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Vulgar Opinions: Flyers @ Sabres (1-20-13) Stars and Black Holes


I used to do this piece over on my personal blog before I shut it down, and then again on Twitter, but that didn’t leave much room for discussion.  So I’m bringing it here, the Criminally Vulgar Stars and Black Holes of the game!  This year, I’m adding new wrinkles, the Unsung Hero, and the Unseen Goat.  As always, first, second and third stars get players a +3, +2, and +1 respectively, and the black holes do the opposite.  Unsung Hero and Unseen Goat will be +/- 1.


  1. Thomas Vanek – Two goals, three assists, five points, general force of nature?  A ridiculous NINE shots on goal.  I love it when it’s this easy.  Oh yeah, he had 3 takeaways, 0 giveaways and logged 19:17.  More of this Lindy.
  2. Cody Hodgson – I’m glad Hodgson finally got a goal for his effort.  Trailing only Vanek with seven shots, he was a factor all afternoon.  Add in his 11-9 record on faceoffs (more on these later), and you’ve got a solid, solid game.
  3. Jason Pominville – Lost in the above is Pominville’s dependable 3 assist outing that featured 4:03 of power play time and 2:35 of shorthanded time.

Unsung Hero(es):

Steve Ott, Drew Stafford, and Tyler Ennis – Three players!  I do what I want!  What’s not to like here?

  1. Steve Ott just brings a different dynamic to the team.  He hustles and it shows.  I thought the backcheck by the Sabres forwards was real strong, and that is largely a product of Ott’s influence.
  2. Drew Stafford did a great job in dropping the gloves, and held his own in what I thought was mostly a draw, perhaps also a product of Ott’s influence.
  3. Tyler Ennis had an energetic game, and more importantly went 11-6 on faceoffs, a department this team has been lacking in for years.  If he can be a top 6 guy AND win faceoffs, the Sabres will be in great shape.

Black Holes:

  1. Tyler Myers – He looked lost at times, and then gets the game winning goal.  What do you do?  If the Sabres are to be elite, Myers needs to be a smarter and more complete player instead of succeeding because of his physical attributes.
  2. Andrej Sekera – Weak in his own end on the two Flyers goals, and yet a factor in holding an explosive Flyers team to just two goals.  That’s how it goes with Sekera, he’ll make the occasional soft play, but he’s also uniquely suited to stick to some of the game’s best forwards.
  3. John Scott – Contributed nothing.

Unseen Goat:

  • Marcus Foligno – Foligno was just okay.  I wonder if his early antics played a role in Stafford and not him going after Hartnell.  Did he get warned by the officials?  I would’ve liked to have seen a shot on goal out of him at least.

I’ll wait until we’re a few games in before I start posting a leaderboard.  Enjoy.


4 Comments leave one →
  1. jenlaz61 permalink
    01/20/13 4:27 PM

    I think it was obvious the 1st line had a stellar game. When I determine my stars, I tend not to look at points, but rather effort. Unless, it is clearly needed. I mean, I probably should have given Vanek a star because he dominated the points and his effort was there. I am sure I’ll hear a lot of criticism on that. However, I feel more players deserved the nod for the effort they provided. I think Tyler Ennis deserves the 1st star. Crazy? Maybe. But, he was heard each shift he was out there. He created a chance on mostly every shift, and even during the dreadful 2nd period, he was still giving 100%.

    I disagree with Foligno. I do think he became less apparent in the 3rd. However, in the 1st period he brought us most of the momentum. I wanted to see more offense as well, but he did create a few chances for us. I think it was important for him to show us his physical side because so much has been said about Scott, Kaleta, and Ott. He was not in that conversation, but now he will be.

    • 01/21/13 4:31 AM

      Call me conventional, but you always give the player with 2 goals and 3 assists the star instead of the player with one assist.

      • jenlaz61 permalink
        01/21/13 9:01 AM

        No, I know. I am being too hard on the guy. I thought he was sleepy in the 1st period and I held onto that for the whole game. Looking back after writing my review and seeing what others had to say, I know I was wrong not to give the guy a star. Oh well, I am sure he will be in my Top 3 more than anyone else by the end of the season 🙂

  2. 01/20/13 7:46 PM

    Third star: Hecht
    Second star: Sulzer
    First star: Ehrhoff

    The Germans rule. Every game.

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