So what happens from here?
I won’t call today a “win” for the Sabres, but I definitely won’t call it a loss either. I don’t like rentals at all, and that’s exactly what Torres is.
That said, I do like him as a player, and I think he’ll be a nice fit on this team. If he plays like half the player I think he is, would it be fair to consider resigning him to the tune of 3 a year? He’s making 2.25 now. In my mind, he’d have to play like a top six player to earn that. Considering the lack of depth they have at LW, they might have to make a run at him.
I love getting rid of MacArthur. From the beginning of the season, he was on my hit list. I can’t believe Atlanta gave up two picks for him. Like Stafford, I wondered if he had an actual heartbeat. I feel sorry for Atlanta fans. If MacArthur were to play on a line with Max down there, I imagine the perfect center for them would be Youngblood (before his Dad taught him to fight).
What is the draft pick status? For this years draft, am I correct in saying they now have a first, two 3rds, and three 4ths (plus the rest)?
I’m kind of surprised that both Hank and Lydman are still here. I really thought they would move one of the two, rather than risk getting nothing for either of them at the end of the year. I was ready to take my chances with Weber moving into the lineup.
As far as Paetsch goes, I wish him some luck. Dude just didn’t have enough of whatever to stick in the lineup. For what he did here, I hope for his sake he can finally crack an NHL lineup on a consistent basis.
I said way back in the season, and I’ll say it again (although a few things have changed) - I’m curious as to how Ruff manages the defense pairings from here on out. Rivet’s play has noticeably slipped. I don’t know - is he hurt or just tired? Montador seems to have lost all of the confidence he had earlier in the year. I still worry about Myers hitting a wall. Sekera needs more time on the ice, even with his defensive lapses. Ruff needs to inspire confidence in him. In the Olympics, the dude just moved the puck up the ice using his skating ability. Last night, in the 3rd, I saw him with the puck all alone in the Buffalo end, and he just froze. I think Rupp was on him. Sekera could have easily just skated by him; instead he threw it off the wall (usually a safe play), but Pit ended up with the puck right outside the blueline, and nearly had a scoring chance. Hank and Lydman are what they are (although I do think #5 is underrated to an extent). Butler? Geesh. I don’t know what to make of him this year. Talk about inconsistent. At times he can dominate. At other times, he plays like I would (ie - not good).
Where does Raffi boy fit on a line? In my mind, he’s not good enough to be a top two line guy, but too good to be a third liner. Will he be able to light a fire playing opposite Pominville or Stafford? Initially, I could see the top three lines like so:
Torres/Hecht - Roy - Stafford
Hecht/Torres - Timmy - Pominville
Vanek - Kennedy - Grier
Ennis - Ellis - Kaleta
Lord knows Lindy will be shuffling lines, especially with Goose out (again).
[Late self-editing note - no Torres tonite. My bad. Or Ennis. Again, my bad.]
Is there a chance (and I’m assuming he was called up for tonite) that Ennis never rides a minor league bus again? Over the last few days, Darcy kept mentioning guys he had in Portland. Common sense says he’s talking about Ennis, right? I thought I saw DO make a comment in the trade day thread that intrigued me, as I don’t remember hearing of it before. He said the 23 man roster is no longer in affect. If it’s true (and I have no reason to doubt DO), how have I never heard/remembered that before? Could be because I’m dumb. Whatever the case, that’s the reason I think Ennis might be done with the minors.
Going back to guys hitting the wall - Timmy Kennedy surely did. I remember making the comment about how good the timing of the Olympic break was for Rivet - can’t believe I didn’t mention the local kid too. With Goose out now, this team really needs him to get back to playing how he was out of the gate…
Wonder what Roy was thinking earlier in the day. I think (ie - I speculate) that he and Ruff may have somewhat of a contentious relationship. Do you think he would’ve welcomed a change in scenery? I do. But now that he didn’t get one, how will he react?
Stupid jersey question - I know there are restrictions on 3rd unis during the regular season, but are there any during the playoffs? And any chance at all Miller plays an NHL game with his Olympic mask?
What number will Torres wear here?
I live about five minutes from HSBC. I’m tempted to keep the sound off on the TV for the beginning of the telecast, and see if I can hear the roar from the crowd once they salute Miller for his stellar play in the Olympics. What’s the over/under on the length of the standing ovation? I say a minute and a half. That might not sound like much, but it’d be one hell of an ovation…
So, back to the title of this dump. Are they a better team today than yesterday? For the remainder of this season, I say yes. No matter what some will say, this is a playoff team. How far they can last is a topic for a different day…