Its all starts now

Posted: April 16, 2013 in Sports
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Welcome back. Football has found its way back to Western New York.  The Bills kick off 2013-2014 with the first minicamp of the year. I’m sure that this comes as a relief to Buffalo Sports fans. With the Sabres in flux, there is the never ending spring of hope with the new look Bills.

Everything is said to be different at One Bills Drive. New coaches, new attitude, and hopefully a new look.  With the NFL Draft coming up, hope is high in WNY. Like I’ve said before the holes that the Bills have will not be addressed during the draft or this year. However, if the Buffalo Bills want to insure a strong future and a growing fan base it all needs to start this year. Not unlike the Sabres the Bills need to change their image.

It’s been 13 years with no playoffs for the Bills, and as long as I can remember the Bills have really been subpar. I hope that there is some truth to what is coming out of the organization. I hope that fans can finally believe in the change, I hope that for once a Buffalo team lives up to the hype.

It’s almost game time; it’s almost time for Bills football.  It all starts this month. Go Bills.

What was that? It sure was not NHL hockey. The Buffalo Sabres gave their fan yet another uninspired performance last night. The Sabres only managed 15 shots and netted one goal in a 5-1 beating at the hands of the Canadians.

The Sabres are just a bad team; people should not expect much more. Fans want more; fans deserve more but if the team can’t give more noting that can be done. It looks like the Sabres have giving up. Game after game they are outwork, and out played. But, I’m not sure it is completely the players fault. Players go out on the ice for the team they work for. While players sign contracts, they have no voice when GM’s trade, or add players. The Sabres have good players, but they don’t play well together. That falls solely on the GM and front office.

During a season like this the true grit of a player can be found. Sadly there is no fight or grit left in the Sabres locker room. Some thought it was a Lindy problem; some believed it was a Darcy and Lindy problem. Now I think we can see it is a team problem. There is a fundamental flaw in the organization, a flaw that no one is willing to admit to. Sabres brass believes that they are getting better by the day, and it will take time to reach their goal. The second part of that statement is true it will take time. However the first part, getting better by the day is nothing more than political banter aimed at the casual fan. Buffalo Sabres fans, the true hardcore fan know that this is not a team that is getting better. Last night “game” if you want to call that a game shows how far off the Sabres are.

The Sabres say they are in a playoff push; right now it looks like they are thinking more about golf then hockey.  After watching yesterdays game there is little room for hope. This team is just what they appear to be BAD. The chemistry is off, they determination is gone, and in a few weeks the season will be gone. All a fan can do is say there’s always next year.

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Cant get the Cup

Posted: April 11, 2013 in Sports
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It’s a dull morning in Buffalo, New York. It’s just another rainy spring day; just another year that the Sabres have failed to put a playoff caliber team on the ice. Not much is different around here from year to year. Fans want what they seemingly can’t have, or will not be given. They are forced to listen to and read about having patience.

The Sabres have been telling fans the same thing for the past 5 years. When does the front office say we are sorry? It would be a nice thing to give fans. Everyone knows that things are messed up, and the Sabres as a whole have failed. Ted Black has been saying we want to win; we will win the cup, and so on and so on.  But the only thing I see being done around the FNC is new TV’s new food, and new paint. Yes the team has added and subtracted players, but that is just day to day hockey business. The feeling around Buffalo is one of sickness; people want to know where Pegula is. It feels like he is more intent on building the area around the FNC, and his focus has been taken off the Stanley Cup.

I understand everything is about the future of the Sabres, and the longevity of the organization, but what about the now? Fans deserve a return on their investment. It feels like the fans in Buffalo being forced to be content with an inferior product. Hockey is a life blood in Buffalo, it is something people get together and pull for, but that seems to be thinning out.

Mr. Black likes to talk about money, and Mr. Pegula’s love for this team. I’m happy that the Sabres have an owner with the funds to keep the Sabres in Buffalo. Now be the owner you said you would be. Put the product on the ice that Buffalo deserves.

 

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Tale of two teams

Posted: April 10, 2013 in Sports
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Last night Sabres fans got to a chance to see three teams play. The Jets, the Sabres, and some team that showed up for 40 minutes. It was a Tale of two teams for Buffalo fans. The Sabres have started firing back at fan, and fans have taking to ripping the team. But, after all it is hockey.

First, let me address the booing issues. Mr. Ott while we understand that booing does nothing and that most players on this team have not been around for 5 or 6 years of poor play. You are all wearing the Blue and Gold fans love. I don’t think it is hard to believe that a lot of the booing is directed at the crest on the front of your jerseys. To be fair, after a game like last night the players should be thankful they were not playing in Buffalo last night.

Team one, the first 20 minutes the Sabres came out hitting and skating. Buffalo looked like they understood any chance of making the playoffs hung on how hard they played, and how badly they wanted it. The first period was fun to watch, and as a fan it had to peak your curiosity. For 20 minutes Sabres fans had something to hold on to, they had a hockey team to be proud of. But, like everything good third year that too faded with the horn at the end of the first.

Team two, sadly this team is the one that gets all the booing. They deserve any booing that comes their way. I guess the Sabres left their heart and soul in the locker room. There was very little work being done. For whatever reason this year’s Sabres team is just not going to cut it. I don’t know if it is skill or character, but I do know there is very little drive, or heart being shown on the ice. For 40 minutes the Sabres did little more then go through the motions. How is it that some of the Sabres feel booing in unjust? Are they watching how they play?

