So here i am in Maui for a much needed vacation. We go out for some tasty fish tacos. After placing an order, we sit down at an outside table, shaped like a surf board. We sit chatting for a few minutes, when a couple with their daughter and her boyfriend approach looking for seats. My sweetie invites them to share space with us so they sit at the one of the table and pull up another small table and chairs to fit their daughter and his boyfriend. Low and behold, the man is wearing a Buffalo Sabres t-shirt. So I tell him i am from Buffalo and big Sabres fan. He then informs me their son is Justin Falk! They are from Snowflake, Manitoba and often vacation in Hawaii. They are just finishing a month long trip here and this much was very apparent in their bronze color and deep wrinkles, despite hailing from a town called Snowflake! We chatted over fish tacos for the next hour or so and i got a chance to ask a lot of questions.
1) What did you think of Bylsma?
A: They liked him. They thought he was personable and chatted with the parents of players during team events. Justin liked him as a coach (not surprised by this since he was brought in by Murray and Bylsma).
2) What does he think of Housley?
A: Does not think Housley has the guts to sit the stars (ie the Ryan O'Reillys, Evander Kane's, other stars who were struggling at times this season). Did not seem to have a high view of him. I was not surprised by this as Falk's style of play is not exactly what Housley is looking for in players, and I get the sense all of this change was frustrating for Justin given he was brought in by one group of people and this has now changed and the team has regressed.
3) What did you think of Tim Murray?
A: No surprise here. They said he was very serious and not personable. He did not talk with the parents of the players. When they rode the elevator together, he kept his head down and did not say anything.
4) What do you think of Botterill?
A: They like him and think he is doing a good job. He is interested in the players and their families and seems invested in their well-being.
5) What ails this team? Why have they regressed?
A: They believe the team needs more speed up front. Most of their point-producers (O'Reilly, Okposo, Reinhart, etc) are not fleet of foot and can possess well but not make plays with their speed. Thinks they should have named a captain (see Eichel below).
A: They think he ultimately wanted to be named the captain but that may not be in his nature. Incredible physical talent and while his style of play may not be classic/Canadian like the Crosbys/McDavids, he can do things that they physically just cannot.
7) Evander Kane?
A: We chatted about the much publicized practice incident. They obviously are not big fans of Kane but think the incident was over-dramaticized and that this sort of thing happens on the practice ice and the only reason it blew up was because it involved Kane.
A: Justin finds it hard playing with him because he does not communicate on ice. Overall, seems to have had a tough time acclimating to life in North America, although play has been improving of late.
Edited by Onceagain, 25 February 2018 - 10:03 PM.