Vulgar Opinons: Sabres 2013 Season Awards
First of all an easy and obvious three stars for the final game, Miller, Flynn, and Grigorenko with an Unsung hero to Vanek. Black hole to Stafford. Where does that leave us? With a bunch of awards to give out of course.
Unseen Goat of the Year:
Given to the player who, while not overtly terrible, had a major hand in the team’s failures. And it’s a tie! It goes to Tyler Ennis and Cody Hodgson, both with 5. There was a lot wrong with this team, but behind the defensive woes and the inability to score was the team’s stunning lack of defensively capable centers. That’s not to say it’s Hodgson’s or Ennis’s fault either. Darcy Regier gave them a task they were not equipped to handle.
Third Black Hole of the Year:
Given to the player who accumulated the most third black holes. I think you get the idea. The winner is…Tyler Ennis with 6! While Hodgson was relatively consistent throughout the year, Ennis had prolonged periods of inactivity that put him over the top.
Second Black Hole of the Year:
Another tie…Marcus Foligno and Drew Stafford with 6 apiece. Again, Foligno is young and he was forced into a role he either isn’t ready for or isn’t suited for. Drew Stafford? He just sucks.
First Black Hole of the Year and Team LVP:
Drew Stafford with 19 first black holes, 13 more than the next closest player and a -64 overall. In all honesty, I think Stafford usually plays an okay game. The problem is that okay is far short of what his pinnacle is given his size and his skills. So often Stafford takes the easy way out whether it’s a bad angle shot, peeling away from the net, or refusing to take punishment in the crease.
Unsung Hero of the Year:
It was Tyler Myers with 5, probably mostly because I was just hoping he would be good. Let’s fix that…it’s a tie! Christian Ehrhoff, Steve Ott, Andrej Sekera, and Drew Stafford (really?) with 4! Like I said, Stafford does some things well, and Ott brings a quality that the Sabres have been lacking. Ehrhoff and Sekera? If you need me to explain why they don’t get enough credit, this is not the place for you.
Third Star of the Year:
Christian Ehrhoff, with 7. The thing with defensemen is that when they’re good, you usually don’t notice, and when they’re offensive defensemen that are good defensively, you never notice. Ehrhoff falls into that category. He merits consideration for team MVP because without him things might have been a complete disaster.
Second Star of the Year:
Ryan Miller and Steve Ott with 6. One’s a gritty player who might be a little nuts, and the other is Steve Ott the Pirate. With zero shutouts on the seaosn, Miller often fell victim to “one guy being just a little bit better” on a lot of nights.
First Star of the Year and Team MVP:
Thomas Vanek amassed 10 first stars, leading Ryan Miller by 4, but it was Miller who split MVP honors, coming in at a +31, eking out Vanek’s +30. I think both of these guys will, and should, stay. You need a couple elite veteran pieces to stick around for your rebuild, and along with Christian Ehrhoff, I think it suits the Sabres well to have one in each phase of the game.
Now the fun stuff.
The Roy-Kotalik Addition by Subtraction Award:
Who would you rather have on defense, Tyler Myers or John Scott? That this is a question is a little bit ugly.
The Jochen Hecht, I’m Not Sure Why You’re Still Here Award:
Plot twist! Nathan Gerbe wins! I like the little guy too, but it took Kevin Porter and Brian Flynn approximately two shifts t look a whole lot better.
The Foligno – Ennis – Stafford Falling Back To Earth Award:
It has to be Ville Leino, right? First he was terrible, then he was great, then his lung imploded and now he’ll be awful again. Right? #BecauseItsBuffalo
The We Kind of Screwed You and I Feel a Little Bad for It Award:
Robyn Regehr. Terry Pegula flies to his house in Calgary, lands the pegulacopter on his lawn and comes running up with an arm full of puppies to get him to waive his no movement clause, only to ship him back across the country this season. Whatever, playoffs.
Management Foul Up of the Year:
So many choices. Pardy in the AHL? Dealing Roy and replacing none of his talents? Everything about Mikhail Grigorenko? And the winner is…everything! This organization sucks with such enormity I can’t honestly pick one event at this point. See you next year! Hooray!