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The Top Line - Van/Hod/Pom

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#1 LGR4GM

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 05:56 PM

Well a big question going into this season was going to the play of Vanek and Pominville. They needed to be good to help take pressure off of others and provide a spark for a team that has arguably lacked a top scoring line for 5yrs.  So far through 2 games we have seen some great play from Van and Poms.  Also of note is the renewed/refreshed and stunningly better Cody Hodgson.  Although he has only produced 2 pts thus far, he has caused havoc on some shifts and I would argue is responsible for some of the points that his linemates have accumulated.  Is a new legit top scoring line emerging or is this a flash in the pan that will quickly wither to what we have known for years which is occasional good games but nothing that other teams are in fear of?

Thomas Vanek: 2g 4a, +3
Jason Pominville: 1g, 4a, +2
Cody Hodgson: 2g, 0a, +4

#2 Taro T

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 06:00 PM

View PostLGR4GM, on 22 January 2013 - 05:56 PM, said:

Well a big question going into this season was going to the play of Vanek and Pominville. They needed to be good to help take pressure off of others and provide a spark for a team that has arguably lacked a top scoring line for 5yrs.  So far through 2 games we have seen some great play from Van and Poms.  Also of note is the renewed/refreshed and stunningly better Cody Hodgson.  Although he has only produced 2 pts thus far, he has caused havoc on some shifts and I would argue is responsible for some of the points that his linemates have accumulated. Is a new legit top scoring line emerging or is this a flash in the pan that will quickly wither to what we have known for years which is occasional good games but nothing that other teams are in fear of?

Thomas Vanek: 2g 4a, +3
Jason Pominville: 1g, 4a, +2
Cody Hodgson: 2g, 0a, +4
Who knows?  But I'm SURE the Sabres would rather have Paul Stastny centering it. :rolleyes: :doh:

#3 LGR4GM

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 06:14 PM

View PostTaro T, on 22 January 2013 - 06:00 PM, said:

Who knows?  But I'm SURE the Sabres would rather have Paul Stastny centering it. :rolleyes: :doh:
So you don't have an opinion other than who knows?

#4 Glass Case Of Emotion

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 06:17 PM

Seriously, Pommer, Sabretooth, and the accordion guy from Rochester would be the leagues top line. Having a strong showing from Vanek and Cody II is just an embarrassment of riches.

#5 Robviously

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 07:08 PM

View PostLGR4GM, on 22 January 2013 - 05:56 PM, said:

Well a big question going into this season was going to the play of Vanek and Pominville. They needed to be good to help take pressure off of others and provide a spark for a team that has arguably lacked a top scoring line for 5yrs.  So far through 2 games we have seen some great play from Van and Poms.  Also of note is the renewed/refreshed and stunningly better Cody Hodgson.  Although he has only produced 2 pts thus far, he has caused havoc on some shifts and I would argue is responsible for some of the points that his linemates have accumulated. Is a new legit top scoring line emerging or is this a flash in the pan that will quickly wither to what we have known for years which is occasional good games but nothing that other teams are in fear of?

Thomas Vanek: 2g 4a, +3
Jason Pominville: 1g, 4a, +2
Cody Hodgson: 2g, 0a, +4
Vanek and Pominville have had a nice chemistry together for a while, but we haven't had the right center to put between the two of them.  Maybe Hodgson is it.  OTOH, they looked awesome starting last season with Luke Adam between them.  Still too early to tell, but Hodgson's potential has always been pretty high.  He should be really good.  

The main thing I'm getting out of watching Vanek and Pominville start the year so strong is how gratifying it would be to see the two of them finally be part of a Stanley Cup winning team.  Imagine how great it would be if those two got a Cup together after being Sabres for north of 10 years.  Hopefully the contract extensions get done because I definitely get some value out of having them on the team beyond just their production.

#6 Grumpy

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 07:08 PM

45 years as a Buffalo Sports fan when old enough to remember.. Two games does not a season make. (i.e. 5-1 Bills in 2008) We were 2-0 last year also. Slow down people and let's not get ahead of ourselves.

