Vanek, Stafford Overwhelm the Lightning

The Sabres recovered from a bad start (and a few tough goals given up by Miller) to roll over Dwayne Roloson and the Lightning 7-4.  Drew Stafford notched a hat trick, Vanek scored twice, and Jordan Leopold and Tim Connolly had the other goals.  Mike Weber and Tyler Ennis both had 2 assists.  A Vanek goal late in the second to make it 3-2 Tampa was the turning point, and the Bolts came completely unraveled after Stafford bumped Roloson on Leopold’s goal (he was pushed into him).

I was listening on the radio and tracking it on the phone, and was shocked when I saw the score jump from 3-3 to 6-3.  Now the big discussion point while we await Pegula-mania to kick in is what to do with Stafford.  Did he finally ‘get it’?  My feeling is yes, knowing how hard he worked in the offseason and seeing the pace he is on (37 goals in 64 games after last night).  His longest stretch held pointless is 3 games, and it’s only 4 games for goals.  He’s shooting more, and I’m having a hard time thinking of a bad game for him.  Sign him to a Roy-like contract, $4mil a year for as many years as he wants.  I’d be A-OK with having Angry Eyebrows around long-term.

2 Replies to “Vanek, Stafford Overwhelm the Lightning”

  1. Us Sabres fans love to spend OPM during contract years. It will be hard to put a value on Stafford given the frustration of the last 3 years. Do you put his value on his current hot streak or the total picture?

    You’d think people would understand how hard it is to be GM by just this one case sample.

    The last time we had a “pay him, he’s worth it!” argument, the topic was Jason Pominville. How much value did we derive from that decision?

    1. Yeah, I thought about Pommer when coming up with it. Stafford has been solid all year, without the gaps in scoring that he’s typically had. I freely admit it’s a risk – I wouldn’t do it for Pominville money, but at Roy to Connolly money? I’m OK with it. Wouldn’t go any higher than that though.

      Think he’d still be an RFA after this year if the team wanted to go that route, but the cost could go up.

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