Tuesday, February 26, 2008

What did Brian Campbell bring in today

As has been reported many times, the Sabres sent Brian Campbell to the San Jose Sharks for Steve Bernier and a first round pick. Bernier has 23 points on the season with 13 goals, but is very streaky only having one point in the month of February. He really could fit well on this team being young, big and physical something that the Sabres really do need. He's 6'2" and 225. Not sure where he is going to fit in this lineup though being a winger. Most likely it will force them to send down first of Gragnani who really needs more work in Rochester before trying to crack the big club again. The main question is whose line is he going to be on and when Stafford and Afinogenov come back, is he just going to be relegated to the fourth line.

As for Brian Campbell there is a telling quote from his exit press conference:

Campbell admitted he was frustrated with the negations with the Sabres. He desperately wanted a long-term deal with Buffalo, but the Sabres offered just a three-year deal.

"I can't sign a three-year deal like that," said Campbell, who pointed out that Florida's Richard Zednik could have died in the arena this month and it forced Campbell to think of how short a players' career could be. "You see what happens. You have to look out for No. 1."

Looking out for No. 1 huh? Seriously, if you really wanted to stay in Buffalo you would have taken the three year deal which would have given you another chance at free agency again while you still had talent. You were getting a $6 million deal and you still have to think about No. 1. That tells me this had nothing to do with really wanting to stay in Buffalo and everything to do about the money. Darcy made a good call here because he at least got a return on his investment for Campbell and it does free up some money for Miller's extension.

Speaking of Miller, Pierre Mcguire made a semi-good point with him today saying that he does become an unrestricted free agent in 2009 just as the Red Wings will have an opening in goaltender. Miller played for Michigan State and really has a soft spot for playing in Detroit. While I think that he may want to go back, I really do hope that he is happy here in Buffalo and will consider staying here for the majority of his career.

It's Official

Brian Campbell has been traded to the San Jose Sharks. No terms known yet, we will keep you updated.

UPDATE: The terms are Steve Bernier and a first-rounder for Campbell. Seems like an underselling of sorts. We possibly could have gotten much, much more for that deal.

Christmas Day - Otherwise known as the Trade Deadline

I promise that I will analyze the bigger trades later tonight, but for now, I'm just trying to keep up.

-The Lightning have sent Vaclav Prospal to the Tampa Bay Lightning for defenseman Alexandre Picard and a second or third round pick in 2009. This is a good move for the Flyers who pick up momentum with the win last night against the Sabres. The Flyers are in desperate need of help on the blue line with the injuries Hatcher and Rathje. They sent Jim Vandermeer to Calgary.

- The Devils have acquired Bryce Salvador from the Blues for Cam Janssen. This is well not all that earth shattering, moving on.

- The Leafs have sent Wade Belak to the Florida Panthers for a fifth-round pick. Again, not much news, we'll move on and keep up the updates.

-News coming out being that the Lightning and Stars have a deal in place which will move Brad Richards as long as Richards waives his no trade clause. Its official now, waiting on the terms of the trade. Terms are now:

Lightning - Jokinen, Smith, and Halpern
Stars - Richards and Holmqvist

- Newest trade out is Canadiens send Cristobal Huet to the Capitals for a second round pick. I guess they really have faith in Carey Price. That second round pick is Anaheim's 2nd round pick in 2009.

Back with the updates:

- The Avalanche have sent Ruslan Salei to the Florida Panthers for Karlis Skrastins and a third round pick.

- The Hurricanes have sent Andrew Ladd to the Chicago Blackhawks for Tuomo Ruutu.

- The Senators have picked up Martin LaPointe from the Blackhawks for a sixth round pick.

- The Colorado Avalanche have picked up Adam Foote from the Columbus Blue Jackets for a conditional first round pick for either 2008 or 2009 depending on whether the Avalanche make the playoffs and another conditional pick whether Foote resigns with the Avalanche

- The Washington Capitals have picked up Sergei Federov from the Columbus Blue Jackets for Ted Ruth.

- The Vancouver Canucks have dealt Matt Cooke to the Capitals for Matt Pettinger all contingent on no movement clauses.

