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Die By The Blade Nov 18, 2014

Tank Wars, part four, let's go!

Get your picks in! The Buffalo Sabres season continued its up-and-down trajectory (mostly down) in the last fortnight. In fact, the last four games have been marked with an offensive explosion, with at least one team scoring half-a-dozen goals in each of those games. If you've been picking the 'Under' for goals over/under, it might be time to revisit your strategy. Patrick Topor was the clear winner of Part Three, with kitaman27 coming in second two points behind. Salient's strategy didn't pay off this time around, but he's still clinging on to the overall lead. So the overall top three...
Die By The Blade Nov 18, 2014

Sabres Links: Hasek inducted into HOF, Zadorov likely staying up, Reinhart and Bailey named players of the week

The Sabres prospects made Tim Murray proud this week, and were chosen as the players of the week in their respective leagues. Sabres Links Dominik Hasek was officially inducted into the Hall of Fame last night, and here's his speech [NHL.com] Ted Nolan made no promises, but it sounds like Nikita Zadorov is staying up in the NHL for the rest of the season [Buffalo Hockey Beat] Sam Reinhart was named the WHL Player of the Week for his seven points in two games this weekend [WHL.ca] Justin Bailey was also honored yesterday as the OHL Player of the Week for his seven points in three games...

Nikita Zadorov making case to stay in Buffalo

With just one game left on his NHL tryout, Zadorov is making a strong statement that he deserves to stay in Buffalo. At the beginning of the season, Nikita Zadorov couldn't find his way on the ice if you gave him a map. Now, the Buffalo Sabres can't afford to keep him off it. Zadorov has played eight games in the NHL after sitting in the press box as a healthy scratch for the first few weeks of the season. If he plays one more game this year, a decision will have to be made by Tim Murray whether to keep him in Buffalo and trigger his entry level contract or try to sort out the CHL/KHL...
Die By The Blade Nov 16, 2014

Rochester recap: Amerks stymied by Wolves

The Amerks have now lost six of the last seven games. I sincerely thought about summing up tonight's game with one sentence from Amerks Head Coach, Chadd Cassidy: "I'd be lying if I said I wasn't worried." "I was so happy, but joy in this life seldom lasts." (Nickel Creek, The Lighthouse's Tale) I am not a member of the media, or a journalist, or even really a writer, by trade (although I do a lot of writing on a daily basis) but I do listen to people. I listen for what they don't want other people to hear, and I look for it - in their body language and their facial cues. It lends an...

Sabres vs. Maple Leafs recap: Buffalo flips the script, dominates en route to 6-2 win

Zemgus Girgensons scored twice as the Sabres tore the house down at home for the first time in a long time. Last night was the best night of the season to be a Buffalo Sabres fan. Granted, it was a low bar to hurdle, but when your long-time beloved announcer beats cancer to call his first game back in the booth, your future star center scores twice, and your team dominates a hated division rival, that ends up being a good night for any team. Zemgus Girgensons scored twice, Tyler Ennis had three points, Mike Weber and Marcus Foligno combined for 15 hits, and Michal Neuvirth made 34 saves as...

Sabres vs. Maple Leafs Complete Coverage: Game 19

Buffalo finally won a game, and finally scored some goals. Hockey can be fun! Game #19 Buffalo Sabres (3-13-2) vs.Toronto Maple Leafs (9-6-2) Puck Drop: 7:00 pm EST | First Niagara Center | Buffalo, NY TV: MSG, CBC | Radio: WGR 550 SB Nation Leafs Blog: Pension Plan Puppets Three Questions 1. Can the defense and Michal Neuvirth get back on track? Buffalo has given up six goals in each of the last three games, and will look to snap that streak against the powerful Leafs offense, averaging 3.16 goals per game, good for fourth in the league. Andre Benoit will take a seat, and Josh...
Die By The Blade Nov 16, 2014

Sabres Links: Buffalo dominates, prospects dominate, Rochester doesn't at all

It was a real good day everywhere in the Sabres organization except Rochester. Lieuwen and Makarov, what happened? Sabres Links The Sabres looked nothing like the Sabres in their 6-2 win over Toronto [Sabres.com] Five years later Tyler Ennis still remembers everything from his NHL debut [Buffalo Hockey Beat] The Leafs were taught a good lesson by the Sabres in rout [TSN] In Elliotte Friedman's 30 Thoughts he says he wouldn't be surprised if the Sabres are in on the goalie market for a long-term solution (#15) [Sportsnet] Prospect Report: Eric Cornel scores a goal and three assists,...

Sabres vs. Maple Leafs Preview: Trying to not give up six goals

The Sabres will try to not give up six goals for the first time in a week as the Toronto Maple Leafs come to town. Game #19 Buffalo Sabres (3-13-2) vs.Toronto Maple Leafs (9-6-2) Puck Drop: 7:00 pm EST | First Niagara Center | Buffalo, NY TV: MSG, CBC | Radio: WGR 550 SB Nation Leafs Blog: Pension Plan Puppets Three Questions 1. Can the defense and Michal Neuvirth get back on track? Buffalo has given up six goals in each of the last three games, and will look to snap that streak against the powerful Leafs offense, averaging 3.16 goals per game, good for fourth in the league. Andre...
Pension Plan Puppets Nov 15, 2014