Edited by Grumpy, 22 January 2013 - 07:19 PM.


#7 DontPatTheGerbe

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 07:11 PM

You guys have short memories.  I'm cautiously optimistic and will remain so until game 15 at the earliest.  Replace Hodgson with Luke Adam and replace 2012-2013 with 2011-2012 and you see the same amazing start from our "top" line.  I will be excited when we start seeing secondary scoring.  As I recall, last season Vanek and Pommers were top/nearly top in the league for goals and points for about the first whole month.  We need to not get so worked up over their recent success.

#8 Grumpy

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 07:26 PM

View PostDontPatTheGerbe, on 22 January 2013 - 07:11 PM, said:

You guys have short memories.  I'm cautiously optimistic and will remain so until game 15 at the earliest.  Replace Hodgson with Luke Adam and replace 2012-2013 with 2011-2012 and you see the same amazing start from our "top" line.  I will be excited when we start seeing secondary scoring.  As I recall, last season Vanek and Pommers were top/nearly top in the league for goals and points for about the first whole month.  We need to not get so worked up over their recent success.

We might not agree on Gerbe(hope I'm wrong) but we agree here.

#9 waldo

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 07:37 PM

Without secondary scoring it is relatively easy for the better teams to shut them down. Just like they have done in the last six years. (you only have to keep them off the board for three games anyway / Lindy will do the rest with line changes)

I bet Ennis will be ready for the next touch pass at the goal mouth from Vanek.No way he expected the last one.

Edited by waldo, 23 January 2013 - 09:52 AM.


#10 Ghost of Dwight Drane

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 07:42 PM

View PostDontPatTheGerbe, on 22 January 2013 - 07:11 PM, said:

You guys have short memories.  I'm cautiously optimistic and will remain so until game 15 at the earliest.  Replace Hodgson with Luke Adam and replace 2012-2013 with 2011-2012 and you see the same amazing start from our "top" line.  I will be excited when we start seeing secondary scoring.  As I recall, last season Vanek and Pommers were top/nearly top in the league for goals and points for about the first whole month.  We need to not get so worked up over their recent success.

It's a Twitterdom world out there......

I'm impressed so far, but if we went off the first 2 games last year, the Sabres looked unstoppable.

The last 12 games will tell the tale.....if the Sabres go better than actual .500 in those, they probably make it. I'm feeling more of a 3-7-2 myself. Hope I'm wrong.

#11 Meathead

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 07:54 PM

at the risk of being a wet blanket that line also looked unstoppable with luke in the middle when last season started and we know how that turned out

cody has looked great, though. hes been in the right spots, seems to instinctively know where his linemates are, and has backchecked reasonably well. we can only hope it isnt another flash in the pan, but right now i dont think that it is

#12 Robviously

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 08:00 PM

View PostGhost of Dwight Drane, on 22 January 2013 - 07:42 PM, said:

It's a Twitterdom world out there......

I'm impressed so far, but if we went off the first 2 games last year, the Sabres looked unstoppable.

The last 12 games will tell the tale.....if the Sabres go better than actual .500 in those, they probably make it. I'm feeling more of a 3-7-2 myself. Hope I'm wrong.
You already have a projected outcome for the last 12 games of the season?  

The Sabres' record last year when both Myers and Ehrhoff were healthy was pretty impressive.  (Of course I can't find it right now.)  Let's see if that continues if they stay healthy this year.  Maybe they are supposed to be good and the Injuries!™ excuse was actually relevant last season (for once).

#13 Touched by Boyes

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 08:09 PM

View PostMeathead, on 22 January 2013 - 07:54 PM, said:

at the risk of being a wet blanket that line also looked unstoppable with luke in the middle when last season started and we know how that turned out

cody has looked great, though. hes been in the right spots, seems to instinctively know where his linemates are, and has backchecked reasonably well. we can only hope it isnt another flash in the pan, but right now i dont think that it is
I know everyone keeps bringing up Luke Adam from last year, but when I watched them last year it always seemed that Adam was just riding the coattails of Vanek and Poms and lucked into some garbage goals on rebounds and such. Based on the two game eye test (small sample size withstanding) it looks like Hodgson has as much to do with the success as either Vanek or Poms. He has created turnovers and put players in position to score with passing and aggressive play. I think back to when Hodgson drove the net on that 3-on-2 last night and Pomminstein had all week to line up his five hole goal.