I understand that teams have down years, and teams cannot always give a full 60 minutes. But, do not go on the radio and rip fans, only to play a game that night and not show up for the game. After a three game winning streak and putting the playoffs in sight; a game like last night is the last thing the Sabres needed. Tomorrow night the Sabres take on the Canadians at the FNC. If the Sabres come out the way they left last night booing won’t be the team’s only problem. It’s a bad season, and last light was nothing more than another chapter in the Tale of two teams.

 

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What to do, What to do?

Posted: April 9, 2013 in Sports
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The 2013 NFL draft is coming up fast, and the Buffalo Bills have the 8th pick. What should they do? Trade down, or make the pick? Do they go after their QB of the future now, or wait until next year, or maybe look to add a QB in the mid rounds? This year’s draft is one of the biggest drafts in the Bills history.

Buffalo has holes everywhere, and they don’t have the cap room or picks to be able to fill everything this year. The biggest hole to fill may be at QB, but I just don’t see that player in this year’s draft. There are really good QB’s this year, but not the one to set up the Bills for the next 10 years. The Bills front office is setting a Super Bowl or bust motto this year. “Don’t confuse effort with results” a sign now hanging in the Field House at One Bills Drive. For this sign to be true the Bills need to be careful with their draft picks, and make sure they get players to help whoever is the QB this year.

I still like the idea of an OL at one, a WR at two and grab your QB in the 3rd, or trade back in to the 2nd to get him. Most people are going to say I’m nuts, but let’s think about this. No matter who you QB of the future is or what year you draft him he needs to stay on his feet. A top OL will go a long way to making sure this happens, and a stand out WR gives the new QB someone other than Stevie Johnson to get the ball to. Any top QB drafted by the Bills may need to start right away; adding to the pressure he will be playing in Buffalo. Bills fans have a very short fuse right now. They are sick and tired of bad QB play, and sicker of being beat up and down the field for 13 years. Whoever is the QB, be it Kolb, or Jackson or a new kid the pressure cooker will be turned up to high. Why not give the O-line time to gel, add the WR and start from the outside in. If the QB has skills he will be able to work with what he has.

Around Buffalo winds of change seem to be a key point. If that is true the Bills need to start to prove it. Talk is cheap; fans want and frankly deserve action. I don’t love the QB crop this year, but if the Bills do then make the move. For example, if you would pick the guy at 21 then take him at 8. All I ask is be decisive.  As always in Buffalo, the Bills are on the clock.

 

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Wondering how to make the playoffs? Just win the game. In sports the idea is to win; it doesn’t matter how you win or how long it take a team to win the game, as long as they win. The NFL, MLB, and NBA three of the so called major four pro sports leagues follow that simple rule. The odd ball is the NHL; were a Shoot out win doesn’t count the same a regulation or Overtime victory.
The NHL uses a point system to determine the playoffs. A Team gets two points for any win; however the losing team can get a point if they get the game to a shoot out. Let’s call that a loser point. The 3 point game makes it harder to jump over teams and make the playoffs. Why is the NHL using this system, it is a joke. You should not get a point for losing. It’s a loss, you didn’t do your job, and you didn’t get the W. I say you get nothing. It should be 2 points for the win, that’s it; nice and simple.
The Buffalo Sabres are making a case for this right now. They have only won 11 games in regulation or overtime and they have won a game 5 times in a shootout; once you factor in their goes up to loser point the Sabres have 38 points. The Sabres have received 6 extra points this year, that’s like winning 3 more games. However the biggest problem is the New Jersey devils, they would drop 10 points off their current point total.
If you do the math and take away the loser point the standing change a bit. 1-4 would stay the about the same with Boston moving to third and Washington dropping to fourth, but only because Washington is leading the SE division. Washington would have 40 points in a 2 point system. It’s the teams trying to fight for their playoff lives it affects more, spots 9-15 moves around a bit more. Here what it would look like.
9- Winnipeg 38pts (currently in 10th)
10- Philadelphia 34pts (currently in 12th)
11- Carolina 32pts (2 games @ hand vs. Buffalo) (currently in 13th)
12- Tampa Bay 32pts (1 game @ hand vs. Buffalo) (currently in 14th)
13- Buffalo 32pts (currently in 11th)
14- New Jersey 30pts (currently in 9th)
15- Florida 24pt (currently in 15th)
If you don’t like a two point system there is a 3-2-1 system in use. It is being used in the World Juniors. If the 3-2-1 system sounds like a foreign concept, it essentially awards three points if you win in regulation, two if you win in OT and one if you are defeated in OT. It helps to separate good teams from the bad teams. It still tosses a “bone” to a losing team for getting into over time, but the 3 points for a regulation victory helps separate the looser points. The 3-2-1 system forces teams to keep working in the third period. It would also help break up the trap, or the lock depending on the team we are talking about.
Both ideas have pros and cons, but the NHL needs to do something. Win to get in. The NHL needs to stop being different and just get the best teams in to the playoffs.
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NHL broken

Posted: April 7, 2013 in Sports
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NHL broken.