When I was growing up, I would have rather had my parents yell and scream at me for hours than utter the word “disappointed”. Hearing that word just stung that much more. It basically means “we thought you were better than this”. Many people have felt the same way this year about two teams : the Lightning and The Sabres. People don’t necessarily seem angry, but disappointed. So what team has let down their parents the most? Let’s take a look.

Offense

Both teams are scoring less than they did last year. Let’s start with the Sabres. They were 9th last season in scoring and have plummeted all the way to 25th. They are getting points from Jason Pominville and Thomas Vanek, but guys like Derek Roy and Drew Stafford are far below their numbers from last season. Steven Stamkos is holding up his end of bargain for the Lightning (His 0.75 goals per game average is the highest of his career),  but Martin St Louis had 52 points in 40 games last year and has followed that up with just 37 this year. The biggest disappointment for Tampa has been their power play. It was EXPLOSIVE last year and was ranked 6th in the league, this year its a disgusting 28th.

Bigger disappointment: Because the Lightning have more firepower that just isn’t firing, I say Tampa is more disappointing.

Goaltending

This one is interesting. A huge reason for Tampa’s success last year was the acquisition of Dwayne Roloson. Many people thought he had a fountain of youth in his backyard. This year he has been a major disappointment and if you want to find him on the stats page on nhl.com, you have to go to page 2.  On the other side, you have a Vezina Trophy winner in Ryan Miller who is having trouble stopping pretty much anything (including Milan Lucic’s body. He is also on page 2 among goaltenders and has 7 different games that saw him allow 4 or more goals.

Bigger disappointment: Because Ryan Miller is considered an elite goaltender in this league, and Roloson is about to turn 74 years old, this has to go to Buffalo.

Expectations

Both teams came into this season with high expectations for different reasons. Not only did the Lightning have 103 points last season, but they made it all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals and took the eventual champion Bruins to 7 games. The expectations were high in Buffalo because new owner Terry Pegula pretty much said “take my wallet and build a winner”. They took care of the spending part (around 140 million in the off season), but are presently on the outside looking in for a playoff spot. Many people (including Pegula) will blame injuries, but the healthy players are not producing.

Bigger Disappointment: The Lightning were a game away from the Stanley Cup finals and now sit tied for last in the Eastern Conference. What people expected from this team involved whether or not they would have home ice in the first round, not when they will be teeing off when the playoffs start.

And the Winner is:  The Tampa Bay Lighting, (while shaking my head), Tampa….we are not angry. We are just….well…disappointed.

******

Lets head to the links…

So the Captains have been selected for the All Star Game, Pass it to Bulis thinks the Canucks may have been considered when choosing the players

Speaking of the All Star Draft…who should be chosen first? (USA Today)

What does Gary Bettman think of the job Brendan Shanahan has done? Well, he thinks he may have a few more gray hairs (Pro hockey Talk)

How often do you look up at some of the meaningless banners that are in your favourite teams rafters? Puck Daddy obviously does a lot

Mike Green is so selfish, doesn’t he think about fantasy owners out there???? (Dirty Dangle)

What does a team that have won 15 straight home games and is in a race for top spot in the Western conference do? They get ready for the deadline (The Fourth Period)

Worried about the Devils financial situation In Lou We Trust says calm down

The Royal Half may be the best in the business at the formula of Screen grabs + Funny comment= gold

And since I spent some of this blog talking about the disappointing season for the Sabres, we might as well end it with the highlights of them getting pumped last night

Comments (3)

  1. Pizzo, I can’t argue with your choice overall but I would have done two more comparisons between the teams.

    Coaches: both are pretty good coaches. Ruff has been a mainstay behind the Sabres bench and has done more with less in the past. Guy Boucher is apparently seeing a sophomore slump come into play. The highly-touted well-regarded former AHL bench boss of the Habs hasn’t really shown us much in his second season. I guess Timothy Dalton has foiled the Bolts’ plan for world domination.

    Bigger Disappointment: Le Chiffré. The Bolts have a better team than this. Victor Hedman, Lecavalier, Ryan Malone, Eric Brewer, and even Matthias Ohlund are all names you haven’t mentioned. Boucher needs to get these guys motivated.

    The GM:

    Stevie Y, the prodigal son of the GM world. I would argue that he’s done an okay job this year. He picked up Tom Pyatt which is a really solid move (with my home town bias at play too), but he failed to upgrade at the goaltender position. What’s worse is he is paying Dwayne Roloson $3.5 million this year with a potential $500,000 bonus if Roloson goes the season without fracturing his hip. I was disappointed that Yzerman didn’t try to sign Josh Harding to an offer sheet.
    Oh yes, and who can forget about Darcy Regier. The man who built competitive teams with a tight-fisted owner now gets handed the keys to the vault and creams himself before he gets past 2nd base. Erhoff for 10 years? Leino for $4.5 million? AND you let Connolly walk? I mean, ask yourself, would you rather have a 1-year contract of Connolly at $4.5 million or 6 years of Leino? At least he still has Nathan Gerbe: “When you need a big one you get it from a little one”

    • Mattias Ohlund hasn’t played in a single game and most likely won’t . He’s been on LTIR all year. Vinny is second on the team in goals, shots, PPGs, and GWGs. Hedman has been out with a concussion since Dec. 27.

      But the Bolts do have a better team than this.

  2. Most, if not all Sabres fans, wanted nothing to do with Connolly; however, he was not replaced as well as he should have been. Initially, I thought Leino would be solid, but obviously that’s incorrect. I don’t mind the Ehrhoff contract as his cap hit is only 4mil per year, but Darcy needs to be let go. He has never addressed the center situation since 48 and 23 departed.

    I really don’t think the goalies are to be blamed for Buffalo. They are having to stop very high quality shots with a scary amount of frequency. The team in front of the goalies is doing nothing to help the goalies out. Even Hasek would have a tough time winning games with this team…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *