Too bad I can't say the same for the Sabres, Steve Montador. After the first period went so well I was pretty bummed the game fell apart. I was really hoping to get at least ten points on this road trip. Of course, I was counting on getting four points out of Atlanta and the Islanders. Only getting two there really hurt. Hopefully we'll fare better against the really super hot right now Canucks? Maybe?
And now for something completely different...
Among the many things that has bothered me over the recent years about The Buffalo News, one of the biggest has been how the writers have taken every opportunity to trash the Sabres video scouting without really giving us much information about how it all works. I once emailed Mike Harrington to
Yesterday Mirtle tweeted a link to a Globe and Mail story about scouting and there are just a few small details in there about the Sabres process but enough that it really changed my opinion. For all my complaints about TBN's coverage/attitude toward the story, there was enough skepticism from enough different places that I did wonder about the validity of their system. I kind of got the impression that video scouting consisted of a bunch of scouts watching game tapes, like us sitting at home watching games on TV. That did seem questionable. So much of hockey is played without the puck, especially on defense, and you've probably noticed that game broadcasts center around the guy with the puck. There's so much you would miss scouting that way.
According to the Globe and Mail article, however, a scout with training in video goes and watches the player being scouted and brings the video back for others on the scouting team to watch. A few months ago I read a book called Future Greats and Heartbreaks: A Year Undercover in the Secret World of NHL Scouts (just as an aside, I thought it was a really fun, interesting read). In the book the author talked about how all the scouts from a franchise come together at the draft and they all bring their own biases with them. Some have a bias against Europeans. Some don't like small players. Some love small, speedy guys. Some prefer big bruisers. The player the Sabres are interested in is still getting scouted the traditional way - in person by a living, breathing human being - but that human being is bringing back tangible evidence that others can look at, thereby getting around the problem of one guy's biases and quirks playing such a huge part. I don't know, to me that seems... smart. As Kate said when we were discussing this (before it devolved into utter silliness, as things sometimes tend to do with us), it seems less like newfangled ideas and more like common sense.
We're probably just about getting to the point where we can start judging how the changes in the scouting department have worked, but Tyler Myers seems like a pretty good start, you know? Heh.