yankee hockey

EASTERN CONFERENCE PREDICTIONS 08-09

Posted in Buffalo, predictions by amanoidopera on October 8, 2008

11. Buffalo Sabres

The Buffalo Sabres need to get good again. They’re just too important to the league to be missing the playoffs, and they’re fans deserve better. They’re getting close again, but this year won’t be much of an improvement over last.

The Forwards:

Jason Pomminville is a very powerful forward who desperately needs some help up front. Maxim Afinogenov will also need some help if he wants his numbers to reflect his skill. Thomas Vanek is probably the brightest spot on this team, but even he won’t reach career highs without some reliable forwards to get him the puck. Ales Kotalik may be the only forward to see his numbers improve this year.

The Defense:

I know this team needs offense, but why spend good money on Craig Rivet… and then make him captain!? Look, the guy can score, but that’s it. Who decided to make him a defenseman? He’s a defensive nightmare and will be in the box way too much this year. The scary part is, he may be the best thing they have going on defense this year. They may have to lose one of their young forwards in exchange for a tough defenseman before the year is out.

The Goaltending:

I’m not really sure why they went out and got Patrick Lalime when Ryan Miller has been just short of awesome for them. They should have spent money on defense and let a up-and-coming goaltender play second string. Well, except, I guess they don’t really have any. But surely they could have got a career back-up cheaper then Lalime. I guess what I’m trying to say is that Ryan Miller is really good and he better not be fighting for the starter spot this year, that’s a disservice.

The Fans:

You want to know how good hockey fans in Buffalo are. Go up to one and say

‘Brett Hull”, and the immediate response will be “No goal! No goal!” followed by a waving of the arms and a feverish complexion. And that happened ten years ago (for those unfamiliar, 1999 Stanley Cup game 6, look it up). They’ve got football, they’ve got hockey, and their football team is moving to Toronto. They won’t dare let that happen to their Sabres though, they love this team too much for that to happen.

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