Let's Go Devils!
Looking forward to a healthy Taylor Hall and new kid on the block Jack Hughes. Cory Schneider seems to have gotten his mojo back in the net and the backup goalie is good as well.
New additions are Wayne Simmonds and PK Subban so it will be interesting to see how well they mesh with the rest of the team.
Sabres still trying to climb out of the basement.
The fan base was looking for acquisition of a strong 2C over the summer (possibly in a trade for Rasmus Ristolainen) but that never happened. 2C going into the season is Marcus Johansson, a free agent signed over the summer. Prior to injury issues he was pretty good but he hasn't produced the last few years for Boston and NJ and has been playing as a winger for most of his time in the NHL. A key position position on the team that may not have been adequately addressed.
We also have a few unproductive contracts hanging over us. Vladimir Sobotka is in the last year of his deal; he was easily our worst forward last year, but new coach Ralph Krueger has him playing on the 2nd line (alongside the previously mentioned Johansson). That doesn't look promising. We also have the empty shell of Kyle Okposo at $6M for 4 more seasons. He's a good guy but after a concussion and a severe reaction to medication used for the concussion, he's not the player he used to be. He still plays a somewhat physical game and we cringe with every hit he makes or takes. He really needs to either retire or go on LTIR.
On the upside, Victor Olofsson had a quick look at the NHL at the end of last season and looked really good. It's continued during training camp and he's earned a spot on the top line with Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart, pushing Jeff Skinner down to the second line (with Johansson and Sobotka). The defense is enhanced from last year, but starting out the year with some injuries and one or two vets who are okay but may need to move on to make room for youth. Rasmus Dahlin begins his second season on the top pairing. Last year's #1 overall pick, he's been lauded as the best defenseman since Denis Potvin.
So hopefully the "rebuilding" is done and it's just straight up building for this season. Playoffs would be nice but most analysts say not likely.
I would love to say the cup will return to hockey town this year... but it won't. They will finish better than Buffalo, but won't win the cup. But then again, everyone will finish better than Buffalo... again.
I do think the Cains, Tampa Bay, and Boston all have a decent shot at it.
Sabres looked good on Saturday....the Devils just looked on
This will be interesting to see. I see they started out 2-0-0 like the Sabres. I personally feel the Wings are behind the Sabres in terms of rebuild, but we'll see.
In the first two games, the Sabres look totally unlike recent Sabres teams. They're playing a very aggressive, uptempo, puck pressure game. So far it's led to a lot of odd-man rushes and breakaways for the Sabres, and their stats (like Corsi %, shots on goal, possession time, etc.) have been almost 2:1 compared to their opponents.
When the Sabres had their 10-game winning streak last season, the "yeah but-" was that the metrics didn't support their record, that essentially they "stole" most of those games or were just lucky. This time around the stats match the scores, so we're hoping that new coach Ralph Krueger has finally figured how to organize and motivate the team. We'll see if that continues as the season wears on.
Jack Eichel was about an inch away from a hat trick tonight. They played a really entertaining game with Montreal tonight. Marcus Johansson scored the OT winner for the Sabres.
Sabres have a rare day game today at 3 pm ET. They do this every Canadian Thanksgiving (American Columbus Day) as a "kids day" since most kids are home from school, almost all Canadians are off, and some Americans have the day off too.
Went to the Stars game Saturday.
Sloppy sticks. That's the nicest way to describe the Stars in action.
With this level of play, I'm surprised they've won at all.
...and the Avalanche are the only remaining undefeated team...
How long do you think it will last and do you think that they have a shot at the cup?
The wings are having ups and downs. They look better than last year but that is not saying much.
Canes are real contenders this year.
And Hughes got on the scoresheet I see.
Oh, I see Sabres farmhand Matt Tennyson is with the Devils now... and had two assists last night. Good for him.Yes he did. It was a weird assist because it was actually his shot that deflected off Miles Woods' backside into the goal.
Well that escalated quickly.Palmieri had what I thought was the best goal of the night. About 5 seconds into a power play he roofs it short side.
Oh, I see Sabres farmhand Matt Tennyson is with the Devils now... and had two assists last night. Good for him.