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Entries with the tag: buffalo sabres
Following his reckless boarding of Buffalo Sabres’ Jason Pominville Monday night, the NHL handed down a two game suspension to the mad Swede which will make his next game back against?…you got it, the Sabres. This was not an accident by the NHL disciplinarians.
How much is that NHL Center Ice Package again?
Whether or not the hit was dirty or intentional is a topic best left for the A.M. sports radio crowd and others who will use this as just another bullet point in their “Concussions Bad” or “Hockey Violent” PowerPoint presentations. Thankfully, Pominville is not stretched out in some Buffalo area hospital bed in traction, and equally important in the cosmic sense, Niklas Hjalmarrson will get his chance to back up just how tough a guy he is on Saturday night at the United Center. Only this time, the players will actually get to see him coming.
In my column from Friday, I suggested the Maple Leafs take a run at free agent Tim Kennedy after Buffalo gave him the pink-slip. Yet a few hours after posting, this – or the addition of any scoring forward – seemed unlikely. As he often does, though, Leafs GM Brian Burke surprised me with his ability to make the best of a bad cap-situation
A trade with Tampa Bay late on Friday added Matt Lashoff to Toronto’s defense corps, bringing their number of NHL-level d-men up to nine and pushing them within $1.5 million of the cap ceiling. Although Lashoff has only played 63 NHL games over the last four seasons, he’ll have to clear waivers this season to be sent down to the AHL, so it looks like the Leafs want him for big-club duty.
By Saturday though, Leafs GM Brian Burke pulled the trigger on a deal that looks even better than what I was proposing with Kennedy. Left wing Clarke MacArthur – another Sabres product – signed with Toronto for a steal at $1.1 million,after Atlanta walked away from his $2.4 million arbitration award. After posting career numbers in both games played (81) and points (31), the 25-year-old is just entering his prime.
While only a year older than Kennedy, MacArthur already has 208 NHL games under his belt, leaving him far more experienced at this level than Kennedy, who has only played in 79. Add in MacArthur’s points-per-game average at 0.42 over Kennedy’s 0.33, and the fact that Toronto will still hold MacArthur’s RFA rights after this season, it’s clear that Burke is getting the most bang for his team’s buck.
With less than $400,000 left in cap space, it’s looking like RFA Christian Hanson will be the odd man out on the Leafs roster. I’ll keep tabs on this story as it develops.
If anyone still had visions of this group of Sabres skill forwards someday leading their team to a Stanley Cup run, then the events of the past six games should pretty much run the hope tank to empty.
What we witnessed during the Boston Bruins 4-2 series win over the Buffalo Sabres was a colossal vanishing act by Derek Roy, Tim Connolly, and Jason Pominville. Sure, you can point fingers at other players like Paul Gaustad and Drew Stafford, but on a team desperate for big goals it is pretty evident where the biggest holes are in this lineup.
Gritty efforts by players like Mike Grier, Tyler Ennis and Steve Montador were overshadowed by the poor all around performance of the three players in question, who stood out like sore thumbs in every facet of the game. They were the top three leaders in ice time on the power play that went 0 for 19. All three played major roles on the penalty killing units that allowed Boston an ugly 27% conversion rate.
This series was supposed to be money in the bank for Buffalo. They had arguably the top goaltender in the league and were facing an opponent that withstood a ten game home losing streak following the Winter Classic, boasted only one 20-goal scorer and was missing their most dangerous forward and two of their regular defensemen.