Just a few comments here…
Lots of props to Paul Hamilton from WGR; I really like the work he did in his last two posts over at WGR’s website.
In the “Sabres starting to put teams away” column, he’s the first to post the “magic number”, at least to my knowledge. And he says that number is 7. Remember, the magic number isn’t just the number of points Buffalo needs to acquire, but is a combination of Buffalo points earned and Atlanta points not earned. I think it’s pretty safe to say that we should be seeing that “X” in the standings in about a weeks’ time.
I was surprised the magic number for the division title was so low (11). Given Ottawa’s recent slide (one win in the last nine games - eeesh), I guess I shouldn’t have been shocked at all. Hopefully that “Y” isn’t to far behind the “X.”
Before I get to Hamilton’s second piece of work on the day, let me again apologize a little to Pominville. I’m always hard on him, and I think many would agree, deservedly so. But he currently sits in 15th place in scoring amongst RW s. Should he be higher, given his salary? I’d say yes. But going back to Hamilton’s column, he points out that for the last four years, Pominville is a beast toward the end of the season. And again, Pominville is on a mini tear. Can he keep this up, and finally make me eat my words on him?
One last thing on WGR - love the “Buffalo Bracket” those afternoon guys are doing. Perrault has got to make it to the finals against Smith. Who knows - this could be 11’s last gimme at this from the Sabre region (even though it’s his first, right?). If, and I’m not saying it will, or would happen…but if Miller could lead Buffalo to a Cup, he’d have that little bracket game sewn up for the remainder of time..
Going to the line combos from Sunday. I’ll say I was a little fuzzy for the game, missed the 1st period, and was doing three things at once while watching the rest. Were the line combos in fact like DO had them listed for the game? I know Lindy does a lot of changing, but were those for the most part, consistent? If so, he really had a few guys playing out of place (as far as wingers go I thought). Has Vanek really been playing RW with Kennedy on the LW? I didn’t pay enough attention to that, if it even really matters. Stafford playing on the LW had me scratching my head too.
Now some of that makes me wonder where Torres is going to fit in, if he is at all. Please tell me they didn’t trade for a guy who can’t hold a stick. That’s not taking a shot at Torres skills, but rather his injury. Was it undisclosed before the trade? I liked what I saw from Torres in the past, including his scouting reports. I don’t like how he backed out of the game on the last minute against Florida (or was it Tampa?). I also don’t like the quotes from him alleging that he’s “thinking too much.” Is Ruff’s “system” that hard to figure out? Dude - you’re a banger. Go hit people, and just shoot the puck on net. Geeesh.
I think AHL rosters were frozen last week, and I don’t know what that means. Tyler Ennis is a kid who I think needs to see some more NHL time, and soon. In my opinion, it’d be so smart to see him get some ice up here now, just in case he’s needed in the playoffs if there is any kind of run on injuries (gulp). I’d also like to know the status of Mancari. Can he be called up again?
I can’t say for certain if I’m a fan of this new Sekera/Butler rotation, but I understand why it’s happening. This makes me wonder about how Ruff will handle his bench once the “X” is earned (and presumably, the “Y”). Is he going to try and rest some guys who could use it? Rivet, Miller, Vanek, Torres, Grier, Myers, and Kaleta are names that I can think of that could probably use a few days off here or there, whether it be due to their age, or style of play, or just too much play as in the case with Miller.
How much money does Galisano make with each playoff game at home? I thought I remember it be close to two million a game, but that was three years ago. Anyway, the economic impact of a playoff game in Buffalo is nothing but good. It benefits many…
Speaking of playoff games, am I the only “second shifter” who will be panicking once the 1st round playoff schedule is announced? My work schedule bounces between 1st and 2nd shift, and although I have the ability to switch it to my liking, I need advanced notice. Ugh.
WGR made another good point today (no, I am not affiliated with the station) in saying because of the probable lack of Canadian teams in the playoffs, any team playing Ottawa or Montreal will most likely have a Saturday game, each and every Saturday for the early game. It makes sense. HNIC is huge, and wields a big stick.
I wonder what kind of changes the organization has made to avoid another Staph infection at the most inappropriate time.