To finish up the last trades that happened before the deadline:

- The Blues traded defenseman Christian Backman to the Rangers for a second round pick

- The Leafs traded Hal Gill to the Penguins for a second and fifth round pick.

- The last major trade of the day involved Atlanta's Marion Hossa.

Thrashers - Colby Armstrong, Angelo Esposito, Erik Christensen, and a first round pick
Penguins - Marian Hossa and Pascal Dupuis

- The Wild got Chris Simon from the Islanders for a 6th round pick.

- The Kings sent Brad Stuart to the Red Wings for a second and a fourth round pick.

- The Rangers sent Marcel Hossa and Al Montoya to the Coyotes for Fredrick Sjostrom, David Leneveu, and Josh Gratton

- The Leafs sent Chad Kilger to the Panthers for a third round pick

- The Kings sent Jean Sebastien Aubin to the Ducks for a third round pick

- The Islanders sent Marc Andre Bergeron to the Ducks for a seventh round pick.

That wraps up all of the trades that have been listed as of 3:41 pm which should conclude the trade deadline.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Brian Campbell becomes the hottest defenseman on the market

All thanks to Dan Boyle. Boyle signed a 6 year, $40 dollar contract with the Lightning tonight. This has ramifications of two things for Campbell:

First it gives a contract figure that Campbell is either going to want to be matched or beat. That is 6 years, $6.66 million a year. Honestly, that asking price is way to high for the Sabres to match. It would tie up way too much cap space in essentially three guys: Vanek, Roy, and Campbell. That would essentially leave the odd man out in that race being Ryan Miller who will be looking in the same range as well.

Second, it decreases the number of offensive defenseman on the market. This is good news for the Sabres because it means that more deals just started opening up for them. All signs are still pointing to the San Jose Sharks, most likely a package deal including Patrick Marleau. Darcy has a policy of no one knowing his hand and if a deal or plan leaks out, it instantly gets killed. Therefore, we really have no idea what is going on in Darcy's head right now, or if the fax machine is even working correctly.

Here is the article from TSN on the Boyle signing: Link

Briere becomes hero again

The Sabres blow another point to playoff contending teams, this time losing 4-3 in a shootout to the Flyers. At least the Sabres picked up a point, which will place them in a tie with the Flyers for the 8th and final spot. To put the cherry on top, Briere scores the game winner in the shootout. The Sabres end up blowing an early 3 goal lead in the first period when R.J. Umberger scored the game tying goal in the third on the power play. The Sabres didn't look all that bad in this game, but definitely played it safe in the second and third periods which led to their undoing. At least we can hang out hats on the fact that we scored a point and still have a tenuous hold on the eighth and final spot. The major stars of this game really were the former heroes, Biron and Briere. Biron looked solid in the shootout while Briere knew the move to beat Miller pretty handedly. Pominville was the major star for the Sabres tonight scoring a goal and an assist. The next game up for the Sabres will be Wednesday at home against another former Sabre, J.P. Dumont and the Nashville Predators.

Trade Deadline Updates

With it being 18 hours from the end of the trade deadline, the rumors and news is flying fast and furious, so we will try and keep up with it as best we can.

- Mats Sundin will not waive his no-trade clause for the Leafs. This news is not a bad thing for the Leafs in that Sundin is still a player that has some sort of passion for the Leafs. I think that they need to consider moving most of the wasted space on that team, but Sundin has always wanted to be a Leaf and does not want to bail on his teammates. That loyalty is not such a bad thing. The Leafs need to consider moving the other dead weight that have no-trade clauses.

- Alex Tanguay will not be moved by the Flames, GM Darryl Sutter announced yesterday. Not sure about Tanguay on this one, but he does have one year left on his deal worth $5.25 million. The Flames have a handful of free agents that they still have to try and sign this summer so there will most likely be an odd man out.

- Peter Forsberg signed with the Colorado Avalanche. Honestly, who cares. Forsberg is not going to make an impact on a team that is still reeling from injuries. Colorado is sitting in the 10th position behind Phoenix and Nashville, both of which look to be serious contenders. This really is a non-factor.

