Category Archives: Uncategorized

Hostile Takeover

This blog has been part of a hostile take over merger!  Please check out www.buffalopp.com for the new site.  Buffalo Power Play will include the same Bills and Sabres analysis along with in depth looks at the NHL and sports as a whole, and some references to pop culture.

I want to thank anyone and everyone who has ever taken the time to check this site out.   I started blogging because when I moved to Syracuse I felt a little disconnected with “die-hard” sports fans and this space allowed me to convey my thoughts.  Great things to come at www.buffalopp.com.  Check it out!

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Player Profile: Brad Boyes

Brad_Boyes

2010-11 Regular Season stats:

#

Pos

Player

GP

G

A

P

+/-

PIM

PP

SH

GW

S

S%

22

R

Brad Boyes

83

17

38

55

13

36

6

0

3

178

9.6

2011 Postseason stats:

#

Pos

Player

GP

G

A

P

+/-

PIM

PP

SH

GW

S

S%

22

R

Brad Boyes

7

1

0

1

-2

0

1

0

0

14

7.1

Career: 

#

Pos

Player

GP

G

A

P

+/-

PIM

PP

SH

GW

S

S%

22

R

Brad Boyes

493

150

199

349

-13

169

44

1

31

1,187

12.6

Look Back: Fans were once again disappointed with the production of this year’s trade deadline deal. Boyes had 5 goals, 9 assists in his 21 games as a Sabre, which would be on pace for 55 points for a 82-game schedule.  It was Boyes late season slump and non-existent presence against the Flyers that had fans irritated.  To Boyes defense, the team asked him to play out of position down the stretch and into the playoffs out of necessity.  Boyes is a more natural winger and as long as the team addresses depth at center this offseason, it should allow Boyes to work along the boards more and hopefully gets him close to returning to the two-time 30 goal scorer that fans are hoping.

Look Ahead: The Sabres roster seems to have an extensive list of players that could and should be scoring 20+ goals and 60+ points. This team needs Boyes to be one of those contributors.  Many people, myself included, believe that the Boyes deal was much more about this coming season than last season.  Given a full offseason to learn the system and a return to his natural position at wing, I have moderately high expectations for Boyes.  The question is going to be what line should he play on?  With Pominville, Stafford and himself, the Sabres have a number of right wingers. Does Lindy Ruff get creative or is one going to be moved out of position?  If Tim Connolly is re-signed and ends up being the 3rd line center, it could be fun to watch Connolly and Boyes on a 3rd line, no?

Fake Darcy’s Take: Boyesy was arguably the greatest trade deadline deal I have ever made. He actually scored some goals. With that being said, I wouldn’t buy any green bananas if I were him.  I would trade him for the flu right now. I’d love to free up the cash owed to him.

Twitter: @brianbund & @fakedarcy 

Brian Bund is a Buffalo Sabres and Buffalo Bills fan currently residing with his family in Syracuse, New York. He is a contributing writer at Hockey Heaven, Buffalo Wins and the author of the The Buffalo Sports Fan blog. You can reach him on Twitter at: @brianbund

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Player Profile: Mike Weber

Mike_Weber

2010-11 Regular Season stats:

#

Pos

Player

GP

G

A

P

+/-

PIM

PP

SH

GW

S

S%

6

D

Mike Weber

58

4

13

17

13

69

0

0

0

53

7.5

 2011 Postseason stats:

#

Pos

Player

GP

G

A

P

+/-

PIM

PP

SH

GW

S

S%

6

D

Mike Weber

7

0

1

1

-3

6

0

0

0

6

0.0

Career: 

#

Pos

Player

GP

G

A

P

+/-

PIM

PP

SH

GW

S

S%

6

D

Mike Weber

81

4

16

20

22

102

0

0

0

67

6.0

Look Back: Mike Weber was part of the of the ever revolving blue line that Lindy Ruff utilized throughout the 2010-11 season, but his development was an important step in this team’s development.  He was second on the team with a +13 rating and seemed to gain confidence throughout the second half of the season.  In his first full season on the parent club, Weber became part of the group of young defensemen that have many fans excited.  As much excitement as there is amongst that group, Weber exhibited some ill-timed poor play in the playoffs that ultimately hurt the team’s chances of advancing.  He’s just 23 years old and appears to have a solid NHL future ahead of him

