The Buffalo Sabres enter the 2010-2011 season as defending Northeast Division Champs. Unfortunately that standing didn’t match up with their post-season performance as they were quickly sent to the links for a premature tee time by their Northeast foe, The Boston Bruins.
Blatantly, the Sabres were just bad. Their offense disappeared and their defense was non-existent. Besides Ryan Miller, the only pair of players who actually looked motivated were a couple of rookies. The Tyler twins, Myers and Ennis showed their aggressiveness and were by far the best players for the team. Pretty sad when you have veterans who pack it in so easily and let rookies dominate play. Does Derek Roy know he’s allowed to play the body? I mean this is the NHL, not a bar league. Although, he may just have a few drinks after the game regardless.
To sum up the team last year, we have a solid group of guys who excel in certain situations. And those situations do not include playoff hockey. We’re a team stacked with regular season heroes who become dormant in the playoffs. In order to succeed, the players are going to need to change their mind-set and attitude and realize hockey’s not a sport about keeping your good looks for the party after the game. It’s about losing your teeth and partying with the Cup filled with champagne.
That all being said… the regular season looks promising considering the results from last year.
OFFENSE: The Sabres come in to this season with above average offensive players. As I mentioned before, Derek Roy is a regular season hero tallying 80 points per year. You can also throw Tim Connolly in that mix as well. The biggest addition will be Tyler Ennis. The guy electrified the crowd each night as he toyed with opposing defenses. With a full year in the NHL, you may just see the Calder Trophy (Top rookie) stay in Buffalo.
DEFENSE: The Sabres’ defense changed quite a bit with the loss of Henrik Tallinder and Toni Lydman and the addition of Shaone Morrisonn and Jordan Leopold. The jury is still out on whether these are upgrades or not. But I can tell you that Morrisonn is a beast and will most certainly make up for any sort of physical aspect those guys provided.
GOALIE: Ryan Miller, defending Vezina trophy recipient. Enough said.
OVERALL: The Sabres will fare well in the regular season, that’s not what I’m concerned about. It’s the post season that terrifies me. After witnessing the debacle that was last year’s playoff performance, I can’t trust this team to give it their all. Hopefully addition of a veteran Stanley Cup winner in Rob Niedermayer will change the locker room into winners. Time will tell.
Sabres will be 6th in the Eastern Conference.
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