#14 Ghost of Dwight Drane

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 08:29 PM

View PostTouched by Boyes, on 22 January 2013 - 08:09 PM, said:

I know everyone keeps bringing up Luke Adam from last year, but when I watched them last year it always seemed that Adam was just riding the coattails of Vanek and Poms and lucked into some garbage goals on rebounds and such. Based on the two game eye test (small sample size withstanding) it looks like Hodgson has as much to do with the success as either Vanek or Poms. He has created turnovers and put players in position to score with passing and aggressive play. I think back to when Hodgson drove the net on that 3-on-2 last night and Pomminstein had all week to line up his five hole goal.

So kicking one in and having one go off your ass are Gretzkyesque?

#15 wyldnwoody44

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 09:02 PM

View PostGhost of Dwight Drane, on 22 January 2013 - 08:29 PM, said:



So kicking one in and having one go off your ass are Gretzkyesque?
More lemieuxish if u ask me

#16 skaught

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 09:04 PM

View PostGhost of Dwight Drane, on 22 January 2013 - 08:29 PM, said:

So kicking one in and having one go off your ass are Gretzkyesque?

Heh, he's probably got more goals than shots on goal ;)

#17 dudacek

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 09:30 PM

Hodgson goals were hardly things of beauty.
But I thought the rule was work hard, go to the net and get rewarded.
I don't care about the stats, his play is light years above what we saw from Adam early last year.

#18 nfreeman

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 09:43 PM

View Postdudacek, on 22 January 2013 - 09:30 PM, said:

Hodgson goals were hardly things of beauty.
But I thought the rule was work hard, go to the net and get rewarded.
I don't care about the stats, his play is light years above what we saw from Adam early last year.

Luker showed some real puckhandling flashes last year.  He was pretty sneakily adept at stealing it or winning possession in the offensive zone.  He also added a bit of a physical presence in front, especially when he was feeling confident.  But I agree that his all-around game was not as strong as Hodgy's looks right now.

I'd guess that if Luker took the game -- including his conditioning -- as seriously as Cody does, Luker would be up in the show also.

#19 Ghost of Dwight Drane

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 09:48 PM

View Postnfreeman, on 22 January 2013 - 09:43 PM, said:

Luker showed some real puckhandling flashes last year.  He was pretty sneakily adept at stealing it or winning possession in the offensive zone.  He also added a bit of a physical presence in front, especially when he was feeling confident.  But I agree that his all-around game was not as strong as Hodgy's looks right now.

I'd guess that if Luker took the game -- including his conditioning -- as seriously as Cody does, Luker would be up in the show also.

The Gary roberts school of manhood must not include faceoff drills.... ;)

#20 Eleven

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 09:51 PM

View PostGhost of Dwight Drane, on 22 January 2013 - 09:48 PM, said:

The Gary roberts school of manhood must not include faceoff drills.... ;)

Way to focus on the tree rather than the forest.

#21 Ghost of Dwight Drane

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 10:09 PM

View PostEleven, on 22 January 2013 - 09:51 PM, said:

Way to focus on the tree rather than the forest.

Though the forest may be bushy...the tree stands tall and proud.....

I'm just bustin on Gary Roberts meme.

#22 Spndnchz

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 12:04 AM

The leaves have all fallen. The tree has been chopped down. The sapling shall rise from the depths of...

#23 Moulson26

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 01:17 AM

They're playing great. I personally feel Hodgson has been exceptional even without the two lucky goals. Jury is still out if he's playing great or if Vanek and Pominville's great play is allowing him to have the space and time to generate chances. When they were playing at a elite level last season, they even made Luke Adam look good. But, they will slow down eventually. And without secondary scoring, this team is going nowhere besides the draft lottery - no matter how good this line does.

#24 TheChimp

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:15 AM

Two games.

