Buffalo Season Review


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Buffalo stormed out of the gates this season with a 19 game winning streak and never really looked back as they took the Eastern Conference crown with 95 points and a 46-7-3 record. "I'm really proud of this team, we came together from the get go and carried it on with a lot of really strong play," said winger Sergei Makarov. One of the main reasons for success was the Buffalo offense, with 387 goals, the Sabres will finish second in the leauge for offense, but their offensive domination will go down as one of the all time greats in draft league history.

Player Evaluations:

Terry Yake-(65g-79a-144p) A breakthrough year for the journeyman forward, Yake suprised opponents with his crafty goal scoring touch and deft passing. Also a key component of a competant penalty kill unit.

Tomas Sandstrom (232-53-285) Tomas exceeded all expectations with his boffo type season. Tomas challenged JR for the points race all season, but ultimately fell short. Tomas scored every way imaginable and was even a potent forechecker as he caused several turnovers and turned them into goals with amazing efficiency.

Sergei Makarov-(46-85-131) While Makarov may not be the most lethal of shooters, his passing skills are among the elite of the league as he has a good possibility of winning the assist title. Sergei's strong puck skills and good agility also make him a dekeing threat when opponents play the pass to Sandstrom a bit too closely.

Don Sweeney (18-70-88) Sweeney may have not put up the offensive numbers expected of him, but he anchored the blueline for the Sabres all year with punishing body checks, swift poke checks, and solid reads. Sweeney was a key component of starting the offense from the backhand and his passing abilities are neccessary for a good transition.

Sergei Bautin (14-47-61) Despite splitting time with Mark Howe, Bautin impressed the coaching brass with his ability to help out on the offensive end in terms of setting up players and goal scoring. Bautin also used his ability to body check to crack a few skulls throughout the season. He was a pleseant suprise to say the least.

Tim Chevrolet (0-64-64) (3.39 gaa, .698 save) While Chevrolet may lead the league in assists for goalies, he gave well beyond his fair share of gooey soft goals and at times didnt even earn the minor league number issued to him at the beginning of the season. Chevrolet had the knack to allow the back breaking goal in a game as opposed to making the game saving stop. His inconsistency is well noted in Buffalo and his head will be called for if the Sabres go south in the playoffs.

Reserves:

Mark Howe (4-30-34) Howe did not let coach Juice Maker down when he was given ice time throughout the season. His strong play was rewarded more and more as the season went along and he provided a real calming presence on a very agressive blueline.

Brian Bellows (8-2-10) Stuck on the bench again for Juice Maker, Bellows was not given the ice time neccessary to shine, but during his time on the penalty kill Bellows did manage a hat trick in one game and provided other timely shorthanded goals throughout the season.

Roger Johansson (0-4-4) Johansson was limited to purely penalty kill minutes this season and was able to use his slick stickwork to jar the puck away from several oncoming forwards. His solid passing skills were able to provide a few scoring chances for the shorthanded sabres.

Ray Ferraro (0-0-0) This guy was on the team?

Stephane Fiset (0-0-0) (0.00-.000) Did a marvelous job of opening and closing the gate to the bench during stoppages of plays.

While the Sabres do not know who their playoff opponent will be, they know it could be Ottawa or Boston, two fiesty teams that will be hungry to knock off the top dog in the east.

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Too bad for Ray Ferraro. He won the 1983 Memorial Cup as a member of the Portland Winterhawks. My home town! How could you let him just sit on the bench? :lol:

interesting fact... bj gaustad was my assistant coach when i played juniors.. bj's brother, paul. played for the portland winterhawks. he now plays for the buffalo sabres :blink:

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