Look Ahead: As solid as that NHL future appears, whether or not he stays with the Sabres remains to be seen.  Similar to Chris Butler and others, the Sabres have a plethora of RFAs to deal with, including Weber.  With Marc-Andre Gragnani, Chris Butler, Andrej Sekera and Weber all scheduled RFAs the likelihood of that entire group returning is small.  The Sabres appear poised to make a run at least one top tier free agent veteran on the blue line and roster spots are going to be at a premium.  The Sabres’ farm system is deep with several huge prospects on the blue line that will most likely push the efforts to add veteran leadership in that position.  Whether or not that affects Weber’s future remains to be seen, but after the playoff performance of Gragnani he isn’t likely to go anywhere.  The odd player(s) out remains to be seen.

Fake Darcy’s take: Good things always seem to happen when Websy’s on the ice. He was a +13 for us last year, and a +18 in Portland the year before that. The thing I really like is how he taunts Lindy about his -17 in ’88-’89.  He once asked Lindy if he played without a stick that season. Funny stuff, good kid.

Up Next: Rob Niedermayer

Twitter: @brianbund

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Player Profile: Chris Butler

20090327-Interior-ChrisButler

2010-11 Regular Season stats:

#

Pos

Player

GP

G

A

P

+/-

PIM

PP

SH

GW

S

S%

34

D

Chris Butler

49

2

7

9

8

26

0

0

0

52

3.8

2011 Postseason stats:

#

Pos

Player

GP

G

A

P

+/-

PIM

PP

SH

GW

S

S%

34

D

Chris Butler

7

0

1

1

-3

10

0

0

0

6

0.0

Career:

#

Pos

Player

GP

G

A

P

+/-

PIM

PP

SH

GW

S

S%

34

D

Chris Butler

155

5

31

36

4

66

0

0

1

149

3.4

Look Back: Chris Butler struggled to find the lineup for most of the first half of the season. As he gained ice time in the second half of the season, he still did not contribute much offensively.  Butler was a horse in logging long minutes down the stretch of the regular season and into the playoffs as he paired with Tyler Myers.  His performance against the Flyers however seemed to expose some of the growing pains associated with young defensemen.  He’s just 24 years old and should be able to take that experience and learn from it as he continues to develop.

Look Ahead: Butler is one of the many RFAs the Sabres front office needs to deal with.  The former fourth round pick may be caught in a numbers game as other RFAs like Nathan Gerbe, Andrej Sekera and Mike Weber also need to be prioritized.  With a lot of fan and media sentiment on bringing in veteran defensemen it is likely that one of these young blue liners will struggle to maintain their position on the roster.  The fact that Butler didn’t contribute significantly offensively may be overlooked by the fact that he played alongside Tyler Myers quite extensively during Myers’ second half resurgence.  The team may want to build around them, although that appears unlikely.  We’re fast approaching July 1st.

Fake Darcy’s Take: A steal in the 4th round, I think Butler has a spot on our team for many years, as long as he keeps his salary requests in line with his value.  One of his funnier bits is using the “Pioneer Paddle” on players in the locker room. That’s the value of drafting college players: those funny fraternity pranks.

