Friday, September 21, 2007

2007-08 Preseason Foreplay: Buffalo Sabres

Rejected Sabres jersey design #41.
MJ2 on Flickr
Quick hits
Odds for the folks at gambler's anonymous

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


  1. Nice sign. There was a better on I saw via DS saying "put it in my five-hole Sidney!!" which was pretty sweet. Then again, I don't think you could really see her. Oh well

  2. kevin--in the event that you cover another team in pre-season foreplay, I give you permission to use pictures of me dressed as a Hanson brother last year for Halloween. Hopefully this link works better than other links I've tried here:

    (I put a space between / and e just to make it fit)


  3. T-Bo! T-Bo! T-...ah, who the hell is anyone kidding?

  4. thanks for the link domi, but it says that the album is private and it asks for a password. ?