-Brad Richards has given the Tampa Bay Lightning a list of teams that he would be willing to waive his no-trade clause for. That list includes Vancouver, Dallas, and Columbu. This gives the Lightning an option to open up some cap space after the stranglehold that the Big Three have on it. This may give them a goaltending option as well.

I will try and keep this updated as more news comes out toward the deadline.

Sabres/Flyers Preview

The Sabres blew a big game on Saturday against the Rangers and have a big game against the Flyers tonight. The Flyers have been struggling as of late, being winless in the last 10 games going 0-8-2. The Flyers seem to be struggling on all fronts, offense, defense, and goaltending. The Flyers are currently in the 9th spot, 1 point behind the 8th place Sabres. During this streak, the Flyers fans have mainly taken out their frustration on their new $6 million man, Daniel Briere. He has been booed during the last couple of home games and he gets to experience the same tonight since the game is in Buffalo. The main problem with Briere is that he is a -23 so far this season, which is good enough for 2nd worst in the league. Martin Biron, who we traded at the trade deadline last season, is also starting to struggle this season. After starting off hot, he has cooled off in his last couple of starts losing 6 of his last 7. He also has been replaced by Antero Nittimaki as the starting goaltender.

Heading to the injury lists for both teams, the Sabres got good news while the Flyers' news kept getting worse. Returning for the Sabres possibly could be Hecht who sat out of Saturday's game due to a sore leg muscle. Also good news coming from the Sabres camp could be the eminent return of Maxim Afinogenov. It is not sure when he will come back but it seems that he is getting better. For the Flyers, they lose the services of Mike Richards, who torn his left hamstring on Saturday against the Florida Panthers. He will be out for three weeks. Adding to that list is Simon Gagne, Darien Hatcher, and Joffery Lupul. Since being decimated by injuries, the Flyers added Jim Vandermeer from the Calgary Flames.

Here are the stats for the game:

Buffalo Sabres Stats
Goals: Vanek (26)
Assists: Pominville and Campbell (38)
Points: Pominville (55)
Plus/Minus: Roy and Paille (+10)
Penalty Minutes: Peters (75)
Majors: Peters (9)
Minors: Lydman (29)

Philadelphia Flyers Stats
Goals: Richards (23)
Assists: Richards (43)
Points: Richards (66)
Plus/Minus: Richards (+14)
Penalty Minutes: Cote (156)
Majors: Cote (18)
Minors: Hartnell (35)

Goalie Stats
Buffalo: Miller - 2.43 GAA, .915 SV%, 3 SO; Thibault - 3.50 GAA, .866 SV%, 1 SO
Philadelphia: Biron - 2.73 GAA, .916 SV%, 3 SO; Nittimaki - 2.74 GAA, .913 SV%, 1 SO

Special Teams
Buffalo: Power Play (19.0%, 7th); Penalty Kill (84.9%, 5th)
Philadelphia: Power Play (22.8%, 2nd); Penalty Kill (82.1%, 17th)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Bandits vs Shamrox Review

The Bandits looked good against the Shamrox on Sunday afternoon beating them 13-8. This puts the Bandits at 5-4 which is good for third in the Eastern Conference, two games behind the Philadelphia Wings. The Bandits really took control of the game scoring the first 5 which led to an 8-2 first quarter with the Shamrox never could recover from. The Bandits spread the offense around with five scorers scoring two goals a piece, Steenhuis, Tavares, Teat, Powless, and Bomberry. Other contributors include Kruger, Hill, and Vyse. For the Shamrox, the main man was Mat Giles with 4 goals and going 4-7 in faceoffs as well. The rookie Daniel Sams was the main star tonight, getting a win in his first start, letting in 8 goals on 60 shots. Sams started due to injuries to both Montour and Thompson. On the other side, Derek Collins takes the loss letting in 5 goals in 45 minutes. Brandon Miller was chased after letting in the first 8 goals of the game.

The Bandits next face the undefeated Philadelphia Wings on Saturday March 1st at 7:30 at HSBC Arena.

