It is becoming apparent that this Blue Jacket team is unlike any in our history. I had been trying to figure out who we were like until it hit me. The 2006-2007 Buffalo Sabres. The similarities are startling. To remind you this was the Briere and Drury Sabres that ran deep into the playoffs before they bolted as UFAs for major offseason money. The Sabres did finish 53-22-7 and were dispatched in the Conference Finals by the Senators. While I don't think we'll achieve those heights in the competitive Western Conference this year, I think a comparison can be made.
Ryan Miller vs. Steve Mason
Young goalies who were asserting themselves between the pipes.These guys are the keys.
Chris Drury vs. Antoine Vermette
Great 3rd line centers asked to play on a scoring line. Defensively responsible, great PKers and faceoff specialists.
Briere and Vanek vs. Nash and Brassard
Okay I'm cheating a bit here. Our experience is just flipped. We have a young center as opposed to a young wing. Player styles are pretty close though.
Jason Pominville vs. Jakub Voracek
Young right wingers who can take a big step.
Maxim Afinogenov vs. Krisitan Huselius
Playmaking extraordinaires. Struggle with physical play and consistency.
Lydman and Tallinder vs. Hejda and Commodore
Solid stay at home types who can control the opponents top line.
Alex Kotalik vs. Nikita Filatov
Wingers with good upside and offensive pizazz
Jaroslav Spacek vs. Fedor Tyutin
I've said over and over Tyutin reminds me of an upgrade Jaro Spacek.
Dmitiri Kalinin vs. Rostislav Klesla
These both play very similar games.
Brian Campbell vs. Kris Russell
Here's the first comparison that we get pounded on. The Buffalo version of Campbell is Kris Russell's upside. I like Russell's play so far this year but he is far away from becoming Campbell
Derek Roy, Paul Gastaud, Adam Mair, Teppo Numinen vs. Samuel Pahlsson, Jason Chimera, RJ Umberger, Raffi Torres, Freddy Modin
You may be able to make better comparisons on these players, but I didn't quite see better matchups. What I do see is far superior shut down ability on our team. Much more experienced bottom six guys.
Comparison by Comparison I think we look pretty good stacked up against these Sabres. After putting it on paper, I find it startling how similar the rosters of the two teams are.
Now I do not think we will achieve anything near the regular season record that they did, but I do consider those Sabres to be our upside. A very nice upside.The Sabres have an elite puck mover that we still are missing, but we do make up for it in young skill and bottom six talent.
The major difference between the two teams was in the contracts. Buffalo was not able to keep this team together. If they were, they'd still be a perennial Cup contender, but in their budget world it was 1 and done. On our side, we have this team signed in principal for the next 5 years. Howson knows what he is doing.
Fire Away! Good comparison or completely off-base and irrational? Discuss!