Thursday, September 25, 2008

Friday Musings

A few quick hits:

- The classic logo at center ice looks awesome and surely - SURELY! - it means the death of the slug is right around the corner. Now that the franchise has squeezed every dollar they can out of it, we're moving on, right? Do you know how happy I would be to not have to not buy a really cool t-shirt or hoodie because it has a slug on it? How much I'd love walking into the Sabres store and seeing a store full of classic logos? That would be amazing.

Taken from a link provided in the comments at Sabres Edge.

- I've given this Nathan Gerbe thing a lot of thought and I think I've decided he should start in Portland. Definitely use him as the first call-up if he's ready for that and definitely use him to pressure anyone who may be underachieving in Buffalo but let's see the kid play with pros in the AHL first especially since offense is not a pressing concern right now. If he totally kicks ass down there, well that'd be a pretty good problem to have.

- Mark went to practice yesterday (Wednesday) and reported that Henrik Tallinder and Toni Lydman were paired together during most of the defensive drills. What the hizzle, Lindy? Are you trying to confuse them, not to mention me?

- John Vogl reports that Lindy plans on keeping Jochen Hecht at center this year which is more than fine with me. I love Jochen at center. The rest of Vogl's potential lines are as follows:

Thomas Vanek-Derek Roy-Drew Stafford

Daniel Paille-Jochen Hecht-Jason Pominville

Paul Gaustad-Tim Connolly-Ales Kotalik

I hope this means he thinks Maxim Afinogenov is going to be gone because Max definitely does not belong on the fourth line. I get that that he's frustrating and inconsistent enough that you might shy away from putting him on one of the top lines - when he's playing poorly he's sometimes a real drag on his line mates - but he needs to play with people who are fast and skilled. People have given him a lot of crap for last season for good reason but after he came back from his injury he was on the worst possible lines for his skill set. He can't play with muckers and grinders who can't skate and carry the puck. He's useless then. You almost may as well just bench him if that's how you're going to use him.

I'm fine with that first line though I wouldn't be against trying Max with Roy and Vanek just to see what happens. (Blow it up fast if it doesn't work though since in the past Max has been a bad influence on Derek.) Love, love, love Paille with Jochen and Pommers. I don't know if I'm sold on Goose on the third line. I like him immensely but I go back and forth on how good he actually is and how good he can be.

At any rate, it's so nice to be close enough to the season to be talking about this stuff! Wheeee!

- Speaking of Max, he's going to be either traded or let go at the end of the season. We all know that. We may as well admit now that the change of scenery is going to be good for him. He'll be in a new system with new teammates and a new coach and he'll probably score 20-25 goals. Can we agree now to not retroactively pretend like we thought the Sabres should have kept him all along when that happens (Bucky)?

- Derek Roy will score 100 points this season. That's my one prediction for the year.

- Note to Gambler: Roy-Z was definitely short. I want to say he was a little bit shorter than me because I seem to remember glancing down but I wasn't paying enough attention to really say for sure. He was definitely not taller than me though. If anything he was even with me. I also didn't see what kind of shoes he was wearing which I would have taken into consideration as well had I been paying attention. (I was in the front row of the most recent U2 concert in Buffalo and while I already knew Bono was a shorty he was also wearing boots with rubber soles that were at least 3 inches thick. I'm pretty sure he's really only 4'3".) I'm 5'7"ish so I'd say Roy-Z is in the 5'6"-5'7" range. No way he's his listed 5'9".

- I haven't had a chance to flip through the media guide but I've enjoyed all the stuff other bloggers have pulled out of it. Anne discovered that Patrick Kaleta's nickname is "Kaltsy." Okay. Friends and I have joked about how the Sabres seem to just slap "sy" on the end of something for a nickname but Kaltsy doesn't even make sense! His name isn't Kaltleta! And I had to actually sound it out to think about how to say it. Anne's comment is worth repeating here: If a nickname is harder to say than the guy's actual name, it's a stupid nickname.

- The only real nickname I've ever had is "Heat."


bbC said...

There are reports that the vintage logo will only be at center ice for the preseason, and once the regular season starts, the slug will be there once again. :(

Anne said...

Love, love, love Paille with Jochen and Pommers.

DITTO. That's my favorite line since Briere/Pommer/Hecht. That line really has a great combination of size, skill and two way play. That line is basically 75% of the team's "OMG my heart can't take all the swooning" quotient.

I don't know if I'm sold on Goose on the third line. I like him immensely but I go back and forth on how good he actually is and how good he can be.

Goose is a real wild card. He played well with Pommer and Hecht this past season, but is he a regular top 6 guy? I don't think so but I also think he's one of those players that if given more top line opportunities, he may produce closer to those numbers. (he's not going to be in the mix for our top point getter, duh, that title belongs to HANK) I'm just saying that every time Goose has been tested throughout his career, he's succeeded.

Vanek's Hair said...

DAMN YOU FOR PUTTING THE CENTER ICE PHOTO ON THE BOLG!!!! I was strategically avoiding all photos of it so my first impression would be when walk through the entrance on October 10. Oh well. Just kidding with the yelling.

I like the lines, except I think Gaustad should line up with Mair and Kaleta on a banger line. Put Max with Kotalik and Connolly. At least Max would have a good puck mover (Connolly) to help him. But then again, I am here, not a hockey coach.

Mark B said...

I like Vanek Hair's idea about the lines. Then have MacArthur as the extra forward, start Gerbe in Portland and drop Peters off on the side of the road in Canada.

I think Goose could be a twenty goal scorer as the wing on a scoring line. I remember two years ago right before his injury when he was on the Drury line and he was starting to show some real offensive possibilities. That being said, I think he might be more comfortable as a fourth line center. Tough one!

A few other notes from my trip to camp:

- Mair was teaching Peters how to fight after practice. It was really entertaining watching them grab and swing each other around and fake punch. Hopefully Peters learned not to turn his head away from the fight.

- Lindy didn't look or sound happy about our team's D play so far in the preseason. I could have sworn I heard him say: "We currently lead the league in GA."

- I saw Bucky! He was sitting across from me writing in a notebook. Heather and I joked that he was scribbling 5/25 over and over again a la Jack in The Shining.


Heather B. said...

bbc, I hadn't heard that. I hope it's not true! Seems like a lot of work to go through just to repaint it in a couple of weeks. (Please note, I have no idea how long it actually takes to paint center ice.)

Anne, Paille, Jochen and Pommers would be the most likable line ever. Even when they're frustrating they would be so hard-working that it would difficult to hate on them.

Vanek's Hair, I apologize for ruining your moment. And I agree with your lines. Healthy Timmy if exactly the kind of person Max should be playing with. I am also not a hockey coach but I am a hockey blogger so I'm pretty sure that makes me an expert.

Mark, yeah it's probably about time for that emphasis on defensive play to kick in. The season starts in TWO WEEKS! (Yaaaaaay!)

amy said...

The only problem I see with the Roy-Vanek-Stafford line is that both Stafford and Vanek have been known to pull disappearing acts for stretches of the season. Both of them can't do that at the same time or else the team is screwed.

And part of me wonders if putting Gaustad on the same line as Timmy is to serve as muscle in case other teams try to come after him.

Lee Ando said...

Only one nickname?? Man, how did that happen. I've had like 47, the most recent being Ando. I guess yours is better since it stuck longer. Or you have uncreative friends.