Thoughts about last night's game

The Sabres blew a big opportunity on Saturday by losing to the Rangers. This game really was a game of turnovers and giveaways by both teams and the Rangers just being able to capitalize better. Two goals were just basically passes off turnovers with open nets. Avery can shoot straight and buried home the game winner.

On the better side of the game, the Sabres really were able to get pressure and shots on net, but their power play looked well inept. Being in the top ten for both of the penalty kill and power play, the Rangers made them look bad all night in the Power play department. The PK looked all right, giving up one on a bad deflection.

Basically, this game was a waste of two points that could be key later. We move on to another key game against the Flyers on Monday on Versus.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Long Time, No Write

So I haven't written to this blog in now 11 days due to life. Pretty simple as that. There has been a lot of things that have gone on that I just haven't had a chance to write about.

- The last blog post I wrote was the Sabres/Sens preview for the 12th. Since then, the Sabres took the game against the Sens, who looked extremely flat and just wanted the game to end. Then the Sabres stole a game against the Leafs looking extremely worn out from playing 6 games in 9 days. That lack of energy really transfered over to the weekend, where the Sabres looked flat and flatter, losing to the Rangers and Penguins by a combined score of 9-2. Lets just say that the weekend wasn't pretty. After a break, the Sabres finally found their mojo in beating the Lightning and the Leafs Wednesday and Thursday night.

- The next game that the Sabres play would be the first homecoming of Chris Drury and the Rangers to Buffalo. More on this topic tommorrow.

- Thomas Vanek has become the leader that his contract should suggest and has shown that on the scoreboard scoring 11 goals in the last 8 games. And he has also guaranteed that this team will make a playoff spot. This is the Thomas Vanek that we have been waiting to see all season. He finally looks like he has confidence in his shot and that he is not gripping the stick too hard. He is starting to show leadership for this team.

- Brian Campbell on the other hand has shown that the contract negotiations have really affected his game. Either the pressure of the contract and the possibility of being traded, or something else has just festered into his brain and told him that he can't play. If he cannot handle this pressure, what is saying that he can handle the pressure of being the top defenseman on a team and that every glaring mistake is being analyzed because he is making $6 million a year. The Sabres just recently offered a contract in the $6 million dollar range, but has been refused by Campbell because it only was for three years. If this is not a sign that come the trade deadline, he won't be on this team anymore, I don't know what will.

- Speaking of the trade deadline, we are 4 days away from it and the biggest trade that we have seen is the Sens/Hurricanes trade with Corvo and Stillman. Because most teams feel that they are still in the playoff hunt and others are struggling with the salary cap, we probably won't see a lot of big trades this season. We here at Dueling Sabres will still update on any trades that occur, no matter how big or small. Thank god for the NHL Network here in the states running the TSN coverage of trade deadline day.

- Heading over to the Bandits, they dropped a possibly crucial game against the Toronto Rock on Friday 11-8. Ken Montour really kept this team in the game when the offense and defense just really fell apart. Montour has looked good in replacement for Mike Thompson who suffered a concussion against the Titans two weeks ago. Riding off that loss, the Bandits played what most likely will be the game of the season against the Swarm. Winning the game 16-14, Montour was the stud for the team only allowing 14 on 52 shots. After killing a 5 minute major, the Bandits rattled off 5 unanswered goals to take the lead on the Swarm and never really looked back. The was the Swarm's first loss on the season. The Bandits will take on the Shamrox this Sunday, with a preview coming later.

There is the stuff that I missed lately and I will commit that I will write more to this blog as both the Sabres and Bandits season wind down. During the offseason, I will be keeping updates on any news within the leagues and baseball. I should let you know that I am a Cubs fan and will follow them here and the other local teams. So, lets raise a glass to the rest of the season.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Sabres/Sens Preview

After what was a somber win on Sunday against the Panthers, the Sabres look ahead now to the revamped Senators. The Senators made a four player trade with the Carolina Hurricanes which sent Patrick Eaves and Joe Corvo to the Hurricanes while Mike Commodore and Cory Stillman went to the Sens. Both Stillman and Commodore will start for the Sens tonight. On the Sabres side, the saga that is known as Brian Campbell continues. Campbell reiterated again in today's Buffalo News that he still wants to be a Sabre and that he doesn't want the Sabres to move him before the deadline.

