Buffalo Sabres: A Look At The Depth Chart

With training camp less than a month away, and the Buffalo Sabres roster looking pretty much set, I thought now would be a good time to investigate the lines and defense pairings for the coming season.  Starting up front:

Ennis – Connolly – Pominville
Vanek – Roy – Stafford/McCormick?
Gerbe – Gaustad – Kaleta
Hecht – Niedermayer – Grier

It’s an odd mix of diminutive players and size/grit, to be sure.  Zack Kassian could make things interesting when he’s off his time-out from GMDR and gets to sign.  I’m not sure what happens if McCormick gets one of the RW spots, Stafford really is the only one that can come out.  I don’t think you play anybody out of position to try and keep him in the lineup.  Gerbe, I suppose, could end up on the fourth line if Lindy wants to keep Hecht up on the third, though my hope is with cagey vets like Grier and Niedermayer taking over the fourth line will get more than 6 minutes a night.  It’s a lineup that has some scoring potential, but should help out the revamped defense core quite a bit as well.  Speaking of:

Myers (RH) – Morrisonn (LH)
Montador (RH) – Leopold (LH)
Rivet (RH) – Sekera (LH)

Butler (LH)

Obviously Myers is the top dog, and I slotted Morrisonn next to him as he’s another more stay at home type as Tallinder was for Tyler last year.  You get a similar Off/Def pair with Montador/Leopold, leaving Rivet and his bad shoulder to mentor Sekera and Butler in the third pair.  This keeps the left hand/right hand balance, and keeps Rivet healthier so he can bulldoze some guys in front of Miller.  If Leopold can chip in points to balance the Myers pairing, the offense from the backend will be right where it needs to be.  Now, Morrisonn may not fit in as a first pair guy which blows all this up but I think this works the best.

I don’t HAVE to go over the goalies, do I?  Miller gets more work than we like (without the Olympics thankfully), especially considering the TWENTY TWO back to back game situations.  Does Lalime get 15 games?  Lalime and Enroth combined for 14 starts last year, I’d like to see that at 20 with all the back to backs but I can’t predict it.

Look, it’s not the wholesale changes in the top 6 we were looking for, but as we’ve investigated before, there aren’t a lot of guys available who are a for-sure improvement.  Stempniak might be a one-hit wonder, and there’s that self-imposed cap…

7 Replies to “Buffalo Sabres: A Look At The Depth Chart”

    1. I look at it like this – forward-wise, not much has changed, a few guys with more goal-scoring potential while subtracting Mair and his ilk. The D corps is a wild card, but they still have Miller behind them. It’s baby steps, but I think they are positive ones.

  1. I think Jochen gets put back with Timmy and Pommers. His ability to control the puck along the wall made that line a lot more effective when he was with them. Ennis with Vanek as a set up man intrigues me even if Thomas would have to play RW.

    I can see Weber making the roster and them keeping 8 D-men, forcing Gerbe to start in Portland. Montador/Sekera could sub in at forward in an emergency. I’d rather have Gerbe up here than Stafford, but he might have to wait awhile again. I also see Morrisonn (I had to copy his name from your post to get the spelling right!) with Myers. He was Mike Green’s safety valve in Washington and it will allow Tyler to pinch and carry the puck more.

    Wow, we’re talking hockey. Cool!

      1. Switzerland or Siberia would be fine with me.

        I also forgot to mention in my comment that I think the 4th line should be grit line of Goose, Kaleta, Mccormick. It’s been awhile since we had a physical line like that. Then Nieds-Grier-Somebody can be our shutdown line.

        1. That’s an easy swap to make. I don’t really see any boat anchors on the roster that need to be hidden away so I can imagine both the 3rd and 4th lines getting useful minutes.

  2. Gaustad just plain isn’t good enough for the fourth line. Hecht is too good for the third line. I think Hecht will play with Pominville and Connolly again. Ennis with Roy and Vanek. McCormick will play on the fourth line with Gaustad and Kaleta. I’d put Niedermayer, Stafford and Grier as my third line.

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