MJ2 on Flickr
- Rick Jeanneret is crazy -- in a good way.
- Thanks to Oilers' GM Kevin Lower, Thomas Vanek now has more money than he knows what to do with.
- Rob Ray, kicking ass and taking names. Why would you ever want him to do anything else?
- One thing we do know; the Sabres know how to throw a good house party.
- Buffalo has won the Northeast Division twice, exactly ten years apart (1996-97 and 2006-07). Start preparing that 2016-17 banner now!
- In case you forgot, like I did, Jocelyn Thibault is still an NHL goaltender.
47 to 1: Rick Jeanneret mouth opens so wide after calling Maxim Afinogenov's first goal of the season, he accidentally eats his co-host.
124 to 1: Sabretooth finds a way to induce another ice age.
Obligatory serious analysis
Except for the Nashville Predators, no team has had a tougher and more tumultuous off-season than the Buffalo Sabres. After winning the President's Trophy and getting stomped out in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Sabres saw their two biggest stars (and co-captains) flee through free agency. Chris Drury made a quick trip downstate to the New York Rangers, while Daniel Briere also moved to the Atlantic Division after signing with Philadelphia. Additionally, deadline acquisition Dainius Zubrus left for New Jersey.
One of the bigger stories out of Buffalo this summer was the re-signing of Thomas Vanek. After Drury and Briere had bolted, Edmonton GM Kevin Lowe made an offer sheet to Vanek, who was a RFA. The Sabres matched the offer, signing Vanek to a huge seven year, 50 million dollar deal. To make matters worse, defenseman Teppo Numminen has been having some health problems and owner Tom Golisano has been crying poor.
Fear not! Help is on the way, Buffalo. It comes in the form of net minder Jocelyn Thibault, the Sabres only major off-season acquisition. Oh boy. It's going to be a long winter in upstate New York.
The Sabres finished 1st in the NHL in scoring a year ago, and there's no doubt that mark will decreased quite considerably this season. Hopefully for them, Tim Connolly will finally be healthy and Afinogenov, Pominville, Roy and Vanek can repeat their successes of last season. Chances are, the loss of Drury and Briere will not only drop the Sabres offense down a few pegs, but those four players numbers will likely decrease as well.
The good news for Buffalo -- and there's not much of it -- is that their defense will essentially be the same that is was a year ago. They are returning the same blueliners and netminder that helped them finished 5th in the East in goals against. That's not going to help much, but it's some solace for a team and fan base that is absolutely reeling.
Prediction: Obviously, this isn't a team that will be able to defend it's President's Trophy. If their returning forwards can repeat their production from last season, the Sabres should find themselves in the seventh spot in the East.
The best looking ice girls in Buffalo
Oh, those crazy girls in Buffalo.
Previous Editions of Preseason Foreplay
- Atlanta Thrashers - August 15th
- Boston Bruins - August 27th
- Calgary Flames - September 2nd
- Chicago Blackhawks - August 24th
- Colorado Avalanche - September 13th
- Columbus Blue Jackets - August 22nd
- Dallas Stars - August 13th
- Edmonton Oilers - September 1st
- Florida Panthers - August 26th
- Los Angeles Kings - September 8th
- Minnesota Wild - September 1st
- Montreal Canadiens - August 29th
- New Jersey Devils - August 19th
- New York Islanders - September 20th
- New York Rangers - September 16th
- Ottawa Senators - September 18th
- Philadelphia Flyers - September 6th
- Pittsburgh Penguins - September 6th
- Phoenix Coyotes - August 14th
- St. Louis Blues - September 9th
- Tampa Bay Lightning - August 18th
- Toronto Maple Leafs - September 11th
- Washington Capitals - September 12th