"Buffalo is where I believe I'll be at the end of the year. I feel strongly about it but I do know it's out of my control. I'm focused on the Sabres and that's it. Any time deadline day comes around for any player, you never know. For me, I hope that never is the case that I get traded."

For me, this is a just a bunch of rhetoric to keep the Sabres fans on his side. Really, Campbell is still looking for more money that this team can afford to be able to keep its core group. While talking heads at other media outlets have suggested that Campbell's departure would ultimately lead to a Miller departure, the only way I see that happening is if Miller wanted out on his own. Regier would hopefully not be as handcuffed in monetary terms to let the franchise go. If he does, then there are major issues within the front office that need to be addressed.

Onto the actual game at hand. The Sens have won the last two including beating the Canadians after getting beat a week ago. They are also starting to get healthy with the top three all healthy again with the return of Daniel Alfredsson. The Sabres are still fighting for that last playoff spot with the Bruins, being one point behind. Both teams are playing tonight, so for the first time in a long time the Sabres could end up with the 8th spot. Right now, the injury front for the Sabres still includes Maxim Afinogenov, Drew Stafford, and possibly Ales Kotalik. Kotalik did not play on Sunday due to the flu and word at this time has not come out to whether he will be playing tonight. Game time tonight is 7:30 pm.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sabres/Panthers Review

Scary night in Buffalo with Richard Zednik getting cut in the neck by his teammate Olli Jokinen. While the Sabres won 5-3, it really doesn't matter all that much as long as Zednik comes out alright. Our thoughts and prayers are with Zednik and his family.

Bandits/Titans Review

Matt Vinc was able to become the star against his hometown team. Vinc was a star for Canisius College and tonight he was finally able to beat the Bandits. He was the star for the Titans tonight who beat the Bandits 10-9 in overtime. Vinc stopped 34 of 43 shots while Jordan Hall netted the game winner on the powerplay. Casey Powell led the Titans in scoring with 3 goals and 2 assists and Mike McClellan had a goal and 4 assists. Dostie led the Bandits with 4 goals while Andrew Lazore's first game with the Bandits netted him 2 goals as well. Jordan Hall's game winning powerplay was caused by Delby Powless's roughing penalty. Mike Thompson started this game but was pulled 15 minutes into it. Ken Montour played the rest of the game giving up 7 goals on 37 shots.

Sabres/Panthers Preview

The Sabres blew a big game on Friday night after giving up a 2 goal lead in the third period. Up 2-0 heading into the third, the Sabres were outplayed and outshot 17-1, where the Bruins scored 2 goals to tie up the game and eventually win it with a Kessel shootout winner. Hence, the Bruins took away 2 points while the Sabres took 1 and still in 9th place with 58 points. They are looking to make up the ground they lost on the Bruins against the Panthers tonight who are in their own division race themselves. The inept Atlantic Division has the leaders, Carolina Hurricanes, at 58 points while the Panthers are looking up at them with 57 points. They have to go through two other teams to get to the top in the Thrashers and Capitals.

The Sabres will have the services of Tim Connolly after missing the last 13 games. Connolly will still be hobbled by a torn labrum and bone spur in his hip. He looks to play a limited role most likely on the power play and possibly penalty kill but will at least test the hip to see how much he can actually do. With the addition of Tim Connolly, the Sabres end up losing Drew Stafford who left Friday's game with a high ankle sprain. He is currently day-to-day but it is unknown on how long he is actually going to be out. This means that Kaleta will still be playing on the fourth line. Kalinin may also be out with a bruised foot that he suffered Friday as well. If he does not play, Paestch will fill in for him.

On the Panthers side, its a possibility that we see Craig Anderson in net, with Florida playing its second game of a back to back weekend. They won last night against the Bruins 6-3 with Vokoun in net.

