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Meet The Sabres: The Forwards

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The Buffalo Sabres made their final cuts on Wednesday and have announced their team for opening night.  This will be part 3 of a three part post entitled Meet the Sabres.  It will basically be a quick guide to every player on the Sabes roster and what I expect from each player this season.  Today we take a look at the Forwards that remain on the Sabres roster heading into the season.

For the sake of space I will keep my thoughts brief in this section. Keep in mind the Sabres are carrying 13 forwards on the opening night roster and that is not including injured forward Adam Mair that is not on the roster.  I will break the forwards up by line and will include Tim Kennedy as an extra.

Line 1


Thomas Vanek

#26 / Left Wing / Buffalo Sabres

6-2

207

Jan 19, 1984

 

 

 

2008-2009 Stats

GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG GTG SOG
73 40 24 64 -1 44 20 2 5 0 211

 

 

What to Expect:  There is a faction of people that think Thomas Vanek had a disappointing season in 2008-2009.  If 40 goals and 64 points is a bad season, I'll take another bad season this year.  With that being said, I think Vanek is ready to explode this season.  He played a much more physical game in the Pre-Season and I think he'll continue to play that way. 

 

I would be extremely surprised if Vanek is not a 50 goal scorer this season.  He has all the talent in the world and he has a goal scorers touch.  Vanek is a power play specialist and can still improve at even strength.  He would be helped considerably if given the opportunity to play on a line with Connolly and Pominville.



Derek Roy

#9 / Center / Buffalo Sabres

5-9

188

May 04, 1983

 

 

 

2008-2009 Stats

GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG GTG SOG
82 28 42 70 -5 38 9 1 9 0 221

 

 

What to Expect: Derek Roy is Derek Roy.  Lindy Ruff has stated publicly that him and D-Roy have spent a lot of time together this off-season with the World Championships, Olympic camp and training camp.  He also stated publicly that D-Roy is still too cute with the puck and needs to shoot more.  I like Derek Roy but if he hasn't learned by now, he is not ever learning.



Drew Stafford

#21 / Right Wing / Buffalo Sabres

6-1

216

Oct 30, 1985

 

 

 

2008-2009 Stats

GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG GTG SOG
79 20 25 45 +3 29 9 0 0 0 183

 

What to Expect: Drew Stafford waited until the beginning of training camp to sign a reasonable contract with the Buffalo Sabres.  Stafford would like to hit a big payday in two seasons and that starts with an increase in his numbers this season.  If he stays healthy and plays with Derek Roy all season, he should be a 25-30 goal scorer.

 


Line 2


Clarke MacArthur

#41 / Left Wing / Buffalo Sabres

5-11

191

Apr 06, 1985

 

 

 

2008-2009 Stats

GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG GTG SOG
71 17 14 31 -4 56 5 0 0 0 108

 

What to Expect:  C-Mac earned his spot in the top six after scoring 17 goals last season.  I would guess that Lindy Ruff will have a short leash with him if he is not playing well.  It could be argued that Daniel Paille could very easily play in the top six in his place.

 

 



Tim Connolly

#19 / Center / Buffalo Sabres

6-1

191

May 07, 1981

 

 

 

2008-2009 Stats

GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG GTG SOG
48 18 29 47 +12 22 5 1 5 0 126

 

What to Expect: What can I say about Tim Connolly that hasn't been said already?  If Tim Connolly stays healthy he will be a point-per-game player, if he doesn't...it would be expected.

 



Jason Pominville

#29 / Right Wing / Buffalo Sabres

6-0

186

Nov 30, 1982

 

 

 

 

2008-2009 Stats

GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG GTG SOG
82 20 46 66 -4 18 6 1 2 0 239

 

What to Expect: Jason Pominville was criticized heavily for his play last season, some of it was warranted but some of it was unfair.  Expect a bounce back season for Pominville.  He was stuck on a line with Jochen Hecht most of the season and the two played like they were drowning in quicksand.  Pominville is expected to play with Connolly and C-Mac this season.





Line 3


Jochen Hecht

#55 / Center / Buffalo Sabres

6-1

199

Jun 21, 1977

 

 

 

2008-2009 Stats

GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG GTG SOG
70 12 15 27 -9 33 3 1 1 0 173

 

 

 



Paul Gaustad

#28 / Center / Buffalo Sabres

6-4

229

Feb 03, 1982

 

 

 

2008-2009 Stats

GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG GTG SOG
62 12 17 29 +4 108 3 1 1 0 122

 

 



Mike Grier

#25 / Right Wing / Buffalo Sabres

6-1

227

Jan 05, 1975

 

 

 

2008-2009 Stats

GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG GTG SOG
62 10 13 23 +8 25 0 1 2 0 108

 





The Extras


Tim Kennedy

#13 / Left Wing / Buffalo Sabres

5-10

173

Apr 30, 1986



Daniel Paille

#20 / Left Wing / Buffalo Sabres

6-0

200

Apr 15, 1984

 

 

 

2008-2009 Stats

GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG GTG SOG
73 12 15 27 E 20 0 0 2 0 80

 

 



Matt Ellis

#37 / Left Wing / Buffalo Sabres

6-0

212

Aug 31, 1981

 

 

 

2008-2009 Stats

GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG GTG SOG
45 7 5 12 +4 12 0 0 2 0 73

 

 



Patrick Kaleta

#36 / Right Wing / Buffalo Sabres

5-11

198

Jun 08, 1986

 

 

 

2008-2009 Stats

GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG GTG SOG
51 4 5 9 +1 89 0 0 0 0 35