Wednesday, August 13, 2008

NHL Four-cast: Buffalo Sabres

1 - Why is this team worth watching? Because you never know when Max Afinogenov will pull something like this or this. It doesn't happen all that often, but man is it fun to watch. Also, they re-signed Teppo Numminen and watching him play is a beautiful thing. Teppo, one of the few Jets left in the NHL, plays a silky smooth style of defense with poise and class.

2 - Are they better or worse than last year? Par for the course. They added Craig Rivet and Patrick Lalime so they are a little better defensively, but that is it. They didn't replace Soupy Campbell, they didn't replace the guy they got for him, Steve Bernier ... they just have to hope that their top guys - Vanek, Roy and Pominville - continue to grow and put the puck in the net. All three have the potention to score 40 goals (Vanek and Roy came close, Pominville needs to shoot more).

3 - Who should YOU draft in fantasy? Ryan Miller is a dangerous pick. He plays a lot, but he also gives up a lot of goals for an elite goaltender. He had a GAA over 2.6 and a save percentage around .900 ... not top tier numbers and even with Rivet in front of him, they won't get that much better. An extremely dangerous fantasy choice would be Tim Connolly. There is no mistaking Connolly's skill, but he has played 113 of 246 regular season games since the lockout. Jaroslav Spacek is also an injury case. If you have just to have to have a Sabre on your roster, stick with their top line guys.

4 - Is there anything more annoying than Rick Jeanneret's 'population of Pominville' call? I don't think so, unless you count Joe Micheletti's entire body of work. I find it dumbfounding that the people of Buffalo worship Jeanneret's loud, ranting, homer style of broadcasting, but whatever works, right? BTW - you too can work with him! The NHL has had the MSG director's position open for months now.

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