With the back-to-back games that the Panthers have played and the travel, they may be a little fatigued. Therefore, the key to this game is going to be getting an early start. The Sabres have had a little rest, but they are coming off 3 games in 4 nights and start another one of those trips with this game. So, at this point in the season every point matters. With that, here are the stats for the game:

Buffalo Sabres Leaders
Goals: Roy (19)
Assists: Pominville (33)
Points: Pominville (47)
Plus/Minus: Paille (+13)
Penalty Minutes: Peters (65)
Minors: Lydman (25)
Majors: Peters (9)

Florida Panthers Leaders
Goals: Jokinen (28)
Assists: Jokinen (29)
Points: Jokinen (57)
Plus/Minus: Booth (+11)
Penalty Minutes: Salei (69)
Minors: Salei (32)
Majors: Booth (9)

Goalie Stats
Buffalo: Miller - 2.40 GAA, .915 SV%, 2 SO; Thibault - 3.78 GAA, .855 SV%, 1 SO
Florida: Vokoun - 2.72 GAA, .918 SV%, 4 SO; Anderson - 2.54 GAA, .918 SV%
Special Teams
Buffalo: Power Play (17.6% - 15th); Penalty Kill (84.3% - 17th)
Florida: Power Play (20.6% - 4th); Penalty Kill (81.4% - 16th)

Bandits/Roughnecks Review and Bandits/Titans Preview

Since this is a two game weekend, I figured that I would tie both the review of Friday's game and the preview of Sunday's game together. First the Roughnecks. The Bandits won 17-9 against the not-so reunion of Steve Dietrich against his old mates. Dietrich was originally set to start but was pulled when team doctors realized that he had suffered a concussion rather than the flu diagnosis he was given. In to fill in for him was Ryan Avery. Avery originally backed up Dietrich in Buffalo, but was then sent to the Roughriders in 2006. Boy did he get pounded. Avery gave up 16 goals on 47 shots and was eventually pulled with about 3 minutes left in the game. The Bandits leaders were Dostie and Steenhuis who scored 3 goals a piece and Tavares who netted 2 with 7 assists. Brandon Swamp filled in for the injured Roger Vyse who it appears may have a detached retina suffered at his construction job. For the Roughnecks, it was Curt Malawsky who did much of the scoring, scoring 3 goals. It was Mike Thompson in net for the Bandits giving up 8 on 51 shots. He was pulled late in the game to give Ken Montour some action, he saw 3:55.


Onto the Titans game on Sunday. This game will be played in MSG for just the second time for the Titans. Due to the 2 week lockout, the Titans will only get 5 home games. The Titans are looking for revenge after the 17-13 loss they suffered at the HSBC Arena. We should be seeing Ken Montour in net because Kilgour said before this weekend he wanted to get Montour some action in. The late minutes in the Roughnecks game would suggest that as well. He will face Matt Vinc for the Titans who played started against the Bandits during that January 19th game. The Titans did well against the Bandits and they did it through their specialty, on the man-up. The Titans went 6-14 on the power play on the 42 penalty minutes the Bandits had, including 4 major penalties. The Bandits were able to hold their own, scoring 2 shorthanded goals and going 3-8 on the power play as well. The Titans will be led by their leading scorer Casey Powell who has 12 goals and 15 assists which puts him tied for 10th in total league scoring. The Bandits will be led by their two major weapons, John Tavares and Mark Steenhuis. Tavares leads the team with 33 points while Steenhuis leads the team with 15 goals.

Here is the preview of the game from the Buffalo News with a good article on Matt Vinc.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Bandits vs Roughnecks Preview

The Bandits take a road trip this weekend up to Calgary friday night to face former backstop Steve "Chugger" Dietrich. Dietrich won the MVP award in 2006 while leading this Bandits team to a championship game loss. He will be accompanied by Kyle Couling who was part of that three-team trade to Calgary that helped bring Sean Greenhalgh to Buffalo. The Roughnecks played a double dipper last weekend taking both against Portland and San Jose to bring their record to 2-2. The Bandits had last weekend off and they are 2-2.

