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I hate you, Toronto, ON • Canada • 23 Years Old • Male
ronguillet@gmail.com
Alright, folks. I've predicted players stats for the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens. Now I'm going to the Buffalo Sabres, a team I have lots of respect for and holds a distant #2 to my Leafs. The following is a prediction blog of the players on the Buffalo Sabres and how much goals and points I think they will accumulate.

*NOTE*: I'm just assuming everyone plays 82 games to make it much, much easier. It obviously won't happen.. It's like a PPG system.

In no particular order.

Forwards:
Tim Connolly: 33 G 86 PTS

Maxim Afinogenov: 31 G 81 PTS

Thomas Vanek: 43 G 91 PTS

Derek Roy: 22 G 71 PTS

Jochen Hecht: 20 G 53 PTS

Jason Pominville: 34 G 74 PTS

Drew Stafford: 23 G 46 PTS

Paul Gaustad: 8 G 23 PTS

Ales Kotalik: 24 G 55 PTS

Danielle Paille: 13 G 39 PTS

Adam Mair: 3 G 10 PTS

Micheal Ryan: 11 G 31 PTS

Defense:
Henrik Tallinder: 7 G 28 PTS

Toni Lydman: 4 G 23 PTS

Brian Campbell: 10 G 53 PTS

Jaroslav Spacek: 7 G 29 PTS

Teppo Numminen: 2 G 22 PTS

Dmitri Kalinin: 5 G 24 PTS

Goaltenders:
Starter: Ryan Miller: 2.55 GAA .915 SV%

Back-up: Jocelyn Thibault: 2.95 GAA .900 SV%

There you have it, Buffalonians. Enjoy!

Just for fun, I'm going to give my breakdown on the Sabres and where I think they'll land:

With the losses of Drury and Briere the Sabres lose some offense and leadership abilities. But don't fret young grasshopers, there is plenty of talent amongst this Sabres line-up and with the departures of #23 and #48 comes more responsibility for the young guns. Vanek is one in particular who I think will explode next season and lead this team all the way. Let's no forget Jason Pominville either, who has been critized for being ''made'' by Danny Briere.... a false accusation IMO. Sure he benefited from Briere's nice passes and plays but is it really as bad as people seem to suggest? And if so, is there not plenty of talent to play with Pommer if that was the case (Afino, Connolly,Vanek,etc.)? Let's no forget either that Pommer was dominant in the minors and he didn't have no Briere there... he posses raw and natural skill and I expect him to silence his critics this upcoming season.

Connolly is an intresting one in his own... he deserves his own paragraph. He has been riddled with unfortuate injuries over the past couple of seasons and he even missed the last but let's no forget he posseses incredible skills and he has the work ethic to unleash it. He was placed in the line-up basically right at the playoffs and struggled a bit, which was to be expected after such a long time not lacing up the skates. With him there to start the season, and hopefully end it, he adds a player the Sabres did not have last season and he can potentially, lead them offensivly. He is one to watch out for IMO.

All in all, I once again see the Sabres winning the division. I do not, however, see them winning the conference. But rest assured, they will install fear in all eastern conference teams.
Filed Under:   Buffalo Sabres   Forecaster   NHL  
August 15, 2007 11:45 PM ET | Delete
I think Vanek is going to slump this year. Too much pressure, too fast. I say he gets 70 points at best. I think next year he'll put up the numbers you've suggested. Also, I don't think Connolly will score 33 goals. I think the points are right, but I see him scoring 20-25 goals while Max scores about 40.
August 16, 2007 12:02 AM ET | Delete
Max has never ever been a finisher. I don't see him starting now. And Connolly doesn't shoot the puck enough to score that many goals.But thanks Ronny, your insight is very keen. I look forward to more.
August 16, 2007 12:28 AM ET | Delete
Connolly will be fine. First of all, his lingering headaches were found to be because of a neck and jaw alignment problem (Antoine Vermette of Ottawa had the same problem). And the "struggling" Connolly also had 10 assists during the playoffs, not great but not too shabby either. And, despite his lack of conditioning because of the PCS, he was still turning people inside out with his stick-handling. He basically single-handedly killed off a penalty vs the Isles in the first round. Turned Roszival inside-out vs the Rangers, and Lundqvist had to make a ridiculous save. He also had a few nice moves versus Ottawa. During game 2 ( I think), Darren Eliot of Versus said "It's the Tim Connolly stick-handling clinic, kids, take notes". With a full off-season of conditioning, I'm not worried about him at all.
August 16, 2007 1:10 AM ET | Delete
RG, nice analysis again!I agree with almost all of what you said and though I am biased I must admit TC may end up under 33 goals. That is it to say he can't do it I just feel he has to get readjusted to playing everyday before he becomes that type of player again. He will however finish with a respectable point total. I am worries about Pommer but like you said he has played well without Briere before and let's hope he does it again.I think Kotalik and Spacek both have bounce back years. I think Spacek will see more PP time and as a result he will be 2nd in points amongst our dmen. That is pending he is not dealt. I noticed you did not include NP on the blueline and I feel he will tally a few points as well. I like the modest predictions because far too many people have Stafford netting 70 points this yr and while that is possible it is not probable!
August 16, 2007 1:15 AM ET | Delete
Max, I agree about TC as that is the most realistic prediction. But I have a feeling of a breakout year for the guy. Good point on Spacek, he could very well re-take his old form... I didn't add NP because I only listed the top 6 d-man, didn't want to get into 7-8 and stuff.... but I did consider it.
August 16, 2007 1:27 AM ET | Delete
Great analysis Ron. To me the two questions marks going into the Season are Vanek and Connolly. Vanek's got the weight of that contract hanging around his neck and the pressure to be the public face of the Sabres whether he wants to be or not. Connolly is obviously coming back from injury and a constant worry, to fans if not himself, of that career ending hit. I think to a large extent to the Sabres fortunes will ride on their shoulders. I'm heading to the Ralph to watch the Bills preseason game on Friday. I'll probably spend a good portion of it wondering about sightlines for hockey....
August 16, 2007 10:34 AM ET | Delete
RG, I understand where your coming from on TC and I hope your dead on. I feel that NP will play close to 70 games this season rotating between Forward and Defense. Keep the blogs coming my friend, very nice reads!
August 16, 2007 2:48 PM ET | Delete
Great Post .... The Sabres have once again been placed in the underdog category by losing they're captains , but we THRIVE on the underdog tag ... All teams should keep they're ear to the ground this season ... What for, you ask ? The Stampede ... The Stampede
August 18, 2007 7:40 PM ET | Delete
I think that Millers GAA will be about 2.15
September 27, 2007 7:57 PM ET | Delete
278 g this year nice
September 27, 2007 8:00 PM ET | Delete
u forgot clarke macarthur and paetsch ??????????????
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