82 games and an absolute rollercoaster of emotions.  The season went from exhilarating, to promising, to frustrating, to infuriating, to stunning, to promising, to incredible, to over. Here are 9 simple thoughts…

Cody Hodgson
82 games and an absolute rollercoaster of emotions.  The season went from exhilarating, to promising, to frustrating, to infuriating, to stunning, to promising, to incredible, to over.
Cody Hodgson & Tyler Ennis

Cody Hodgson & Tyler Ennis are promising young pivots for the Sabres.

Here are 9 simple thoughts i’m left with.

1- I’m pretty excited about Ennis & Hodgson at center. Big-time upgrade over Connolly & Roy both on and off the ice. It would be great to add a kingpin #1 center ahead of them, but a Mike Peca/Chris Drury type as a number 3 might do the trick.

2- I think Paul Gaustad was part of the problem. Nice guy, but relying on him to skate 18 minutes a game was like scoring kryptonite.

3- I’m good with Ehrhoff & Myers on the Sabres blueline for the NEXT SEVEN YEARS. McNabb might even be good someday too.

4- Ryan Miller is a good enough goalie to win a Stanley Cup.

5- I was done with Stafford last year when he said “there’s other guys that do that on this team” when asked about playing gritty hockey. There are plenty of guys who can score 20 goals in the NHL. And many who can do it while being an absolute a pain in the ass to play against every night. Hockey is a nasty sport. Nice guy. Decent talent. Not going to win with him.

6- I like Lindy Ruff. I like him more than I like most of the players on the team. I want Lindy to be the guy that brings the Stanley Cup to Buffalo.

7- Marcus Foligno.

8- Darcy Regier is a good GM. I think Hodgson for Kassian will turn out to be a steal. Gaustad for a 1st already is. He’s whiffed on some moves… he’s hit on some moves. You can’t really argue with his draft record. I think we all just want a new face to yell at and that’s not a good enough reason to kick him out the door. Besides, we have to keep Darcy if only to keep @FakeDarcy.

9- And last but not least, Injuries. Are they excuses? Facts? Reasons? I don’t know but the most disturbing part of the injury-fest was not the play of the young guys who were forced to fill in… but the healthy veterans (Roy, Staff, Boyes, Goose, Gerbe, Leino) who completely failed to step up.

That’s all. Now go ahead and tell me how stupid I am.


  1. 1. You can do worse than Stafford. He isn’t something that needs to be dealt with to get to the next level.
    2. Don’t jump the gun on Marcus Foligno yet, he’s played about 20 games.
    3. If you actually take a look at Darcy’s draft record you’ll see it’s not that good. He has virtually no late round finds and has taken a lot of players that don’t even end up on our team. Not to mention the number of great players he’s passed on for pure bust’s (Artem Kryukov, Marek Zagrapan, Dennis Persson, etc…)
    Other than that i can agree with you.

    • The Sabres have under 6 mil in cap space to work with this off-season, and need to extend Tyler Ennis. Drew Stafford has a 4 million dollar cap hit. It’d be tougher than you think to get to that next level with him still around. His effort is just too damn inconsistent.

      But my biggest problem w/ your comment is saying that Darcy hasn’t found anyone late in the draft. You don’t even have to look hard.. Ryan Miller was a 5th round pick.

      • .. and just because i had too much time on my hands and wanted to look around a bit:

        Brian Campbell was the 156th pick in Darcy’s 1st draft
        Paul Gaustad at #220 in 2000
        Dennis Wideman at #241 in 2000
        Patrick Kaleta at #176 in ’04
        Gerbe at #142 in ’05
        Foligno was a 4th rounder

        and that’s not including solid contributors that were taken in the early rounds, but not in the first, such as pominville, derek roy, hank tallinder, afinogenov, sekera, macarthur, enroth, mcnabb

        Not all are all stars,but i think they qualify as something more than “virtually no(thing)” from the late rounds.

        • I said virtually no late round finds. I was counting Miller and Campbell, Gaustad, Kaleta, and Gerbe are just fan favorite they’re not anything more than what you would expect from late round picks and you can question whether or not they’d be on the NHL roster for other teams. (I do think Gerbe is miss used and yes Gaustad played the end of the season for Nashville but they were kinda handcuffed they just gave up a ton for him and he didn’t produce much. #2 “don’t jump the gun on Foligno”, he hasn’t proven anything yet. Wideman is a solid 4th defender who Darcy didn’t keep so it doesn’t matter. This is just typical of Buffalo fans. Fall in love with your players because they’re on your team. This is why other NHL cities hate us. None of those players are that great. pominville (solid, nothing special), derek roy (puts up points against lesser players but cracks under pressure), hank tallinder(solid defender), afinogenov(highlight reel goals but wasn’t that great and never lived up to his true potential), sekera(hasn’t lived up to potential), macarthur(was alright against lesser players then put up halfway decent numbers on toronto’s tp line), enroth(backup goalie who hasn’t proven anything), mcnabb (hasn’t proven anything)

  2. I agree with most except for Ruff. He can’t win the big game, he doesn’t have it. Any foward we bring he better be able to play two way hockey because if he can’t Ruff will ruin him (see Sanderson, Curtis Brown, Kozlov, Afinogenov, Luke Adam will be the newest player. Remeber we can’t score because we have all defensive coaches coaching. Briere and Drury along with Arniel ran the offence. Something to think about.

    • Ruff didn’t “ruin” Adam. Adam played his own way down the line-up and all the way back to Rochester. Because not only did he not play solid D, he stopped scoring points entirely, which pretty much would make him useless on any roster in the NHL (except maybe Columbus’s?)
      Ennis is a pure offensive talent, and he’s flourishing under Ruff. Drury and Briere played by far their most offensively productive years under Ruff. So yup.

  3. This statement is true about every GM who has ever worked in the NHL:

    “has taken a lot of players that don’t even end up on our team. Not to mention the number of great players he’s passed on for pure bust’s”


    The only certain thing about this draft is that EVERYONE, at best, will only get it partially right. The truth is that only about 45 players from this draft will play over 500 games in the NHL. 30 teams are looking for those 45 players, and no one will get it right.

  4. I’m still giving Regier the benefit of the doubt. I think a LOT of his bonehead moves (Briere, Drury, Campbell, etc) were forced by ownership. His hands were tied. And overall, I don’t think he’s been that bad in the trades and picks department. No one is perfect in either. It’s hard to predict what a player will do (or not do) on a new team, or in the NHL vs. wherever he came from. I think the Sabres have some foundation to work with, and some moves to made. We will see what happens during this offseason – and how that translates next season. And injuries are not an excuse, but they are a factor – especially when there are that many at one time. You can’t win in the NHL with an AHL roster – especially when your all-star goalie is still getting his head straightened out. Luckily, Miller returned to form. Can’t wait for next year, and Go Devils! (I really don’t want the Kings to win)

  5. Oh, and for all the Ruff bashers – just who do you think could do any better with what he’s been given as a Sabres head coach? I think he gets more out of the talent he has than any other coach in the league. He always has.

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