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A Glimpse Into Hockey Heaven

Entries in this blog

 

Pre Training Camp Sabres Projected Lineup

With training camp a little over two months away the Sabres will have a lot of roster spots up for battle. New GM Tim Murray and Head Coach Ted Nolan have stated since day one ice time will be earned not given. If the tone of prospect development camp was a slight insight into training camp, the coaching staff will be pushing competition and physicality hard. The goal of the Sabres offseason was to get harder to play against. I think they achieved their goal, perhaps too well and taking them out

Pegulaville26

Pegulaville26

 

Sabres Development Camp

This week the Buffalo Sabres held their development camp with all the prospects in the system. A chance for the fans to get a look at the real future of the Sabres. I'll start with main attraction 2014 2nd overall pick Sam Reinhart. Over the first two days in camp you can see Reinhart has come as advertised. He's shifty, great instincts, and quick hands. On the first shift of Tuesday nights scrimmage Reinhart made a great no look pass under pressure right on the tape of 2014 2nd round pic

Pegulaville26

Pegulaville26

 

In Limbo

Last week the SJ Sharks became the 4th team in NHL history to blow a 3-0 series lead. Right when it looked like the Sharks would drop the playoff choker label, they instead went on to have perhaps their worst playoff choke in history. In 2010 and 11 the Sharks lost in the WCF winning a combined 1 game, 2012 the Sharks lost to the Blues in the WCQF 4-1 as a 7th seed, in 2013 lost to the Kings in 7 games in the WCSF as a 6th seed and now in 2014 were sent packing again by the Kings. Every seaso

Pegulaville26

Pegulaville26

 

Keep or Defer

It's ironic that the last trade Darcy Regier made in his long tenure in Buffalo could be move that sets the Sabres up for a bright future. On October the 27th the Sabres sent Thomas Vanek to the New York Islanders for Matt Moulson a 2015 2nd round pick and a conditional 2014 1st round pick. When you look at the return Snow received on Vanek at the deadline (conditional 2nd and prospect); Regier outright robbed the Islanders. Everyone knows that Vanek is going to Minnesota on July 1st. I resp

Pegulaville26

Pegulaville26

 

The State of the Sabres

The Sabres seemed to be pulling off the impossible. They are the worst team in the NHL yet the fan moral was at a all time high. The fans were excited about the direction of the team under Pat LaFontaine and new GM Brian Murray. The residents of hockey heaven excepted the idea of losing and rebuilding. However after an eventful weekend in March the atmosphere has changed. On Friday the face of the franchise Ryan Miller and captain Steve Ott were traded to St. Louis. Most fans were sad, bu

Pegulaville26

Pegulaville26

 

New Era

1997-2013…The Darcy Regier era for the Buffalo Sabres has come to an end. For the first time in 16 years Regier is not calling the shots over the hockey department in Buffalo. A long time coming. Perhaps one of his worst decisions keeping Ron Rolston as head coach was also shown the door today. Under Rolston the Sabres went 19-26-6; however very few of those wins came in regulation. This year the Sabres gave up the most shot in the NHL and continued to be one of the worst teams in puck poss

Pegulaville26

Pegulaville26

 

The Art of Suffering

Suffering- “to undergo or feel pain or distress.” Since Sabres GM Darcy Regier dropped this now infamous line in the offseason the 2013-14 Buffalo Sabres season has been coined the “Season of Suffering”. So far the young season has lived up to that. The Sabres limp into Long Island tonight 0-6-1 tying the franchise record for worst start to a season. They’re the lowest scoring team in the NHL with 7 goals in 7 games and a NHL leading +/- defenseman in Mike Weber who’s a -9. Mikhail Grigoren

Pegulaville26

Pegulaville26

 

The Grigorenko Situation

“Grigorenko’s talent level is undeniable. He is a gifted offensive center who possesses great patience with the puck and the ability to thread passes all over the ice. He is a smooth skater and has the potential to be a top scorer in the NHL. Grigorenko has been criticized for inconsistent and disinterested play in the past, though he has played through injuries.” That is the scouting report on Mikhail Grigorenko from hockeysfuture.com. The section I bolded is the part to remember as I go thro

