With a handful of events sitting at the forefront of everyone’s collective memories, the NHL’s GM meetings are set to look like a breakdown of current events based on the potential changes that are set to be discussed.
Amongst the topics are diving, bullying and goalie fights. Exactly how goalie fights may be impacted could be quite severe.
Thanks to Ray Emery’s antics against the Capitals, talks surrounding goalie fights are likely to revolve around supplementary discipline or perhaps even doing away with the practice altogether. A few reports have indicated that a 10-game ban will be levied against any goaltender who chooses to cross the red line to fight his counterpart and I say that’s one step too far.
Even though a situation like what unfolded in Philadelphia is about as rare as a John Scott hat trick, the League needs to have some sort of safeguard against such events after coming away from the Philly brawl with egg on their face. It was a situation that likely called for a suspension to Emery for a reckless decision to (basically) attack a player who had no interest in engaging in a fight. But without any safeguards in place, there was nothing done by the League.
Now the League is likely to make a move to compensate for the previous shortcoming. If the chatter serves to be true, it will be something of an overreaction to the situation. Read more…
Sunday’s loss to the Steelers not only dropped the Bills to 3-7 on the year, but brought the Draft and offseason process closer to the forefront as the 2013 season is slowly turning towards yet another chapter in the tragic novel that is the Bills playoff drought.
The story this week was an inability to control the game at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. Playing against one of the worst lines in the league, Buffalo’s vaunted front four didn’t have much of an impact while the Bills running game never got rolling against the sputtering Steeler defense. It was almost as if the teams underwent a complete role reversal after the optimism surrounding this game. Read more…
Since it is already Thursday and I’m two full days past when I typically do a write up on the Bills game that was I’ll keep this to a minimum. Consider it a drive thru version of the Extra Point. Read more…
There’s been a whole lot of talk about where the Bills will reside once their newest lease expires in 10 years (or seven depending on what course of action they take).
While the current renovations will serve as little more than a soggy band-aid for the aging stadium, the lease is designed to provide the time necessary to get a new stadium designed, approved and built in Western New York. Of course seven to ten years probably isn’t long enough around these parts.
Although a shiny new stadium built on the Outer Harbor is probably the first choice for many new stadium advocates, I think that it’s more likely that Bass Pro will build a floating supercenter to support the new signature Peace Bridge span before a football stadium gets constructed on the Outer Harbor. Too many opponents with plans for parks, public access and other causes which simply don’t align with a billion dollar project such as that.
Bear in mind that a number of stadiums have been built in the past 10-20 years for relatively acceptable costs and there’s no reason to think that the new Bills stadium (open or with a roof) couldn’t be completed without eclipsing the billion dollar plateau.
Instead, I think there are a few more feasible locations throughout the city that would not only appease those who staunchly disagree with placing the stadium on the water but also the parties who hope to see the stadium built in the city limits. I’ll go in order of most ridiculous and unrealistic and work my way down to the plan I like best (forgive the sloppy photo work). Read more…
Drew Brees and New Orleans’ air attack did the Bills in on Sunday as the five touchdowns tossed by Brees accounted for all the scoring from the Saints on Sunday.
Buffalo held a lead for some time during the contest after a Stevie Johnson touchdown and Dan Carpenter field goal but Jimmy Graham scored a pair of touchdowns in the second and third quarters with a 69-yard bomb to Kenny Stills helping to recapture the lead for New Orleans.
Graham’s first score would be all the Saints needed, but his second score was followed by another late bomb to Stills that rolled up the final 14 points for New Orleans. It was a dominating performance by Brees who took control of the game while being sacked four times by the Bills. Read more…
The Sabres made up for their lack of response during Jason Pominville’s return by running a nice tribute to Lindy Ruff on Monday night.
Ruff’s return has been circled on the calendar since the schedule came out this summer and showing some sort of respect for the longtime coach was likely an easy decision for the Sabres. But it isn’t something that has been the norm for other former Sabres making their return to the city they once called home.
There haven’t been many players who have come back to town worthy of any sort of acknowledgement from the club in the past few years. Maybe only Marty Biron would register for most of the fans. It goes to show how few and far between these opportunities are. By extension, the rarity also makes it that much more important to get it right.
Eric from 3rd Man In has a good take on Pomnville’s return, the non-response from the Sabres and why it should be easy enough for them to take a little time to honor these former players when they come back. Since Thomas Vanek and Ryan Miller will be making their way back to First Niagara Center sometime in the next 12-18 months, I’ve cooked up a flow chart to help decide if former Sabres deserve a quick moment when they come back to the First Niagara Center ice.
The one thing this doesn’t take into account is the rental player or plugger who may be on a championship squad but never leave a lasting impression. But those types of guys shouldn’t be difficult to weed out. This is designed as; A) a joke; and B) a way to determine if tenured members of the team deserve to be acknowledged.
Pominville and Thomas Vanek are great examples in this case as they both played significant roles through their tenure and grew to be fan favorites prior to departure. They both fall into the category of guys who deserve to be honored and hopefully the Sabres follow suit when Vanek returns for the season’s final game.
Ed Note: This can apply to any team, simply switch out Sabres with your team of preference.
Matt Moulson must be some kind of magician. Because with a flick of his wrist he made a legion of fans forget about Thomas Vanek hours after they were bitching about his departure.
At least that’s the narrative I’m going with.
Moulson’s Sabres debut was a strong one. He scored a pair of goals – one beauty and one in a “dirty area” – and helped energize Buffalo’s new top line alongside Cody Hodgson and Tyler Ennis in a 4-3 loss to the Stars.
Moulson’s debut was likely overshadowed by the return of Lindy Ruff and another tick in the loss column as the #SuckForSam sweepstakes continue. Perhaps Moulson’s start helped to draw some attention away from Ruff’s return considering last night’s loss was one of the few, shall we say, competitive contests the Sabres have played all year.
The issues were still there as Buffalo’s in-zone coverage continues to resemble some sort of union of mini-mite group puck chasing and a glitchy version of Lemmings for Windows 95. Never was it more evident than on Vernon Fiddler’s opening tally in which Mikhail Girgorenko and Drew Stafford were left spectating as the Dallas forward crashed the crease to stake the Stars to a 1-0 lead.
While the Alex Goligoski goal was simply a well-placed snipe. Both Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn potted goals off of atrocious Sabres turnovers that managed to create two odd-man opportunities below the faceoff dots. To give up not one, but two situations such as that is something that shouldn’t occur in the NHL. Read more…