It’s a post turkey day game tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs, who have former Sabre Clark MacArthur as their leading scorer. You are hearing a lot out of this article by James Mirtle, with this as the money quote:
“In Buffalo, I didn’t really have the opportunity to do this,” MacArthur said. “You look at the minutes I was playing, like 12 minutes a game on average. What are you supposed to do with 12 minutes a game?”
As you might imagine, this generated some snarky responses from Sabres fans. Let’s deconstruct this a bit, shall we? Clarke showed promise in his early cups of coffee with Buffalo, in particular getting 8 goals and 15 points in 37 games in 07-08. He followed that up with an uneven 08-09 where MacArthur would show up for a few stretches and then vanish. That included a 17 game and 20 game goalless streaks. He had 5 goals in the last 8 games of the year, and 6 goals in the first 13, and ended up with 17. His average TOI was actually 13:50, though he was definitely getting the Lindy doghouse treatment at times with some 6-8 minute games. Those are balanced out though, even during the bad streaks he was given ample playing time (16min + more than once) to get going and couldn’t.
His 09-10 season was more of the same, a burst of goals to start the season, then long stretches of inactivity, which lead to Clarke getting traded to the Thrashers for a couple of mid-round picks. Atlanta didn’t accept the arbitration agreement (they specifically allowed the arbiter to set it high so they wouldn’t have to do a Tim Kennedy-style buyout) and he signed with the Maple Leafs. MacArthur currently is on pace for 28 goals and 73 points for them, and good for him. I just take issue with him acting like 187 games and 12 minutes 14 minutes a night is not enough to prove yourself. The Tiny Tyler is making quite an impression with 15 a night, is that extra shift that huge a difference?
Anyway, Miller and Roy are both in tonight as per the esteemed Mike Harrington. Rivet is still sitting in favor of Weber.