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SYLVESTER'S BLOG: BACK IN BUFFALO

Wednesday, 08.12.2009 / 1:53 PM / Blogs - Kevin Sylvester
By Kevin Sylvester  - Sabres "Hockey Hotline" Host
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SYLVESTER\'S BLOG: BACK IN BUFFALO
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It’s great news to hear that Mike Grier will be back on the ice for the Sabres this season.  I knew about it late last week and couldn’t wait for the official announcement.  Grier is the consummate professional.  He does all the right things day in and day out.  He commands respect.  He’s a leader that doesn’t need a letter on his chest for everyone to know it. 

Chris Drury received a ton of credit for the back-to-back Eastern Conference Finals appearances, and deservedly so.  One of the things that was often mentioned was his attention to preparation in practice and on game days.  It rubbed off on the entire team.  Drury was not alone.  His close friend, Mike Grier, was also a big part of that.  Grier has the same work ethic and dedication and that should rub off again. 

I don’t expect big numbers from Grier, but he could reach double digits in goals as he did with San Jose 2 of the last 3 years.  What he will do is provide some needed size up front on the Right Wing, give Lindy Ruff another penalty killer, and more options for his lines.  As a matter of fact, try putting line combinations together right now and you’ll see there are plenty of options for Ruff.  My example below doesn’t have Clarke MacArthur, Matt Ellis, Nathan Gerbe, or Tim Kennedy in there. 

Line 1:          26     9     21 (when Stafford signs)
                
Line 2           55     19    29

Line 3           20      28    25 (Grier)

Line 4           22      #(McCormick)   36   


I put together the most skilled and biggest lineup I could think of in just a few minutes.  Further examination would elicit more combinations with some players in different positions.  You could also imagine Grier having a more prominent role on the first line with Vanek and Roy.  He would create a little more room for both, and remember Roy played on the same line with Grier in the 2006 playoffs.  Then where would you put Stafford?  Perhaps left wing with Connolly and Pominville?  Then you have Hecht to play with Paul Gaustad and ??   I could continue, but I think you get the idea. 

The final thing I wish to point out with the Mike Grier signing is that free agency didn’t end on July 1st.  There are still players out there and moves to be made by several clubs.  So stayed tuned.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Hodgson 72 20 24 -26 44
T. Ennis 80 21 22 -25 43
D. Stafford 70 16 18 -19 34
C. Ehrhoff 79 6 27 -27 33
C. Stewart 63 15 11 0 26
C. Conacher 79 7 19 1 26
T. Myers 62 9 13 -26 22
Z. Girgensons 70 8 14 -6 22
M. Foligno 74 7 12 -17 19
J. McBain 69 6 11 -13 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Neuvirth 4 8 2 .921 2.78
J. Enroth 4 17 5 .911 2.82