Detroit Red Wings are heading into their second season as a part of the Eastern Conference and Atlantic Division – even though most of the teams are not even near the Atlantic Ocean – and the editors from our Atlantic Division rivals will be answering a few questions regarding their team, the Detroit Red Wings, and the upcoming season.
Melissa Kania (MK) the editor of SabreNoise, where they cover the Buffalo Sabres, joins us today.
What were the Buffalo Sabres biggest additions and subtractions during the off-season?
MK: I think our biggest additions were Brian Gionta and Josh Gorges. Two guys who already have experience playing together in Montreal, and I think they – particularly Gionta – will bring some leadership to this team. Gionta’s from Rochester, which is just about 70 miles away, and he seems to be very excited to be in Buffalo already. Christian Ehrhoff has to be the biggest subtraction.
Me: The addition of Gorges certainly counteracts the loss of Ehrhoff.
Which player on the Buffalo Sabres will strike fear in the hearts of Detroit Red Wings when on the ice?
MK: I’ll throw out two names here. The first will be Sam Reinhart, if only because he’s such a highly-drafted prospect and no one knows exactly what to expect from him. Also Zemgus Girgensons, because… well…. the kid knows how to throw a hit.
Me: Reinhart has gotten better and better each year in the WHL and could make a difference in the NHL, but might hit the rookie wall before the season is over. I do not see him being as solid as MacKinnon was for Colorado.
Which player on Detroit are you most afraid of when he is on the ice?
MK: Pavel Datsyuk. He’s filthy. In a good way, of course.
Me: The third vote for Datsyuk, I think he is pretty good, eh?
Sabres are going through yet another rebuild, will this one have success where the other failed?
MK: I think it will, even if it takes a few years. A lot has changed in the past few years for the Sabres, from Regier and Ruff being gone, to Rolston, to now Ted Nolan…. to drafting Reinhart, even the Pegula family buying the team and all they’re doing for the city of Buffalo. When was the last time the Sabres drafted as high as second-overall? Not to put a lot of pressure on the kid, but any player drafted that high could be a game-changer if the other players are in the puzzle, too. You’ve also got guys developing in Rochester like Joel Armia, Zac Dalpe, and Rasmus Ristolainen plus a whole host of solid goalie prospects. Keep drafting solid, developing these players and grow a hockey culture that attracts big-name free agents and this rebuild could be a success.
Me: The Sabres have been doing this better over the past couple seasons, but the real measure of the rebuild will be the production on the ice.
Who do you predict will win the regular season series?
MK: I think the Sabres will win at least one game, but the Red Wings will take the season series.
Me: Detroit seems to have an issue playing against weaker teams in the division, so I could certainly see Buffalo take a game or two in the regular season series.
A big thank you to Melissa over at SabreNoise for answering these questions and it will be a great season!
Tags: Detroit Red Wings