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Vulgar Opinions: Maple Leafs @ Sabres (3-21-13) Stars and Black Holes

03/21/13

Sabres strategy of not sucking appears to be paying off.

After Sunday night’s game, Ron Rolston held a press conference deep within the bowels of the First Niagara Center.  “It’s time to adopt a new strategy,” he said staring into the lights in a scene reminiscent of a passionate Stuart Bondek defending the great mayoral success Randall Winston.  “From this day forward, our plan is to not suck.”

“It’s something the coaching staff has talked about for a long time,” said Sabres alumni Teppo Numminen.  “But not sucking is so radical a strategy for this franchise, we were always hesitant to try it.”  This will mark the first time the Sabres have attempted the not-sucking philosophy since late in the 2010-2011 season.  As there are still several players left over from that campaign, there’s a good chance they’ll be successful.

Still there are a few players that will have some growing pains.  “Never in my life have I tried not sucking as a strategy,” said maligned winger Drew Stafford.  “The concept is so new to me, I think I need to do some reading before I can even wrap my head around it.”  Meanwhile, Thomas Vanek had a different approach: “I thought we were doing that already,” said the reticent winger, while Christian Ehrhoff and Ryan Miller nodded next to him.

The not sucking strategy has won the Sabres yet another game.  Stanley Cup imminent?  Only time will tell.

Stars:

  1. Christian Ehrhoff - Okay, so he’s not putting up a zillion goals, but his ability to be one of the Sabres best two way players more than makes up for it.  With Vanek cooling off and now hurt, and Pominville being a spineless sack of crap, he’s probably the team’s MVP this season.
  2. Steve Ott - He’s not a replacement for top line scoring, or even for whatever Derek Roy was, but he’s quickly become one of the few indispensable pieces on this roster.  If this team was made up of nothing but Steve Otts, they’d still be terrible, but they’d be a fun kind of terrible.
  3. Cody Hodgson - If he ever figures out the defense…

Unsung Hero:

  • Marcus Foligno - Good goal, good effort.

The Robert Wade Niedermayer Memorial Black Holes:

  1. Drew Stafford - Be honest, the shootout goal just kind of made you roll your eyes, didn’t it?
  2. Jordan Leopold - Weak effort on that last leafs goal, though Myers probably shares some of the blame.
  3. Mark Pysyk - Just kind of stared into space on the leafs second goal.

Unseen Goat:

  • None.

Leaderboard:

Awarding +3, +2, +1, +1, and minus the same for the stars and black holes:

  1. Thomas Vanek (+26)
  2. Ryan Miller (+22)
  3. Christian Ehrhoff (+16)
  4. Steve Ott (+10)
  5. Brian Flynn (+7)
  6. Jason Pominville (+5)
  7. Ville Leino (+1)
  8. Jhonas Enroth (+1)
  9. Kevin Porter (0)
  10. Mark Pysyk (-1)
  11. Adam Pardy (-1)
  12. Cody McCormick (-1)
  13. T.J. Brennan (-1)
  14. Andrej Sekera (-1)
  15. Tyler Ennis (-2)
  16. Robyn Regehr (-2)
  17. John Scott (-3)
  18. Mike Weber (-3)
  19. Mikhail Grigorenko (-5)
  20. Alexander Sulzer (-6)
  21. Jochen Hecht (-7)
  22. Nathan Gerbe (-9)
  23. Cody Hodgson (-9)
  24. Tyler Myers (-11)
  25. Patrick Kaleta (-14)
  26. Jordan Leopold (-16)
  27. Marcus Foligno (-16)
  28. Drew Stafford (-44)
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