Pegulaville26

Pegulaville26

 

2013 Sabres Free Agency Targets

As we approach the offical start of Free Agency on Friday, teams are starting to talk to players in hope of agreeing to a deal before Friday. I expect the first day of Free Agency to be exciting. The Sabres themselves sit in an interesting spot this year. After attacking the top players in UFA the last two season under the Pegula regime I think they are going to take a different approach this year. I believe they are going to attack the second tier and look for players that will fit in with

Pegulaville26

Pegulaville26

 

Evaluating the Sabres Draft Day

The citizens of Hockey Heaven are still ready to jump off the cliff because Thomas Vanek and Ryan Miller are still Buffalo Sabres. To those people I say calm down, still a long way to go. I still believe Buffalo will do everything in their power to keep Vanek in blue and gold. However I mainly want to focus this on what did happen Sunday in Newark. The Sabres flirted early in the day with making a move to the 5 spot in a trade with Carolina. Rumors were swirling of Myers going to the Canes

Pegulaville26

Pegulaville26

 

July 1st and the Damage it can Cause

In light of the news that Brad Richards will be a healthy scratch for the Blue Shirts tonight in game 4 I thought it would be interesting to look at back some UFA busts that teams bet big on. I love July 1st as much of the next guy, however if I were running a NHL I would be cautious of the damage it can do. Numerous teams have bet big and lost big. More times than not that July 1st signing doesn't pan out. So here's a look at my top 10 free agency busts: 10. Michael Nylander-Washington Cap

Pegulaville26

Pegulaville26

 

Youth Movement

Don't look now, but all of the sudden the Buffalo Sabres are fielding the youngest team in the NHL. At an average age of 26.41 the Sabres have quickly flipped into develop the future mode. After this season with the likely departures of Jochen Hecht (35), John Scott (30), Ville Leino (29), Adam Pardy (29), and Ryan Miller (32), then put onto the roster possibly Mikhail Grigorenko (18), Zemgus Girgensons (18), Johan Larsson (20), Matt Hackett (24), Brayden McNabb (22), Chad Ruhwedel (23), and/o

Pegulaville26

Pegulaville26

 

So it Begins

With the trade deadline now passed the Sabres have choosen a direction for the future. That direction is exactly that, the future. Over the last week the Sabres shipped out Robyn Regehr, Jordan Leopold, and captain Jason Pominville. Regier has finally come to reality that the current core will not take the Sabres to the promise land. Buffalo is set to miss the playoffs for the 2nd straight season. Sabres GM Darcy Regier would not use the "R" word as he put in his post deadline press confere

Pegulaville26

Pegulaville26

 

Deja Vu

Here we are again for the 3rd straight season the Buffalo Sabres are looking to make a late season run to the playoffs. With 16 games left the Sabres sit 3 points out of the 8th and final playoff spot. Sabres have a date tonight with the struggling Lightning on a three game winning streak. This week will be a huge week for Sabres management to decide what they want to do next week at the deadline. With matchups against the Lightning, Panthers, Capitals, and Bruins this week the Sabres can t

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Pegulaville26

 

Moving in the Right Direction

Last week the Sabres showed signs of being an NHL hockey club picking up 7 of 8 points last week with wins against Florida, Tampa, NJ, and shootout loss against the Rangers. I'm still on the side of they are dead in the water however if they go out and take another 5 of 6 points this week against Carolina, NJ, and Philly then maybe they are in business. With the awful start the Sabres sit three points back of the Flyers going into tonight's game with 25 games left. However with teams only pla

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Pegulaville26

 

A New Direction

Tomorrow night at the Air Canada Center against division rival the Toronto Maple Leafs the Buffalo Sabres will have a new coach behind the bench for the first time in 14 years. Lindy Ruff was relieved of his duties today as head coach of the struggling Sabres. Although I've been calling for it and after last night expected it I was still shocked. Ruff coached the Sabres in 1165 games and had a 571-432-78(ties)-84 record for a .559 winning %. He led the Sabres to the playoffs 8 times in 14 ye

Pegulaville26

Pegulaville26

 

