Monday, October 6, 2008

2008-2009 Buffalo Sabres: Offense

Last year, the Sabres were 4th in the league in goals scored. This year's offense has one major change, more long-term contracts. The Sabres forwards have not changed all that much. Gaustad will be out for a few weeks will a thumb injury, Mair and Connolly have not practiced all through training camp. Matt Ellis comes over from the Kings to fill in for the injured Gaustad. Other than that, the forwards have not changed.

The top line for the Sabres should be the Vanek/Roy/Afinogenov(Stafford). Hecht, Connolly, and Mair will play center. Pominville and Kotalik should be paired with Connolly, MacArthur and Paille with Hecht, and Peters and Kaleta with Mair. The goals should not be an issue with this team as the lineup has not changed and the forwards have only gained more experience. While the Sabres have had scoring issues in the preseason, it is the preseason. They will have trouble against trapping teams due to the fact that they are more of a run and gun offense, but if need be they can score goals.

Here is how the team should shake out:

90 Point players - Derek Roy. Derek Roy should be the scoring leader on this team. He is the most electric on the team and can make the most moves for the scorers. He also probably has the best shot on the team

70 point players - Thomas Vanek, Jason Pominville. Vanek will get most of his points through goals but won't get more than 70 points due to the fact that he doesn't feed as much. Pominville will most likely be on the second line for this team and that will hurt his point total

50 point players - Ales Kotalik, Maxim Afinogenov. Kotalik has a cannon of a shot but can also run hot and cold. Afinogenov can deke out a whole team but also runs hot and cold. This should hurt their point totals.

40 point players -Daniel Paille, Drew Stafford, Tim Connolly. These players can find the back of the net but lack of experience hurts them or injuries take them out of the game.

30 point players - Paul Gaustad. Gaustad is more of a physical player and does not put as many points on the board but can feed the puck well.

Less than 20 point players - Clarke MacArthur, Adam Mair, Patrick Kaleta, Andrew Peters, Matt Ellis. These are the not for primetime scorers.

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