First, fantasy hockey.
1. 1480.30 - erby's Dance Party (me!)
2. 1405.40 - Bomb Squad
3. 1378.40 - Jamaican Me Crazy
4. 1245.50 - Downward Spiral
... (9 teams total)
Look at that lead! Heck yeah!!!
New switch-ups: Kuba is back in (Kronwall was the problem, not him) and I traded in Arnott for Dubinsky.
Semin is back and racking up points already. Zherdev has been awesome. The weakest links are my goalies (not so much Thomas, more of an Auld problem, or I should say, Ottawa-is-sucking-which-is-cool-for-RL-but-not-cool-for-fantasy), so I'll be sure to pick Marty Brodeur back up very early on ...
- - -
Tonight's game: Sabres 1, Maple Leafs 2
A dozer of a game. Well, that is, I fell asleep in the 2nd intermission. Too many missed chances, penalties that amounted to nothing, and the inability to score. From the radio coverage, it sounds like Buffalo is getting so many excellent chances shorthanded but they can't cash in. I miss two seasons ago when scoring off the rush was the fashionable thing to do and the Sabres couldn't get enough of it. Now, it's like, "Oh another offensive rush? Don't worry, the shot won't even come close to the net."
I liked reading what Gerbe said (from Garth's blog) about how his focus isn't on points, but rather, just opening up space for Stafford and Roy. This change of pace seems to have helped them out a lot. Granted, it demotes Vanek to that "other line" (Lindy Ruff doesn't believe in numbers! Whatever!), but it's with Hecht and Pominville who are still in an offensive slumber.
Lastly, if you think Sabres have defensive liabilities, might I remind you of a particular Dmitri Kalinin?
Dmitri Kalinin 0 goals, 6 assists, -17
He's averaging the least amount of icetime amongst Rangers' D at 18:12 per game.
Also, salary vs points comparison is interesting. If you actually take into account contract extensions (namely Pominville's), what the Sabres are dishing out is pretty accurate to what they're producing. Note that this is entirely about points, and not their "instrinsic value to the team" (whatever that may mean). This is also merely "erby's scale of things."
We pay, they play: Vanek, Roy, Pominville, Spacek, Kotalik
Good deals: Stafford, Macarthur, Sekera, Paille
Could go either way: Afinogenov, Mair, Connolly, Numminen, Tallinder
We got ripped off: Gaustad, Hecht, Rivet