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DOWN THE DOZEN

Thursday, 04.07.2011 / 1:52 PM
By Kevin Sylvester - Sabres "Hockey Hotline" Host / SLY NOTES

Tyler Ennis (Photo: Bill Wippert)
-Thanks Carolina for making us wait another day.  Actually, the Carolina win over Detroit amplifies how great of a run the Sabres have been on.  You can extrapolate the team’s record back to the ownership transaction, the All-Star Game, or the turn of the calendar and it’s impressive in each in case.  To me, the most impressive thing has been what the team has done in the final 12 games (two yet to be played) of the season.  Lindy Ruff said it would take a 7-5 record down the dozen to make the playoffs.  The key figure being seven wins equaling 14 points.  The Sabres have already met that figure, and have done even better at 7-1-2.  Now, it may not be enough, but it’s the most impressive finish to a regular season that I’ve witnessed. 

-I think some credit is due to the media-maligned scouting department here at the Sabres.  The younger and computer savvy scouts down the hall seem to know what they’re doing, especially when it comes to drafting.  Want proof?  Check out the current roster and the Portland Pirates that have contributed along the way.  Many of the same scouts were here for the 2005 Draft that produced Nathan Gerbe and current defensemen Andrej Sekera, Chris Butler and Marc-Andre Gragnani.  The 2006 Draft brought Mike Weber and Jhonas EnrothPaul Byron was drafted late in the 2007 Draft, and had memorable contributions this season.  The 2008 Draft has had a profound impact on this season with Tyler Myers and Tyler Ennis playing big roles, and Luke Adam racking up some frequent flyer miles.  Great stuff there, and I’m looking forward to seeing the fruition of the 2009 Draft, with selections Zack Kassian, Brayden McNabb and Marcus Foligno.


-I think I am speaking for all players, fans, employees and their families when I say “CHANGE THE SCHEDULE NEXT YEAR!”  I know there are many things to factor in when making the NHL schedule, and the 2011 World Junior Championship played a big role for the Sabres, but this second half was just brutal.  The highest number of back-to-back games in the league and a two-week eastern road trip should not return next year.  When you think of it, with the schedule and injuries, there were plenty of excuses for the team to fold the tent.  That makes what they have accomplished even more impressive. 

-I’m not sure how fans feel about the set change on the 200 level, but it’s growing on me. 

-I’ll have what Jhonas Enroth is having. 

SCHEDULE

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