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Player Profile: Mark Mancari

 

Mark_Mancari

2010-11 Regular season (Second line in Portland):

#

Pos

Player

GP

G

A

P

+/-

PIM

PP

SH

GW

S

S%

12

R

Mark Mancari

20

1

7

8

-1

12

1

0

0

43

2.3

 12

R

Mark Mancari

56

32

32

64

19

57

5

2

0

204

15.7

2011 Postseason  

#

Pos

Player

GP

G

A

P

+/-

PIM

PP

SH

GW

S

S%

12

R

Mark Mancari

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0.0

 Career Stats 

#

Pos

Player

GP

G

A

P

+/-

PIM

PP

SH

GW

S

S%

12

R

Mark Mancari

36

3

10

13

-3

22

1

0

0

84

3.6

Look back: Mark Mancari was able to make his way up to the Sabres for roughly ¼ of the season and seemed to gain some favor with the coaching staff in the second half over Luke Adam.  Mancari continued his excellent work in the AHL by leading the Pirates in scoring with 64 points in 56 games.  Mancari’s play down the stretch on a line with Nathan Gerbe and Paul Gaustad provided the Sabres with a strong forecheck and solid checking.  His 1 goal in the 20 games he was a Sabre is the main disappointment with his season considering he registered .57 goals/game in Portland.

Look aheadThe former 7th round pick is scheduled to be a restricted free agent this offseason and it seems extremely likely that someone is going to give him his opportunity at a full time NHL roster spot.  He’s just approaching his 25th birthday with a 6’3” and 225lb frame, he has the size you want out of your right winger.  The direction the Sabres decide to go will ultimately depend on all the other RFAs the team has to deal with.  As much potential as Mancari has shown on the AHL level, his NHL potential may be realized while wearing another team’s jersey.

Fake Darcy’s Take: When you are 25 and have established yourself as an NHL player, you are considered young.  When you are 25 and only have played a handful of games on the NHL level, you are considered a journeyman. We have to figure out if Marky’s an NHL journeyman or an AHL journeyman. Unfortunately for him, I believe he’s the latter.

Up Next: Patrick Kaleta

Twitter: @brianbund

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All you need to know about Jeffrey Gundlach

The Wall Street journal is reporting that the Buffalo Bills have a new city slicker interested in buying the team.  Here is all you need to know about Jeffrey Gundlach:

Jeffrey_Gundlach

He’s rich and he knows rich people.  And most importantly, he’s from Buffalo.

Per the report, “It’s not an investment” Gundlach said, “It’s because I love the Bills.

I have said this before and I’ll reiterate it again, I do not think the Bills will leave Western New York.  There are extremely wealthy individuals out there that have ties to the community and they will not allow them to leave. Go Bills.

More to follow.

Twitter: @brianbund

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Player profile: Matt Ellis

This is the start of what will be an on going series on Buffalowins.com.  Please take the time to check out a ton of additional articles and commentary over on that site.

Matt_Ellis

2010/2011 Regular season

#

Pos

Player

GP

G

A

P

+/-

PIM

PP

SH

GW

S

S%

37

L

Matt Ellis

14

0

0

0

-4

0

0

0

0

20

0.0

2011 Playoffs

#

Pos

Player

GP

G

A

P

+/-

PIM

PP

SH

GW

S

S%

37

L

Matt Ellis

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.0

 Career:

#

Pos

Player

GP

G

A

P

+/-

PIM

PP

SH

GW

S

S%

37

L

Matt Ellis

201

13

20

33

1

56

0

1

4

293

4.4

A Look Back:  Matt Ellis played in 14 games for the Sabres during the regular season and registered zero points and -4 rating for the season, but is still looked at favorably among fans.  He’s a gritty player who plays responsibly in his own end, but is limited offensively.  In five NHL seasons, Ellis has played in a 201 career games with 13 goals and 20 assists during that time. He had a career high 72 games in Buffalo in the 2009-10 season.

A Look ahead:  Ellis is 29-years-old and an unrestricted free agent this offseason.  I think many Sabres fans would like to see Ellis make his way back to the organization as well as staying up on the Sabres roster.  It is hard to imagine Ellis being much more than a fourth line player, but at the right cost to the team he understands the “system” and could help provide depth to the roster at that fourth line.

Fake Darcy’s Take: The kid knows his way around a press box.  He’s exactly the type of player we need to steer clear of if we think we want to win the Cup.  Matty and players like him are a dime a dozen.

Up Next: Luke Adam

Twitter: @brianbund

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