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Tuesday, 11 October 2011

New Captain in Buffalo- Jason Pominville

Now the new Buffalo sabres captain isnt exactly the loudest, or loudly opinionated. Buffalo sabre fans were extremely excited to see that their team finally had a full time captain for this upcoming season and the foreseeable future. But it wasn't the player everyone in Buffalo had expected to be named captain. Fans were looking forward to seeing Thomas Vanek wear the "C" on his Jersey and lead this revamped Buffalo sabres team to the promise land and perhaps a sniff at the ultimate prize- Stanley Cup. But to the surprise of many it was Jason Pominville being named the 13th captain in Sabres franchise history. Leaving Thomas Vanek to wear the "A" as an assistant. The announcement was made in Helsinki, Finland, as the team started their season over in Europe. "It's an honor to represent the team," Pominville said to his teammates in a video released by the team. "I think we're going to have to hold each other accountable. ... Regardless of whether you have a letter on your jersey or not, if you see something that can help the team and make us better, just let anyone know about it."

In the 8 seasons Pominville has spent with the sabres, he has quickly become a fan favorite. Putting up solid
numbers and has a total of 145 goals and 358 points in his 459 games with the sabres. He wore the C during the 2007-2008 season when many players shared the honor and has been seen many times having an A on his Jersey and always seems to step up to plate and produce when the pressure is on him. During his time as captainn in 2007-2008 he produced some pretty decent numbers putting up 8 goals and 13 assists in his 17 games. Pominville has proven time after time that he is a clutch player, producing big numbers down the stretch helping push this team into the postseason, and by scoring timely goals to help boost his team. He also is a natural leader of this team, with or without the C, he leads by example. Pominville has put up some pretty constant numbers by putting up 5 straight 20+ goal and 50+ point seasons. He finds himself playing in every situation whether its killing penalties or on a power play, Lindy Ruff has no issue with putting number 29 on the ice. His importance to this team shows up drastically when he does good they win when he's not playing they loose; the sabres went 16-5-0 when Pominville scored a goal in the game and 22-9-4 when he put up a point where as without Pominville in the line-up the sabres went 2-5-2.
Pominville was a 2nd round draft pick of the sabres in the 2001 Entry draft. Lindy Ruff also named 4 players as alternate captains; Thomas Vanek, Drew Stafford, Paul Gaustad and Derek Roy. Left off the 5 names in leadership of the sabres; were Tyler Myers and Jochen Hecht. With the announcement of these 5 players, Lindy Ruff and the rest of the sabres organization are showing they are a committed to the core veteran players that have been with the team since being drafted and have all grown up together. this core group of players is now being called upon to step up and lead this team. "This whole group from Gaus to Van, to Rosie and Staff ... you guys have grown up together as a group and we have to push each other to higher levels," Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff said. "We have to take the pain of the last two years in the playoffs and push ourselves past that and be the team that can get all the way." Pominville has matured as a player and person since being drafted in 2001, he handles himself very well with media and is always available to do an interview whether the sabres won or lost he's willing to talk about. Now most people didn't even have Pominville on the radar to become the next captain heck most people were extremely upset with Lindy Ruff for naming Pominville captain over the public's choice of Thomas Vanek or Tyler Myers. 

The only real drawback to having Pominville being the captain is he has been said to be "soft" not necessarily with wimping out of playing like Connolly, but he isn't a gritty or in your face type of player, it will be difficult for him to rally the sabres with a motivational speech. He wouldn't exactly hit anyone hard enough to smack some sense into them so we'll have to see how that plays out. Now it is a little shocking to see that Tyler Myers the supposed future captain and future of the team wasn't even given an A. I've heard many a person say that the true leader on the sabres in number net-minder Ryan Miller, now I agree that Miller is a huge leader on this team and carries most of the burden for the team, a hockey team needs to let goalies focus on being... well just being goalies. Everyone remembers what happened with the Canucks and Loungo becoming their captain. I'm very happy with the choice of Jason Pominville as the captain, I'll admit it took me a little bit by surprise but I'm quite happy with the decision. He puts up points, rarely gets injured and his "home grown" talent by Buffalo and last but not least he is a complete 2 way player.. Ruff knew exactly what he was doing and by me and most sabres fans, he made the right choice selecting Pominville over Vanek or Myers.
Who knows maybe the population of Pominville will reach into the mid 30's for the first time in a few years!!

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