Ruff said would keep him out weeks. Tim Connolly has a strained oblique will be out for an undetermined amount of time. Ruff insisted that his injury has nothing to do with his head.
from the Buffalo News,
Sabres coach Lindy Ruff absolved backup goalie Jocelyn Thibault of any blame on the Florida Panthers’ four goals Friday night. Thibault wasn’t as quick to pass the buck.
“When you haven’t played in a while, you don’t want to do anything fancy,” Thibault said after his second appearance of the season in relief of Ryan Miller ended in a 4-2 loss at HSBC Arena. “You want to play a solid game, an honest game. I have to find ways to win games. I don’t play a lot and I have to make a difference every time I play.”
From Sharon Linstedt at The Buffalo News,
“It was 90 degrees and everybody was talking about the Ice Bowl,” Corsi recalled about the rumors that starting swirling in July that the Buffalo Sabres would play the Pittsburgh Penguins outdoors in Ralph Wilson Stadium on New Year’s Day.
“And nobody was calling it the NHL Winter Classic, it was Ice Bowl, Ice Bowl, Ice Bowl,” he said.
When many hours of Internet research turned up no evidence that anyone, including the National Hockey League and the Buffalo Sabres, had registered “Ice Bowl” as a protected trademark, Corsi phoned his lawyer and filled out a federal trademark application.
from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,
The first 10 games have shown Buffalo’s flaws run deeper than the departures of the former co-captains, starting with these half-dozen:
1. Underachieving stars. Fair or not, Thomas Vanek is getting paid $10 million this season. He had five points, same as fourth-liner Daniel Paille, and 17 shots on goal entering the weekend. Maxim Afinogenov scored one goal for Buffalo, matching Leafs defenseman Bryan McCabe.
read on and some NHL talk…
from the Buffalo News,
Not even a game with their nearest rival could keep the Buffalo Sabres’ sellout streak alive.
The Sabres failed to fill HSBC Arena for the first time in more than a year and half Monday, drawing 18,217 for their game with the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Sabres had sold out 45 straight regular-season games dating to the finale of 2005-06. They had packed the 18,690-seat arena for 62 games in row including the playoffs.
from STATS NHL Blog,
How big were Buffalo’s offseason losses? If we isolate all players who changed teams and scored either 15 goals or 30 points in 2006-07, the Sabres lost more goals and points than all other teams. The totals reflect not only goals and points lost from a year ago, but those gained by new acquisitions with 15 goals or 30 points last season.
The Sabres lost a total of 73 goals and 172 points without adding a single player who netted 15 goals or 30 points a year ago. At least the Islanders signed a few players to make up for most of their lost production, including Bill Guerin, Mike Comrie, Jon Sim and Ruslan Fedotenko.
From John Vogl at the Buffalo News,
Matt Schoals has served as an inspiration to Ryan Miller and to people who knew Schoals and his story. It’s clear death will not stop that.
Miller was detailing this week’s passing of his young cousin, grief and shock audible in his voice. But when talk turned to the mask of the Buffalo Sabres goaltender — the mask that Schoals helped design and serves as a constant reminder that there’s more to life than hockey games — Miller’s mood brightened. He laughed while recounting how the caricature of a bulldog came about, a sign that Schoals’ inspirational effect will not soon fade.
“He left a great legacy, and it’s only fair to talk about him and talk about the positive impact he had on the community,” Miller said Wednesday.
“He left the world, but he left having done great things.
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.
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