Safe to say it wasn’t just the losses the Sabres were piling up that led to today’s shakeup in Buffalo; it was the way they were losing, particularly on home ice in front of their faithful, #suffering paying customers.
“Hockey fans here in Buffalo, they’re smart,” said new president of hockey operations and former Sabres star, Pat LaFontaine. “Our job…we are in the entertainment business…we expect nothing but [the players’] best efforts every night.”
Even last night’s 3-2 shootout win over the Kings — the team’s first victory of the season at the First Niagara Center — saw the Sabres badly outplayed for most of the game, as evidenced by the 45-17 shot discrepancy in favor of the visitors.
“I wasn’t really too impressed with the game,” said new head coach Ted Nolan. “It wasn’t a very exciting game. I think people spend a lot of hard-earned money to come and watch. The least we can do is entertain them and give an effort.”
Simply put, the Sabres have been dominated by their opponents. They’ve got by far the worst shot discrepancy (-14.8), and when it comes to possession stats like Corsi and Fenwick, they rank dead last in those, too.
Some of that, to be fair, is due to the lack of talent on the roster. But if you could quantify effort, it’s a good bet they’d be down near the bottom in that as well.
Jakub Voracek totally understands why nobody’s expecting much from the Philadelphia Flyers. When a team finishes 14 points out of the playoffs the year before, that’s typically going to be the case.
“We weren’t good enough last year, let’s face it,” Voracek told CSN Philly.
So, no, it doesn’t upset him that the Flyers aren’t considered among the Stanley Cup favorites.
That being said, “it makes you feel you want to prove them wrong.”
The Flyers get going tonight with a tough game against the Lightning in Tampa Bay. They also play Saturday in Florida against the Panthers, before a rematch with the Panthers Monday in Philadelphia.
“My biggest concern would be getting off to a good start,” GM Ron Hextall said. “That’s one thing that we need to do.”
That’s something they didn’t do last year. In fact, they won just once in their first six games. By the end of November, they were 8-12-3 and in a big hole — one that proved too deep to climb out of.
Related: Flyers to start season with seven defensemen
The Arizona Coyotes might not be using John Scott‘s services after all.
The team waived him this afternoon, per Craig Morgan. It’s possible that the Coyotes are simply giving themselves options as Scott clearing would allow them to send him down quickly at any point until he plays in 10 games or 30 days pass. At the same time, any team looking for a gritty fourth-line forward or third-pairing defenseman might be tempted to claim him in light of his affordable $575K cap hit for the 2015-16 campaign.
Scott is an imposing presence on the ice at 6-foot-8 and 260 pounds, but he doesn’t bring much to the table other than his physical play and willingness to drop the gloves. In terms of offensive abilities, he’s among the least capable in the league. In fact, the four points he recorded last season with the San Jose Sharks represented a career-high for the 33-year-old.
Meanwhile, Dan Cleary went unclaimed on waivers, according to Bob McKenzie, setting the stage for him to be reassigned to the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins.