Part five of seven.
Through Thursday the 19th, Sabres Hockey Central will be releasing the staff selections for the seven categories making up the 2010-2011 Sabres year in review. The posts will be published here at 8 a.m. daily.
Today’s award is “biggest disappointment”. Wednesday’s post will feature “goals of the year”.
Kevin Freiheit – Mike Grier and Rob Niedermayer
Grier and Niedermayer were atrocious during the regular season, combining for 35 points in 140+ games. Just unacceptable for two veterans to play like that.
Jeff Pawlak – Philadelphia’s Goalie Carousel Actually Working
A coach always says that they hope to spark some energy for his team when he pulls the starting goaltender in the middle of a game, but it’s never supposed to work as often as it did against the Sabres in the playoffs.
On three occasions, Flyer’s coach Peter Laviolette pulled his starting goaltender, and on three occasions, the Sabres scored only a single goal against the ‘backup’. It’s not a surprise that the Sabres lost two of the games where that situation occurred, and why they’re sitting at home right now.
Brandon Schlager – Game 7 Performance
To me, the biggest disappointment was not a player per say. Instead, I feel the way the Sabres showed up to play in Game 7 let me down the most after watching the team play so well over a three month period only to get chased out of Wells Fargo Center, losing 5-2 in a dismal effort. Although we were treated to more than we bargained for from this Sabres, this one still leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
Adam Qutaishat – Rob Niedermayer
Niedermayer was awful this year with the exception of the home stretch and the playoffs. He didn’t have a goal until March 6th. He was supposed to be effective and a leader. He may have been a leader but he definitely wasn’t effective. He even struggled defensively. Not a good signing by Darcy Regier.
Ryan Wolfe – Shoane Morrisonn
Played 62 games this season, only scoring 5 points (1 goal, 4 assists). Wasn’t expected to be a huge points guy when he was signed in the offseason but he was terrible on defense at most points throughout the season.
Chris Downey – Ryan Miller and Tyler Myers
Either or; both played inconsistent, stubborn hockey.
Tony Fiorello- Steve Montador
This could have gone to Tim Connolly for his huge dip in production, but Montador takes the cake. Granted, he was a plus-16, but he made too many mental mistakes over the past two seasons that have put the Sabres in a position where they could lose.