A Smattering Of Thoughts
The Sabres won a road game for the first time in 50 days (too lazy to do research, crediting Jason Griswold with that stat) when Nathan Gerbe beat Martin Brodeur in the shootout. That contest’s conclusion marked the beginning of the Sabres’ inclusion in the All-Star break. They’ll play next in Montreal to close up the month of January. In the meantime, behold a smattering of thoughts on the team and organization!
The announcement that Jochen Hecht suffered his third concussion of the last 12 months just prior to game time caught the entire fanbase off guard. But it wasn’t until Lindy Ruff spoke about the German’s injury post-game that people began to genuinely worry. The words “emotionally unstable” have fans on edge about his mental health and safety going into a UFA summer following this season. Alex will have more thoughts on this tomorrow morning in a short Vulgar Opinions post.
Luke Adam’s Shrinking Ice Time
Fans are pulling their hair out over Luke Adam getting bumped further and further down the line chart, but The Scizz from Dear God, Why Us? Sports has a theory of his own worth considering:
Luke Adam was beyond winded every single time he finished a shift. I’m wondering if his cut in minutes has anything to do with conditioning. He started the year on the top line and has seen his minutes dwindle down, so maybe the young guy is having a hard time adjusting to the full-time NHL schedule.
Split MSG Broadcast Malarkey
Even before Time Warner Cable’s deal to carry MSG expired, fans could usually agree that their treatment of the Sabres was the weakest aspect of the organization. These games in the New York metropolitan area have been the worst, as the Sabres don’t have a crew on hand whatsoever to produce a pre-game show, intermission report, or post-game show. Ted Black has talked about the broadcast seemingly every time he’s been in front of reporters or on the radio, but I’ll let Mike Harrington handle this NYC metro area debacle with brevity:
Watching The Scoreboard vs #FailForNail
There’s a debate growing between fans on the Twitter over whether the team should battle back or tank for picks, and it’s pretty hard to argue in favor of or against either when thinking about the team’s future. On one hand, team’s like the Penguins and Blackhawks sucked for a long time and are now stacked. On the other hand, Alexander Daigle lurks around every tank for picks corner. Also, you always want the team to do as well as possible for experience and that rare chance they catch fire at the right time. The Sabres are only 11 points out of the playoffs, but are also already in lottery range and 13 points from the basement. 33 games remain on their schedule.
Amerks Visiting Buffalo In 2013?
One of the topics at the second blogger summit focused on the Americans playing a game in Buffalo next season, and vice versa. While Ted Black handily shot down the Sabres visiting Rochester, he seemed interested in the Amerks playing here. I was reminded of this when Keith Wozniak from Let’s Go Amerks! tweeted something in regards to the topic in relation to the Hershey Bears playing in DC:
This referred to the very poor showing at the Portland Pirates’ second visit to Buffalo (ironically, against the Amerks). Only a few thousand people showed up and those who did weren’t very electric. This was in stark contrast to the team’s first visit to Buffalo (against the River Rats – now the Checkers). Over 11,000 people showed up, many buzzing about hometown boy Tim Kennedy’s return to the city. The game was a circus, with piles of penalty minutes handed out (Nathan Gerbe got ejected after, in order, kicking a River Rat and then starting a fight with their bench) but featured Kennedy scoring and the crowd going bonkers in response. I can only imagine that a rejuvenated Sabres/Amerks union would bring in more than 11,000 fans, many of whom would likely be traveling Rochester fans.
What’s This Elmira Rumor About, Anyway?
Seemingly born on the loved-or-hated HF Boards, there’s this rumor that Terry Pegula is buying First Arena in Elmira, NY and either also buying the incumbent Jackals or moving another team in after buying it, too. I’m filing this rumor under unfounded, but I do really like the idea. It would give the Sabres total organizational control over three levels of hockey (NHL, AHL, and then ECHL, too) and cohesive developmental control over the prospects. I would like it to be true, but can’t help but regard it as total B.S.
Side note: Craig Rivet is having a great season with Elmira, which sits first in the Eastern Conference and third overall. The Artvoice’s hockey dept. visited Elmira in November and wrote a story about Rivet’s journey from captain of an NHL team to veteran mentor on an ECHL squad. Gee, that jersey design looks familiar…
Some Updates Would Be Nice
The Sabres have a number of projects that sit in the shadows as updates are slow to surface, if at all. How is the smartphone app coming along? Where in the process are the Sabres and Canisius College in building a shared rink? What is Ted Black planning for the old Ira G. Ross space (His few comments on the matter have been coy)? Perhaps we’ll get some information on them all soon. Fingers crossed.
Coming up on Black & Blue & Gold this week will be Alex’s aforementioned VO about Hecht, his latest power rankings, Dave’s video analysis of the goals from the Devils game, Stephanie’s recap from the Amerks game in Toronto, and maybe I’ll do some actual writing.