Accountability

Accountability....I've tossed this word around a lot the past three years in reference to the Buffalo Sabres franchise. In my mind I know who I consider accountable to the Sabres play over the past three seasons, but I don't know who Terry Pegula holds accountable. Last year the Sabres missed the playoffs and Darcy Regier along with Lindy Ruff were handed contract extensions. The only real change made from last years team was trading of Derek Roy. So am I to assume it was Derek Roy's fault t

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Pegulaville26

 

Roller Coaster Ride

Seven games into the young 2013 NHL half season you can see a trend developing for the Buffalo Sabres. Up and down play will likely be norm in Buffalo. To start the season the Sabres looked good beating Philly 5-2 and Toronto 2-1 to start the season. Then losing four in a row before beating the Bruins 7-4 last night in an up and down game. Sabres fans have to try to not get to low or to high this season. The Sabres are a team that will finish in that 6-10th place range in the Eastern Confe

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Pegulaville26

 

Down on the Farm

With the NHL Lockout now in its 103rd day I have found myself following the Sabres AHL affiliate the Rochester Americans for my hockey fix. The Amerks roster has a lot of players that have/will be playing for the Sabres at some point this season or next year. For those fans that are interested I thought I would give another update how some prospects are doing so far this year. First off the Amerks themselves as a team are 14-11-2-1 through 28 games. They sit 10th in the Western Conference in

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Pegulaville26

 

Where in the World

As we continue on this path known as the NHL Lockout, I figured I would give an update on the status of Sabres players and prospects playing around the world. I was able to pull myself into the mood of writing about hockey for the first time in three months today. I went to the Rochester Americans vs Hamilton Bulldogs game a couple weeks ago in downtown Buffalo to get my hockey fix. Seeing some current and future Sabres players play made me wonder about the other Sabres players playing around

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Pegulaville26

 

What About the Fans

As another work stoppage seems to be more and more likely I have people ask me what side do I favor? My answer always is neither, I'm on the fans side. I'm on the side of the people that are responsible for the growth of the game. The group that is truly affected by this lockout. When are the fans going to matter again in sports is the real questions? The fans put the dollars into the owners pockets and allow them to pay the players. Without the fans the NHL would not be in exsistence or s

Pegulaville26

Pegulaville26

 

The Dog Days of Summer

Now in the middle of August the Sabres continue their search for a top Center/Playmaker. Bobby Ryan's name continues to be connected with Sabres, as well as other players like Sam Gagner and Paul Stastny. Let's take a look what each player could bring to Buffalo along with what it may cost to acquire each player. Sam Gagner The 23 year old center really made a name for himself last season with his 8 point game. Gagner was one of the hottest players in the NHL for about a two week span las

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Pegulaville26

 

Why We Love the Game

In the middle of a boring offseason that has been on "pause" since Parise and Suter signed in the State of Hockey, I figured I would write about a fun topic today. From time to time I find myself bored surfing youtube looking for old hockey clips. I often land on the the Drury tying goal in Game 5 of the 2007 ECQF against the Rangers, Pominville's 2006 series clincher against Ottawa, Briere's game one winner against the Flyers in 06, Parise's tying goal in the olympics, and Patrick Kane's nast

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Pegulaville26

 

Fallout of the Weber Offer Sheet

The Flyers awoke the boring NHL offseason with a loud boom last night. Flyers signed Weber to basically a max contract offer sheet of 14 years and 110 million dollars. Flyers set up this contract with about 26 million in the first year with bonuses paid to Weber and with about 68 million paid out within the first few years depending on which reports you read. Salary cap circumvention? If I was the NJ Devils and the NHL approves this deal I would want a real good reason why I have to give up

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Pegulaville26

 

Sabres Development Camp Review

Today is the last day of Sabres Prospect Development Camp. All week the Sabres top prospects were ran through on and off ice drills. Every morning they woke up and worked with the Navy SEALS off ice and had a on ice practice open to the public. Last night in front of 5,000 Sabres fans at the First Niagara Center the highlight of the week the Blue and Gold scrimmage showcased the future for the Sabres. The line of Armia-Grigorenko-Girgensons was the main attraction of the night, but they were

Pegulaville26

Pegulaville26

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