The Buffalo Sabres are “Bottom Six” Dependent

December 27th, 2009 by Greg Tierney Leave a reply »
Often, watching any sports team will lead you to believing that there is at least one "untouchable" player or group of players. Disturbing or moving an "untouchable" player would shift the team identity, and probably kill the success of a team.

In the NHL, I think that this dependency breaks down into three main categories:

1. Goaltender Dependent. These types of teams rely on a star goaltender, and also a good defense in order to win games. Rarely can these teams win a high-scoring game. For examples, see the New Jersey Devils (Martin Brodeur) and the '99 Sabres (Dominik Hasek).

2. "Top Six" Dependent. These teams win on skill and speed. They make the highlight plays and win with lots of goals, the opposite of the Goaltender Dependent teams. For an example, I would choose the Atlanta Thrashers (Savard, Kovalchuk, etc.).

3. "Bottom Six" Dependent. These teams win with momentum generated from the gritty forwards on the third and fourth lines. Hitting well and crashing the net are the keys to winning a game for this team.

As you can see, I neglected to give an example for this last category, because it is hard to pinpoint thes ...

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