Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: derek roy
It was 20 years ago today that Buffalo lost a tough one, and by the narrowest of margins. The Calgary Flames came into town and beat the Sabres 5-4 at Memorial Auditorium. Rick Dudley was the Sabres head coach, and his assistant was a young and fiery up-and-comer named John Tortorella.
Sabres fans and media were questioning the toughness of Dale Hawerchuk and Pierre Turgeon and the worthiness of their $500,000 salaries. Buffalo media legend Ted Darling was in his final full season in the broadcast booth. There were captaincy issues as Mike Ramsey had just replaced Mike Foligno, who was traded to Toronto. The Sabres were an average team trodding along with 51 points near the end of January.
It so happens that there was another game that day, with a little bit more at stake, that was of interest to Buffalo fans, and for that matter people all over the world.
Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: buffalo+sabres, dale+hawerchuk, derek+roy, mike+foligno, mike+ramsey, no+goal, pierre+turgeon, rick+jeanneret, scott+norwood, super+bowl+xxv, ted+darling, tim+connolly
The Buffalo Sabres’ lack of sympathy for the misfortunes of the free falling Ottawa Senators should be in full display tonight at Scotiabank Place.
The streaking Sabres need every point they can get, and if that means figuratively kicking their already wounded division rival in the stomach on their way out the door towards the All-Star break, then so be it.
In their last 12 games, the Sabres are 8-3-1 while the Sens are 1-8-3. Ottawa will start Brian Elliott, who is winless in his last 10 starts, in goal tonight.
Still, it’s not like the Sabres don’t have issues of their own. They need to win this one just to get within four points of eighth place. The defense is still shaky. To be honest, not a whole lot of fans and media here are taking the streak too seriously.
With all of the media and fan obsession in this town over where the Buffalo Bills will be slotted in the NFL draft order this spring, Sabres fans might be interested to know that their hockey team is currently in line for a top 5 overall pick in 2011. The last time Buffalo was in such a position, they drafted a guy named Thomas Vanek.
With leading scorer Derek Roy likely done for the season, and with the gap from here to eighth place in the East ever so painfully widening, it might be time to start habitually looking down on the standings page instead of up.
News of the severity of Roy’s injury certainly felt like a skate boot to the stomach. And in timely fashion, disillusioned armchair GM’s are now calling for Darcy Regier to make a trade to bring in a top line center to replace him. You know, something similar to all of the other trades for top line centers that have been made around the league recently.
With the excitement of the 40th anniversary ceremonies only to be followed by the Sabres losing a 2-1 snooze-fest to the Montreal Canadiens, you can see why many folks in Buffalo took the liberty of comparing last night’s game to the 3-0 loss to the Habs on 10/15/70.
But there’s a much more recent anniversary that you could say is more suitable for comparison.
It was six months ago this weekend that the Sabres were in the midst of a futile week-and-a-half-long attempt to scrape together some offense in a first round playoff series against the Boston Bruins - a team that for various reasons was supposed to have major goal scoring problems of their own.
There are some striking similarities between Buffalo’s poor playoff performance and the events of last night’s game - and for that matter of this young season. It’s a scary reminder that nothing in the past six months with this team seems to have really changed.
from John Vogl of the Buffalo News,
Derek Roy has reached a point in his NHL career where big things are expected daily. He’s also reached a point where he can deliver.
Roy is a fixture on the Buffalo Sabres’ score sheet, but that’s nothing new. The center led the team in points last season, averaging a shade more than one per game. He’s back on a similar tear. It raises the question: Does Roy expect to be on the score sheet every night?
“Yeah,” he said Tuesday. “The coaching staff expects that of me, I expect that of myself, my teammates expect that from me. That’s what I’m here for.
“Everyone’s a piece of the puzzle, and my job is to make plays, score goals, play defense and log a lot of minutes — play well consistently game in and game out. That’s what I’m trying to do every night.”
From Mike Harrington at The Buffalo News,
“At times I wasn’t playing well and the other two guys were playing good,” Vanek said after practice Monday in the Amherst Pepsi Center. “Then maybe I had a few better games. Right now, we’re just finally playing all three on the same page, playing well at the same time and that makes a difference.”
Roy, in fact, is tied with Calgary’s Daymond Langkow for the best December plus-minus in the league at plus-10 and Vanek isn’t far behind at plus-7. Roy has 11 points in eight games this month, just three off the league lead.
“As a line, we’re getting to know each other and where we’ve got to be,” Roy said. “Team-wise, we’ve clamped down on things, we’re collapsing in the defensive zone, guys are blocking shots and Ryan [goaltender Ryan Miller] is making some great saves.”