#25 ThirtyEight

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 03:51 AM

View PostDontPatTheGerbe, on 22 January 2013 - 07:11 PM, said:

You guys have short memories.  I'm cautiously optimistic and will remain so until game 15 at the earliest.  Replace Hodgson with Luke Adam and replace 2012-2013 with 2011-2012 and you see the same amazing start from our "top" line.  I will be excited when we start seeing secondary scoring.  As I recall, last season Vanek and Pommers were top/nearly top in the league for goals and points for about the first whole month.  We need to not get so worked up over their recent success.

I agree. The only thing which makes me more optimistic is that Coho has played very very well in both games (bar faceoffs) and it seems that his play away from the puck is helping the other two score (e.g. him driving to the net on Pommers goal, which opened up the passing lane to Pommers). I think they made Adam look good; but so far, I think Coho has held his own on the line. Secondary scoring is more of a concern to me atm

#26 Heimdall

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 08:13 AM

I'll start getting optimistic when we get secondary scoring, wich will need in back to backs vs carolina.

edit: and im expecting this more from the OTT - Gigor - Leino line than our FES line

Edited by Heimdall, 23 January 2013 - 08:15 AM.


#27 LGR4GM

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 08:23 AM

View Postdudacek, on 22 January 2013 - 09:30 PM, said:

Hodgson goals were hardly things of beauty.
But I thought the rule was work hard, go to the net and get rewarded.
I don't care about the stats, his play is light years above what we saw from Adam early last year.
I agree. Adam was okay at the start of the season and he cashed in because his linemates were on a different level.  CoHo seems to play as I would expect a real center too. He is making really good passes out of the zone and in the o-zone.  His foot speed has definitely improved a lot. His quick wrist shot is going to get rewarded shortly (at least he does 1 timers).  CoHo has some major talent and his hockey IQ as they say, is probably in the top 2-3 on the team, I don't think you could say that about Adam.

On a side note I saw (sorry I didn't quote) that there is the argument that Adam would be better if he trained with Roberts too.  Well yea he would but I think it takes a special mindset to train with Roberts and to force yourself to keep up with it when he is not around.

Yup ik its only been 2 games and ik that part of CoHo looking good is Poms and Van.  Something about this line though looks different from last year.  Elite lines stay good even without secondary scoring (which I think will come) so lets see what they do against a team that has had a couple days to prepare for them.

#28 nfreeman

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 09:19 AM

View PostGhost of Dwight Drane, on 22 January 2013 - 09:48 PM, said:

The Gary roberts school of manhood must not include faceoff drills.... ;)

View PostGhost of Dwight Drane, on 22 January 2013 - 10:09 PM, said:

Though the forest may be bushy...the tree stands tall and proud.....

I'm just bustin on Gary Roberts meme.

The Gary Roberts thing is real.  Most of the guys who have done it have improved their games.  Maybe it's because the conditioning helps, or maybe it's because guys who are willing to do it have the right mindset and commitment to get better, or maybe it's a combination of those factors -- but it's not meaningless either.

Nothing wrong with being skeptical.  It's only been 2 games, both of which they could've lost.  But Ott for Roy is a huge upgrade, Miller is very sharp and so far they're talking and acting like grownups.

Let's see how the Carolina home-and-home goes.

#29 TrueBluePhD

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 12:24 PM

Obviously two games is way too small of a sample to even think about drawing conclusions, and the line is on an unsustainable production pace.  That said, I do think Hodgson's skill set meshes with Vanek and Pommer better than any center they've ever played with.  Whether that translates into consistent performance and a legit #1 line over the course of the year, only time will tell.

#30 LGR4GM

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 03:44 PM

The Austrian Assassin
http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=415235

Basically Vanek's production is not a crazy abnormality (well not exactly).  Apparently according to the article, Vanek is getting 2mins more of ice time this year... the sad part is they say in years past he wasnt getting top ice time... WHAT THE F###???? Seriously the best scoring on a team that lacks scoring was getting below average ice time for a top line guy... read the article its good and worth it.  Vanek is averaging over 1 more shot per game, meaning he is getting more opportunities.





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