Gaping Blue Line

A lot of analysts are calling this year’s trade deadline a yawn-fest. I don’t know…it was solid. It wasn’t that sexy, but then again I don’t think anybody has ever referred to Jason Arnott as “sexy.” Maybe the ladies in Edmonton think that way about Dustin Penner, but then again it’s Edmonton…the bar is set pretty low. The trade deadline bar, meanwhile, was set pretty high with names like Brad Richards and John-Michael Liles, and none of those huge talents were moved. What moves there were consisted of teams around the league trying to add depth of scoring of plugging holes in the D.

Maybe all the GM’s just had a hangover of realization from last year’s atrocities in New Jersey.

And then there were the Buffalo Sabres. Of course we all know what move was made, and we all know about The Move That Wasn’t Made. Jerry Sullivan probably took to the old-timey typewriter and clanged away until his fingers wore to the bone, working on an ulcer over the fact that Tim Connolly is still wearing a Sabres sweater. I’m sure there will be an article about how “Connolly” and “cancer” both start with C.

Whatever. Screw it. They added Boyes and absorbed a big contract, and he’s a player that will carry over into next season. More offense is always a good thing, especially with the anemic team we’ve got, but the glaring weakness all season has been the blue line. Well, to be specific, the stay-at-home members of the blue line.

Losing Lydman in the offseason hurt this team pretty bad. Or do people think it’s a mystery that Ryan Miller’s numbers are suddenly magically the worst of his career? He only lost his best shut down defenseman. Meanwhile, Jonas Hiller out in Anaheim is looking like an All-Star while a familiar looking Finn skates in front of him. Strange how that works. Now I know that Shaoenoane Morrisssssonnnn was supposed to fill that spot, but he hasn’t quite lived up. The 5th best D-man on the Caps last year turns out not to be a major shut-down guy on the Sabres. Who knew? To Shaoeaoeaone’s credit, he was hurt for the start of the season.

So the Sabres finally waived Craig Rivet. He’s gone. But they didn’t actually fix the leak, the hole in the defensive zone. Steven Montador is currently our #3 defenseman. I want you to think about that for a moment. I’m a fan of his, I like his play, but there is no way there should only be two guys on the blue line I want to have the puck more than him. Here’s the current D-epth chart:

  1. Tyler “Demigod” Myers
  2. Jordan “7 More Points Than Our #1 Center Tim Connolly” Leopold
  3. Steve “Utility Journeyman” Montador
  4. Shaone Morrisonn
  5. Andrej “I Swear I’m Not Dmitri Kalinin” Sekera
  6. Mike Weber
  7. Chris Butler

Yeah yeah yeah, Sekera had a great game against Detroit, but more often than not he has regurgitated all over himself whenever there’s been an ounce of pressure put upon him. A defender needs to be consistent more than he needs to show “flashes of potential.”

So where’s this drawn-out ramble going? If this team honestly has any hope for the post-season, which they seem to show by holding on to Tim Connolly and praying that Brad Boyes will suddenly fix post-concussion syndrome, they’re ignoring the enormous exploit of this team. They’ve had all season to see if Morrisonn could replace Lydman and he honestly hasn’t. Maybe that’ll come with time, but the trade deadline is an opportunity for insurance. Are you going to tell me that they couldn’t get Adam Foote out of Colorado on the cheap? Or made some sort of move with the Islanders or Edmonton? Maybe it wouldn’t be “cheap,” but then again when you announce to the world that you’re going to be buyers at the deadline, the sellers might just hike up the prices.

They gave up Rivet, which is fine because we’d seen that Rivet didn’t have anything left in the tank. The problem is they didn’t replace him with somebody that could add some insurance. Don’t look now, but Leopold’s been out with a bit of an injury. That means that ol’ Monty is our second-most dependable defenseman. The kids aren’t getting it done, and it’s Darcy’s job to shore up that blue line if they’re at all serious about the post-season.

Or maybe they’re not serious about it. But then why the hell hold on to Connolly? Maybe he couldn’t have been moved, but from all reports the Sabres weren’t interested in pulling that trigger if they could.

Next Sabres Game Full schedule »
Thursday, Oct 2323 Oct7:30at Los Angeles KingsBuy Tickets

Tags: Adam Foote Andrej Sekera Buffalo Sabres Chris Butler Craig Rivet Darcy Regier Detroit Red Wings Eastern Conference Fansided Free Agency Hockey Jordan Leopold Lindy Ruff Mike Weber NHL Northeast Division Sabres Shaone Morrisonn Stanley Cup Stanley Cup Playoffs Steve Montador Terry Pegula Tim Connolly Trade Trade Deadline Tyler Myers Washington Capitals

comments powered by Disqus