Roger Vise will miss this game due to an injury he suffered to his eye at work. He may be ready to play on Sunday against the Titans. This gives a chance for Brandon Swamp to crack the lineup. Also, we may get a chance to see new acquisition Andrew Lazore in this game. Kilgour was familiar with Lazore's game after coaching him in Akwesasne. The rest of the Bandits are ready to play with Bucktooth and Greenhalgh obviously still out. The Roughnecks have played well as of late with Dietrich's game starting to find its shape and working well with his teammates. The Roughnecks leading scorer Lewis Ratcliff has looked good scoring 11 in 4 games and having 17 assists on top of that.

This game should be fairly evenly matched with the advantage really going to the home team just with the crowd. For a look at what the Roughnecks are planning, here is an article about their repeat "blackout" from the Calgary Herald.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Fredonia State's Pink the Rink

I would like to give props to my college hockey who is running a breast cancer awareness event called Pink the Rink '08. This started last year where the team asked the fans to "pink out" the rink and bracelets and pins were handed out to raise money for the Breast Cancer Foundation. This year was taken to a whole new level. The hockey players this year will wear pink jerseys and auction them off during and after the game. Each of these auctions will be run silently through e-mail. This event was the brainchild of assistant head coach and sports management professor Gregory Heffernan. If you would like one of these jerseys you can contact him at gregory.heffernan@fredonia.edu. Also, the game is at 7pm on the campus in Fredonia. Come down and join us for a good cause and a better game.

Sabres/Devils Preview

The Sabres looked impressive again with their win last night against the 8th place Bruins. Paille has really matured over the last couple of years, keeping up a good work ethic during the 10 game winless streak and scoring 2 last night. The Hecht-Pominville-Paille line has really gelled and is taking shape. Here is hoping it continues.

The Devils come into tonight grabbing the win from the Penguins on Monday night. They came back from 2 goals down to tie it up and win the game in overtime. Parise ended scoring the game winner. The Devils are fifth in the Conference with 63 points, two points behind the division leading Flyers one game up. The Sabres are tied for 10th with the Capitals and Panthers and are 4 points behind the 8th place Bruins with game in hand. The Bruins and Sabres meet up again Friday night. Miller should be playing tonight, but don't be surprised to see Thibault in net sometime during this week. MacArthur will be in tonight after missing last night's game with possible food poisoning.

Here are the possible lines for the Devils for tonight's game:



Here are the stats for the game:
Buffalo Sabres Stats
Goals: Roy (19)
Assists: Pominville (32)
Points: Pominville (45)
Plus/Minus: Paille (+13)
Penalty Minutes: Peters (65)
Majors: Peters (9)
Minors: Lydman (24)

New Jersey Devils Stats
Goals: Parise (20)
Assists: Parise (28)
Points: Parise (48)
Plus/Minus: Martin and Oduya (+13)
Penalty Minutes: Clarkson (121)
Majors: Clarkson (15)
Minors: Clarkson (23)

Goalie Stats
Buffalo: Miller - 2.43 GAA, .914 SV%, 2 SO; Thibault - 3.78 GAA, .855 SV%, 1 SO
New Jersey: Brodeur - 2.23 GAA, .916 SV%, 4 SO; Weekes - 2.63 GAA, .906 SV%

Special Teams
Buffalo: Power Play (17.6% - 17th); Penalty Kill (83.9% - 9th)
New Jersey: Power Play (16.7% - 20th); Penalty Kill (82.0% - 13th)

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Bandits Trade Two Draft Picks to Shamrox

The Bandits have traded two 2008 second round draft picks to the Chicago Shamrox for Rusty Kruger and Chad Lazore. Lazore has played in two games with the Rox getting one assist and three loose balls. Kruger hasn't played this season but had 4 goals, 5 assists, and 23 loose balls in 10 games with the Rox and career stats of 124 goals and 239 points in 112 games. It will be interesting to see where these two fit into the lineup and what their roles are going to be.


EDIT: It has since been reported that Kruger has already been released from the Bandits.

Sabres/Bruins Preview

This game is big for both of these teams, with the Bruins being in the 8th spot and Buffalo 6 points behind them in 11th spot. These two teams meet twice this week, the first tonight in Boston. The Bruins have been a thorn in the side of the Sabres this year, taking the win all three times. The last Sabres win was April 5, 2007.

