Tuesday, April 13, 2010

2009-2010 Regular Season Grades: Forwards

by Anne

Continuing where we left off yesterday: the forwards.

#9 Derek Roy
80gm, 26G, 43A, +9, 19:22

All in all a somewhat typical season for Royzie. He took FOREVER to get his first goal of the season and he didn't amass as many points as he has in previous seasons. However, those previous seasons he and only a small number of other forwards were contributing and this scoring by committee style has knocked his goal totals down a touch. He was good more often than he was awful. He tied for first in GWG and had 3 OT winners.
Grade: B

 #13 Tim Kennedy
78gm, 10G, 16A, -3, 12:57
This being his first full season in the NHL, I'm going to go easy on Lil' Timmers. He was ok. He has signs of being better in years to come. Pommer, Royzie and Vanek all had just "meh" rookie seasons. He'll be better next season.
Grade: B-

#19 Tim Connolly
73G, 17G, 48A, +10, 18:37
Aside from his recent injury, Timmah was an iron man this season. He had an epic point-streak in December/January and lead the team in assists. There were several nights when he was the best player on the ice and was frequently the best forward. Remember how we said a healthy Timmah makes the Sabres better? True dat.
Grade: A-

#21 Drew Stafford
71gm, 14G, 20A, +4, 14:28

I think the thing about his stats I found most surprising was that he finished the season a + player. He's been better, he should be better and he's just not. I'm glad to see, though, that we stopped relying on him as a consistently top-6 player because he's not one. He's had a few solid games but not enough.
Grade: C-

 #22 Adam Mair
69gm, 6G, 8A, -2, 9:14

Remember when he was put on waivers? Yikes. I'm glad Mairsy is still here. He works hard, he took the waiver wire with professionalism and the Sabres are the better for it. He knows his role and he does it well. As a whole, the team fought less this season and tried to limit penalties as a whole. He did his job.
Grade: B

 #25 Mike Grier
73gm, 10G, 12A, -4, 15:47

Mikey had a very Mikey season. He has hands of stone and he's slower than molasses on a cold day but he's consistent! He was topnotch on the PK, a great veteran mentor for Tim Kennedy and just made everything better.
Grade: B+

#26 Thomas Vanek
71gm, 28G, 25A, +9, 16:45

Thomas, Thomas, Thomas. Yet another frustrating season in which you went bananas at the end. He should just always be told it's mid-March/early April. He seems to play really well then. However, his four-goal game could not make up for his endless stretches of goal-lessness. He was a + player, which has been a struggle for him since his +47 season.
Grade: B-

#28 Paul Gaustad
65gm, 12G, 10A, -7, 15:44

Tied a career-high in goals (set last season). His greatest contribution to the team has been faceoff wins, which he produced at 57.4% this season. Goose doesn't get much fanfare and got even less than usual this season. His +/- is a tad unsettling but bottom six players rarely have high +/-. I'm fairly confident that he, Miller, Grier and Rivs were responsible for keeping certain players in line and being held accountable. That topic didn't come up nearly as often this season as it has in the past two (non-playoff) seasons.
Grade: B+

 #29 Jason Pominville
82gm 24G, 38A, +13, 18:44

Pommer was the Sabres most consistent forward for most of the season. Once again, he played all 82 games this season. He hasn't missed a regular season game since he was a healthy scratch April 7, 2006. I really don't have much bad to say about his season. Like every other forward, his points total was lower than last season or the season before. It's the new system and I think we all have to accept that.
Grade: B+

#36 Patrick Kaleta
55gm, 10G, 5A, +2, 10:09

One of the only exceptions to the above statement about players scoring less is Pat Kaleta. He more than doubled his career high in goals and lead the team with 2 shorthanded goals. He had 148 hits in only 55 games. He was consistent and did his job as was expected of him. He even had a few fights and drew lots o' penalties.
Grade: A-

#37 Matt Ellis
72gm, 3G, 10A, -1, 9:03

Matty played a career-high in games and set a new career high in assists. Much like Mike Grier, he was consistent and has an incredible no-quit work ethic. I often describe his work ethic as "If I don't play well tonight, they'll feed me to the lions tomorrow." He was responsbile (12 PIM) and won some faceoffs. What more can you really ask?
Grade: B+

 #55 Jochen Hecht
79gm, 21G, 21A, +14, 17:11

Lead the team in +/-. Thank goodness he's back in his defensively-responsible mode. We definitely needed that from him this season. He was consistent and consistently solid. I liked seeing him and Pommer occasionally reunited this season. It made my heart all a-flutter. Same thing with Royzie and Vanek. Sometimes the old chemistry worked for them.
Grade: A-

These three players played only 10-20 games in a Sabres uniform (and are still with the team):

 #17 Raffi Torres
14gm, 0G, 5A, -3, 13:20

Go away. I don't like you.
Grade: D

 #42 Nathan Gerbe
10gm, 2G, 3A, +1, 14:38

I definitely like what I've seen. The 3G NetworkTM (Gerbe-Gaustad-Grier) has been clicking. A huge sigh of relief to see him produce at the NHL level. Thank goodness.
Grade: B+

 #63 Tyler Ennis
10gm, 3G, 6A, +1, 15:20

He can score in the AHL and in the NHL. Gee, the 2009 AHL rookie of the year (Gerbe) and now the 2010 AHL rookie of the year (Tennis the Menace) actually playing well in their call-ups? Wa-hoo! Here's hoping things stay consistent and they don't suffer Chris Butler-like collapses when they inevitably make the club next season :)
Grade: A-

Overall this "scoring by committee" has diminished most players scoring. Having Ryan Miller in net still made it possible for us to win. Lots of players had scoring bursts at the end of the season which makes me feel little more optimistic about their ability to score in the post season.

Forwards overall grade: B+

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for making me start humming the Baby Beluga song:) I'm going to drive everyone crazy.


Disclaimer, yo.

Almost all pictures are borrowed from other sources. If they're yours and you don't want me to use them, just shoot me an email and I'll take them down.

The Los Angeles Kings logo and Buffalo Sabres logo used in the title bar are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League; no copyright infringement is intended. If anyone is offended by anything I've written, get over it, it's a personal blog, not an accredited news source.

anniebeeswax [at] gmail [dot] com

Glossary... Sort of

  • "Ryan Miller Shutout" - A 58 minute, multi-goal shutout lead that is blown when Miller allows one meaningless goal
  • Britney or SabreBritney - Thomas Vanek
  • Butter Snaps - Carolina Hurricanes. Because Butter Snap pretzels, like the Carolina Hurricanes, are disgusting
  • Greener - MATT Greene (LAK)
  • JBG - Jolly Blonde Giant - Tyler Myers
  • Little Foot - Drew Stafford
  • MK - Anne's sister; often leaves nonsensical comments under her Twitter name Mmmkizzle
  • Oscar - Anne's cat

Because it's never not funny

Completely adorable