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 Example of a good team season preview

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HockeyMediaPlus
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PostSubject: Example of a good team season preview   Sun Aug 08, 2010 8:49 pm


Buffalo Sabres Season Preview

After a disappointing first round loss to the Boston Bruins in the '09-'10 campaign, the Buffalo Sabres hope to build on what was a very successful regular season. Although General Manager Darcy Regier's offseason moves have been somewhat questionable, the Sabres believe they have the talent to remain among the Eastern Conference elite. On July 1st, 2010, Buffalo let go two of the franchise's most sturdy, reliable defensemen in Henrik Tallinder and Tony Lydman. Tallinder signed with New Jersey to a four-year, $13.75 million dollar contract, while Lydman inked with the Anahiam Ducks for 3 years, worth a total of $9 million dollars. Regier brought in journeyman Jordan Leopold and ex-Capital Shaone Morrison as replacements. Additionally, prospect Mike Weber hopes to finally make the team's starting lineup. Weber has three career assists and is a +9 in 23 total games played with the NHL club. On August 3rd, 2010, Darcy Regier announced the buyout of Buffalo native Tim Kennedy. Kennedy was known for his relentless forechecking and had great work ethic. He was also seen as a young player who had not yet reached his full potential. Fans of the team were in outrage after hearing of the buyout, mostly because Kennedy played with much more passion in his game than some of those in the supposed "top 6" group of forwards. Other offseason moves include the signing of veteran Rob Niedermayer, and the resigning of goaltender Patrick Lalime, defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani, and forwards Mike Grier and Patrick Kaleta.


Ryan Miller must continue his stellar play for Buffalo to succeed in the upcoming season.



It's no secret that Buffalo's success in '09-'10 was, for the most part, due to the play of superstar goaltender Ryan Miller. Miller posted a record of 41-18-8, with 5 shutouts, a GAA of 2.22, and a SV% of 9.29. He also led the underdog Americans to a silver medal run in the Vancouver Olympics. Miller was rewarded for his efforts by winning the Vezina Trophy and the NHL Foundation Player Award at the 2010 NHL Awards. The big question is, can Miller keep his play at such a high level without getting burned out. Backup Patrick Lalime has been very lackluster, to say the least, in his two seasons in Buffalo. Lalime has won only 9 games in 40 appearances with the Sabres. The Sabres will only go as far as phenom goalie Ryan Miller can take them.


Rookie sensation Tyler Myers backstops Buffalo's defense corps.



Buffalo's defense is, by far, the most suspect part of thier roster. Beyond sophomore Tyler Myers, Buffalo's defense consists of: captain, Craig Rivet, Steve Montador, Jordan Leopold, Shaone Morrison, Andrej Sekera, Chris Butler, and Mike Weber. Rivet is coming off of major shoulder surgery, Leopold and Morrison are new to the system, and Montador, Sekera and Butler have been marked as inconsistent players. Weber has been on the brink of cracking the Sabres roster for the past few seasons, and this could finally be his chance. The loss of veterans Henrik Tallinder and Tony Lydman could plague the team if the newcomers cannot fill their shoes. Buffalo also lacks a true powerplay quarterback, but the team believes that Myers can fill that role. Buffalo's blueliners must be able to protect Ryan Miller and hopefully add some offense along the way.


Tyler Ennis will help spark Buffalo's offense in his first full NHL season.



Buffalo's group of forwards weren't too bad during the regular season, but several of the skilled players have been labeled as "soft", and disappeared during the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Specifically, Derek Roy, Tim Connolly, and Jason Pominville failed to produce. The top six is rounded out by two-time 40 goal scorer Thomas Vanek, youngster Tyler Ennis, and the underachieving Drew Stafford. Ennis was the 26th overall selection in the 2008 NHL draft. He's extremely agile and had tremendous hands. Although he may be just 5'9", 163 lbs, Ennis is a hard-working player and isn't afraid to go toe-to-toe with some of the bigger defensemen in the league. Buffalo's third and fourth lines made big contributions last season and the Sabres will need those players to help score if the top six continues its inconsistent ways. Penalty kill specialist Jochen Hecht had a huge season, potting 21 goals and 21 assists. He could threaten Stafford's spot on the second line. Mike Grier, Patrick Kaleta, and Paul Gaustad also reached double digit goal totals in '09-'10. Rob Niedermayer will likely assume duties as 3rd line center and Matt Ellis will battle it out with 2009 AHL Rookie of the Year Nathan Gerbe for the final roster spot. Buffalo's balanced offensive attack should give them enough scoring to win games with Ryan Miller between the pipes.


The upcoming season will be the franchise's 40th anniversary, and the team will be ditching the current "slug" jersey design. It will also be head coach Lindy Ruff's 14th season as head coach. He is the longest tenured coach in the NHL. Sabre fans have high expectations that the team will finally bring the city of Buffalo a championship in 2011.


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Last edited by HockeyMediaPlus on Sun Aug 08, 2010 11:15 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Wow   Sun Aug 08, 2010 9:04 pm

Congrats on the forum dude. Dont know how much ill be on here though Laughing Laughing Laughing bounce
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PostSubject: Re: Example of a good team season preview   Sun Aug 08, 2010 9:04 pm

ThrashinFlyer wrote:
Congrats on the forum dude. Dont know how much ill be on here though Laughing Laughing Laughing bounce

Yeah, there is still a ton of stuff I am going to add.. There will be a NHL talk section and off-topic section and there will be no censoring
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