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Cuts Like A Knife (welcoming new Sabres writer to Hockeybuzz)

August 6, 2020, 3:56 PM ET [993 Comments]
Mark Pino
Buffalo Sabres Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Ek's Note: Thrilled to welcome long-time credentialled (15 years) Buffalo Sabres Writer Mark Pino to Hockeybuzz. Mark is one of the best in the business, talking to him I am amazed at his Sabres knowledge, and as a Sabres "Lifer" he speaks with a voice that Sabres fans young and old have been asking for! ENJOY and join me in welcoming Mark to the Buzz

Buffalo Sabres fans, it is okay to be pissed off right now.

While 24 friends you from school are having the times of their lives while enjoying a summer sizzler party, you are one of the 7 kids who were uninvited to the NHL Return To Play ragers in Toronto and Edmonton.

Go ahead. Open your window and scream at the top of your lungs. Primal screaming is an excellent form of catharsis and therapy. Be careful not to burst a blood vessel in your eye though.

These most sexy and intoxicating Stanley Cup qualifying playoff games have been medicine for the souls of the tens of millions of tortured hockey lovers in North America.

Of course you have noticed the former Sabres players who are now competing for their current teams. Oh, hey. There’s Ryan O’Reilly, Tyler Myers, Nathan Beaulieu, JT Compher, Nikita Zadorov, Robin Lehner, Tyler Ennis, Conor Sheary, Marcus Foligno, Zack Kassian, Alex Nylander, Will Carrier, Evan Rodrigues, Paul Byron and others.

How are you handling the anxiety of it all?

No. Really.

How the H-E-double hockey sticks are you doing?

I’m concerned about you. I haven’t heard from you and I am concerned for your health and well-being.

I can empathize with you. I definitely know how you feel. You deserve a break. Your team hasn’t qualified for the Stanley Cup playoffs since the Spring of 2011. This current playoff drought sucks! Selecting 8th overall in the NHL Draft sucks out loud, too!

I was telling a friend the other day that the Sabres could easily be playing the Pittsburgh Penguins right now rather than the Montreal Canadiens. You will recall that on March 12 the NHL shut down the regular season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Sabres were in Montreal on that fateful day and were scheduled to play Le Bleu Blanc et Rouge that night.

Had the Sabres defeated the Habs in regulation on that night, the Sabres would have improved their season record to 31-31-8 (70 points). With a loss to the Sabres on March 12, the Canadiens would have ended their season at 31-32-9 (71 points).

Assuming the Sabres beat the Habs in regulation on March 12, Buffalo would have earned a berth in the summer sizzler by virtue of a .500 points (P%) earned percentage to Montreal’s .493 P%.

Jack Eichel and his Sabres should be playing Sid, Geno and the Penguins right now.

Close but no cigar.

I hate to have to do this to you, but your need to take three Tylenol and sit down. I have some more bad news to share with you.

Today the NHL announced that Phase 2 of the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery– which will award the first overall selection in the 2020 NHL Draft – will be conducted and televised live on Monday, Aug. 10, at 6 p.m. Eastern time.

Just what you needed. More insult added to your injury.

The friggin’ Penguins, Canadiens, Oilers, Blackhawks, Jets and other stacked teams can enter the Alexis Lafrenière lottery with a qualifying round early exit.

Talk about a load of crap! Teams that were on pace to accumulate 95-100 points when the season was suspended have zero right swimming in the Alexis Lafrenière pool party.

Why have the GMs of the seven have-not teams screamed from the rooftops about this gross injustice? In Buffalo’s case, their GM Kevyn Adams has only eight weeks of experience as a general manager and his voice is not as loud as his veteran NHL GM peers.

The eight teams that do not advance from the 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers will be eligible to win Phase 2 of the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery. All participants will have the same odds (12.5%) and will be represented in the lottery machine by one ball with their team logo.

The seven teams not selected in Phase 2, in inverse order of their points percentages at the time of the pause in the regular season, will be assigned 2020 NHL Draft positions 9 through 15.

Phase 2 of the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery is being conducted because one of eight placeholders – ‘Team E’- was awarded the first overall draft choice, which was dished out on June 26. “Team E”, in the 12-hole, had a 2.5-percent chance of being selected.

The LA Kings won the Second Draw, while the Ottawa Senators (with a position previously acquired in the Erik Karlsson trade with the San Jose Sharks) won the Third Draw.

The order of selection for the first 15 drafting positions in the First Round, only, of the 2020 NHL Draft currently is:

1. * Mystery Family *
2. Los Angeles Kings
3. Ottawa Senators (from SJS)
4. Detroit Red Wings
5. Ottawa Senators
6. Anaheim Ducks
7. New Jersey Devils
8. Buffalo Sabres

9. TBD
10. TBD
11. TBD
12. TBD
13. TBD
14. TBD
15. TBD

* TBD to be determined by Phase 2 of 2020 NHL Draft Lottery.

The remaining 16 selections for the First Round (#16-31) will be determined by the results of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
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