The Sabres will be led again by Ryan Miller who gave Buffalo a collective heartattack when he went down in the second period of the Thrashers game. He is going to be fine, only suffering a knee bruise and will most likely start. Maxim Afinogenov will not be though due to another tweak in his groin during practice. Neither will Tim Connolly. For the Bruins, it seems that Glen Murray won't be able to play tonight, but maybe able to return for the rematch on Friday. Marc Savard missed practice with the flu on Monday will play and Tim Thomas will start in net.

**Last minute edit, it looks like Clarke Macarthur is going to be out of the lineup due to the flu. Kaleta was recalled again to replace him.

From the Bruins Blog here are the expected lineups:




Here now are the stat breakdowns for the game:

Buffalo Sabres Leaders
Goals: Roy (19)
Assists: Pominville and Campbell (30)
Points: Pominville (43)
Plus/Minus: Paille (+12)
Penalty Minutes: Peters (60)
Majors: Peters (8)
Minors: Lydman (24)

Boston Bruins Leaders
Goals: Kobasew (19)
Assists: Savard (46)
Points: Savard (59)
Plus/Minus: Kobasew (+12)
Penalty Minutes: Chara (81)
Majors: Lucic (9)
Minors: Chara (28)

Goalie Stats
Buffalo: Miller - 2.43 GAA, .913 SV%, 2 SO; Thibault - 3.78 GAA, .855 SV%, 1 SO
Boston: Thomas - 2.28 GAA, .930 SV%, 1 SO; Auld - 3.02 GAA, .897 SV%, 2 SO

Special Teams
Buffalo: Power Play (17.6% - 16th); Penalty Kill (83.7% - 10th)
Boston: Power Play (19.3% - 5th); Penalty Kill (78.7 - 29th)

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Around the NLL for Week 6

My apologies for not posting during this week and putting up a preview for Week 6. So here is the review of the three games from Week 6.


San Jose vs. New York

The Stealth took the win in New York on Thursday night winning 12-7. The Stealth were led in the win by Jeff Zywicki and Luke Wiles each scoring 3. Matt Vinc was really hung out to dry in this game giving up 12 goals on 45 shots and the Titans leading scorer was Brendan Mundorf who scored 3 as well. Aaron Bold took the win for the Stealth playing well between the pipes letting in only 7 on 53 shots.


Minnesota vs. San Jose

The Stealth turned around and came home for their Saturday night showdown against the undefeated Swarm and consequently lost 14 -12. The Swarm look like another team to beat in the Eastern Conference led by the play of their goaltender Nick Patterson. He has played well enough to keep his team in the game and let his offense win it for the team. He let in 12 goals on 37 shots. The high flying offense of the Swarm was led by Andy Secore who scored the hat trick. The Stealth were led by Jeff Zywicki basically carrying the team on his shoulders scoring 5 goals and assisting on another 4. From the five minutes of this game I ended up watching I noticed one thing. This Swarm team can move the ball really well up and down the field, transition well, and create a good number of odd man rushes.

Portland vs. Edmonton

Curtis Palidwor had another bad game in net for the Rush letting in 6 goals on 17 shots in the first 17 minutes. This put the Rush in a hole that they really couldn't dig out of eventually losing the game 11-10. Matt Disher came in again playing the clean up role and officially getting the loss. The Lumberjax were led by Derek Malawsky scoring 3 while the Rush's top scorer were Mike Accursi and Jimmy Quinlan each scoring 3. Matt King had a solid game in net for the Jax only yielding 10 on 38.

Here are the standings after Week 6:

Eastern Conference
1. Minnesota (4-0)
2. Philadelphia (3-0) .5 GB
3. Toronto (3-2) 1.5 GB
4. Buffalo (2-2) 2 GB
5. Chicago (1-2) 2.5 GB
6. Rochester (1-3) 3 GB
7. New York (1-3) 3 GB

Western Conference
1. Colorado (4-0)
2. Calgary (2-2) 2 GB
3. San Jose (2-3) 2.5 GB
4. Portland (1-3) 3 GB
5. Edmonton (0-4) 4 GB