I realized that I failed to put up a Stanley Cup Final prediction. I did one for one of my other blogging gigs at Great Skate. Read my thoughts here.
With the draft just two weeks away, I’ve been taking a look at some different points in Buffalo Sabres draft history. As the Sabres enter a draft with two valuable first round selections and two more second round choices, I thought I’d take a look at the best players selected in each round throughout franchise history.
Much like the All-Time first round picks post I ran earlier this week, this is to serve as a comprehensive breakdown of the best player the Sabres have found in each round of the draft dating back to their first selections in 1970. While the draft extended upwards of 12 rounds years ago, I only took this to round 10 as the pickings were slim enough past the seventh round. In addition to the primary choice for each round I will add in other, random, picks from throughout Sabres history. Some will be great picks while others will be fun to remember where they were chosen.
Starting with the first round, here is the All-Time Sabres draft breakdown: Read more…
For the second-straight year, the Sabres enter the NHL Entry Draft with a pair of first round selections. Slotted in at eight and 16, the Sabres will have the opportunity to round out their portfolio of first round picks at an even 50 after 43 years of drafting.
In honor of picks 49 and 50 being made at the end of this month, I went through each of the first round picks the Sabres have made and have compiled a fantasy draft, of sorts, that chronicles the best selection made at each pick in the first round throughout the Sabres history.
There are ten spots the Sabres have never picked. Picks two, three, four, eight, nineteen, twenty-five and twenty-seven through thirty. Buffalo has made a handful of supplementary picks in some of those spots, but I chose not to include them in this practice. Starting with the 30th selection, here is the All-Time Sabres first round: Read more…
A little while back plans were put in place to roll out significant improvements to the “feature rink” at the Northtown Center in Amherst. The renovations were going to focus on the antiquated design of the benches and penalty boxes while also installing new boards and seamless glass.
UB Bull Run happened to have some specifics on the project when it was announced and I had the opportunity to play on the rink for the first time since the project wrapped last night. I can unequivocally say that the cosmetic improvements were great, but the playing surface was sacrificed as a result. Based on the way the rink is laid out, it’s a shame that a junior program and competitive collegiate team will use this rink as their home for the coming winter.
The most noticeable difference is the gleaming new boards and glass. Seamless glass runs between the hashmarks with traditional, blue trimmed stanchioned glass rings around behind each net. In addition, the penalty boxes and benches were expanded from their previously miniscule dimensions to just kind of small dimensions. The boards are fresh and look great and the entire package will look very cool for UB and Jr. Sabres home games as the blue stanchions will look right at home. However, the new boards provided the opportunity to alter the layout of the rink and those in charge of the Northtown Center took the bait. I wish they hadn’t. Read more…
Ron Rolston’s return was somewhat expected. He wasn’t a total catastrophe during his stint as Buffalo’s interm bench boss and he was rewarded with the removal of the interim tag at a vote of confidence as Buffalo’s head coach moving forward.
While not too many people were happy about it, I’ve been left wondering one thing: Isn’t this exactly what everyone wanted?
The sluggish start to the regular season eventually led to the axe falling on Lindy Ruff with Rolston stepping in to fill Ruff’s 15-year old shoes. He did so with a carryover coaching staff and what ended up being a significant portion of the Rochester Americans opening day roster in front of him. With the season wrapped, the Sabres let both Kevyn Adams and James Patrick walk away, leaving the door open for Rolston to bring in a coaching staff of his choosing. Therefore, once the 2013-14 season begins, the Sabres will have a brand new coaching staff behind the bench; precisely the type of cast they have clamored for over the past few seasons.
Obviously Ron Rolston isn’t the sexy choice for anyone. He’s a relatively mild mannered guy who won’t make too many press conference highlight films. Some have said he’s a carbon copy of the GM and I can’t say I disagree. This is probably why everyone is so upset at the choice of Rolston as the permanent coach. Not so much because he doesn’t have the potential to be a good coach, but because his name isn’t Patrick Roy and he was likely cherry picked by the browbeaten GM for the role. Read more…
Now that the NHL’s final four (and last four Cup champs) have advanced to the Conference Finals, it is time for another edition of playoff picks. While I was a respectable 6/8 in the first round, I only managed two correct picks for the four second round series. While 50% is great in baseball, it isn’t all that fantastic considering the picks I made.
The Conference Finals pretty much have the exact four teams most expected to see when the playoffs first opened and these four favorites certainly haven’t disappointed. Maybe Los Angeles wasn’t expected to advance to this point, but the other three were certainly penciled in.
So, with a score of 8/12, I look to improve my score as the 2013 NHL season continues to meander to a close. Read more…
A little while back I had some fun and put together a definitive hockey roster made up solely from characters in fictional hockey movies. The rules were pretty simple; Team could only feature players who appeared in a movie that featured hockey and movies based on true stories did not qualify for the roster. So I decided to follow the same rules and craft a football team roster out of fictional movies.
Movies (I also used one TV show) about high school, collegiate and professional teams were considered and each player was evaluated for his play on the field, not the level they played at during each film.
Funny enough, most football movies only focus on quarterbacks, running backs, receivers and the middle linebacker. Shocking, I know. Rarely are significant characters written in at other positions. However, I scoured these films and managed to fill an acceptable 22-man roster. There simply wasn’t enough depth at each position to provide backups. So this won’t be a two-deep depth chart but will have a few additional players (WR and DB) to accommodate for subpackages. Additionally, I went with a 3-4 defense due to the abundance of talent at the linebacker position in literaly every football movie.
Owner: Christina Pagniacci (Any Given Sunday): I’m not much of a Cameron Diaz fan (I think she’s pretty obnoxious) but Pagniacci was willing to do anything to get her team to succeed. That’s the type of trait in an owner I like to see. Deep pockets and looking attractive in yoga pants helps and I’m certain Pagniacci meets all three criteria.
GM: Tony D’Amato (Any Given Sunday): This is a promotion for the firey head man from Any Given Sunday. Of all the coaches in football movies I feel like he has the aggressive approach I’d want to see out of my GM. Ensuring he gets along with his owner is another story.
Head Coach: Jimmy McGinty (The Replacements): In hindsight, McGinty may actually be a better choice as a GM. He did a hell of a job picking a competitive roster for the Washington Sentinels and I’d imagine he’d be equally adept with a full year of roster management. That being said, he takes a pragmatic approach to the game and gets the most out of his players. A great fit for my team.
Offensive Coordinator: Coach Klein (The Waterboy): SCLSU’s Bourbon Bowl victory allowed Klein to find his manhood. It also allowed him to rediscover the offensive genius that penned the magical green notebook that would have made him a shoe-in for the University of Louisiana position all those years back. This type of dynamic thinker is who I want dialing up the offense.
Defensive Coordinator: Montezuma Monroe (Any Given Sunday): It’s Jim Brown, c’mon son. The on-field results really spoke for themselves. The Sharks had a hard hitting, aggressive defense. Given the linebacker corps I’ve rostered, I think Monroe will be a great fit.