Game Day Preview: Leafs at Sabres

Hey, have you heard? The Buffalo Sabres are bad at hockey! There's something so comforting about seeing the Buffalo Sabres on the schedule. There are so few teams that the Leafs can consistently, genuinely dominate, but luckily for us, one of them is right there in the Atlantic Division. Until the Leafs become a good team, Sabres games are our opportunity to imagine what it'd be like to be fans of a team that was the better half of any given matchup. And even better, the Sabres are historically, mind-bogglingly bad this year, with only 3 wins and a 37.55% Corsi. Their own coach called them...
Die By The Blade Nov 15, 2014

Rochester recap: Amerks snap losing streak against Marlies

Amerks cap losing streak at five games, net six against Toronto. It's either all of the goals or none of the goals. There, apparently, is very little in between for the Rochester Americans. "I hope this charade isn't over, ‘cause I'm just having fun." (Hey, Monea!, Paper Moon) After going five games without a win, and three of their last eight needing a goaltender switch, the Amerks were in a bad way. That 1950s "she went away to school in another state" kind of way. I walked away from Monday's game with the fan in me not wanting to blame anyone (but of course I had my villains), and...
Hockey Wilderness Nov 14, 2014

Game 15 (Wild vs Sabres) Stats Breakdown

The Wild break the losing streak and dominate the Sabres. It was a result that most expected, but it was exactly the result the Wild needed.  The team dominated the Buffalo Sabres in every single way, leading to a 6-3 win that was never close despite the Wild giving up the first goal.  Mike Yeo's new lines led to a very balanced attack.  Ryan Carter was the only player to not log over ten minutes.  Nino Niederreiter played a season-high 18:32 and finished the night with a hat trick. Let's take a look at the stats: Team Stats Nothing surprising here as the Wild controlled possession...

Sabres at Wild recap: Buffalo outshot yet again, lose 6-3

The best possession team in the league beat the worst possession team in the league tonight 6-3. The Buffalo Sabres lost to the Minnesota Wild tonight 6-3. They were outshot 39-28 by the best possession team in the NHL. Both teams scored a whole bunch of goals very close together in the first period, Rasmus Ristolainen netted his first goal of the season, but Nino Niederreiter scored his first career hat trick to power the Wild offense. I'm not sure what more to say about it than that. It was the third straight game the Sabres have given up six goals, which means, with their offense, they...

Sabres at Wild Complete Coverage: Game #18

The Sabres lost 6-3, to no one's surprise. But hey, at least some youngsters played well! Game #18 Buffalo Sabres (3-12-2) atMinnesota Wild (7-7-0) Puck Drop: 8:00 pm EST | Xcel Energy Center | St. Paul, MN TV: MSG, Bell, FS-N, FS-WI | Radio: WGR 550 SB Nation Wild Blog: Hockey Wilderness Three Questions 1. How will Patrick Kaleta look in his first game back? Kaleta will be playing his first game of the season tonight, having recovered from a nasty preseason injury that saw him take a puck to the face, and his first game in over a calendar year thanks to the ACL injury he suffered...
Hockey Wilderness Nov 13, 2014

Recap: Hats off as Wild beat up dull Sabres

The Minnesota Wild stop the bleeding against the Buffalo Sabres, win 6-3. The Minnesota Wild came into tonight's game reeling after dropping 4 straight games where they were outscored 14-3. Nothing like a little home cooking against a bad team to open the flood gates as the Wild would drop 5 on the Buffalo Sabres and win tonight by a score of 6-3. How this game started though, had fans thinking, "Oh, not again!" But it was not to be for Buffalo as the Wild brought out the bug guns tonight, and we even got to see some hats on the ice! The scoring opened up early, just 1:03 into the game...
Hockey Wilderness Nov 13, 2014

Game 15: Buffalo Sabres @ Minnesota Wild

The Wild welcome the Sabres into the Xcel Energy Center. What could possibly go wrong? After losing all three games away from home and stretching their losing streak to four games, the Wild head home to face the Buffalo Sabres. Buffalo has had a ROUGH go of it, winning just three games this year. They are last in goals per game, and have allowed the second-most goals this year. Now the Wild havent been much better lately, having scored just three goals and allowing 14 goals during this four game slide. Trying to snap his team about of this funk, head coach Mike Yeo has changed up the...
Sabres at Wild preview: Patrick Kaleta returns

Sabres at Wild preview: Patrick Kaleta returns

Kaleta will play his first game in over a year as the Sabres try to snap their losing streak against the slumping Wild. Game #18 Buffalo Sabres (3-12-2) atMinnesota Wild (7-7-0) Puck Drop: 8:00 pm EST | Xcel Energy Center | St. Paul, MN TV: MSG, Bell, FS-N, FS-WI | Radio: WGR 550 SB Nation Wild Blog: Hockey Wilderness Three Questions 1. How will Patrick Kaleta look in his first game back? Kaleta will be playing his first game of the season tonight, having recovered from a nasty preseason injury that saw him take a puck to the face, and his first game in over a calendar year thanks...

Sabres at Blues recap: Lehtera scores natural hat trick in 6-1 Blues win

It was a slightly better effort, but for the second game in a row the Sabres were blown out 6-1, this time by the Blues. It feels wrong to call a second consecutive 6-1 loss a "better effort," but when you're talking about a team as bad as the Buffalo Sabres, you need to rethink how to respond to games like this. The Sabres did, in fact, look better on the ice, though it wasn't reflected on the scoreboard as they were beaten by the St. Louis Blues 6-1. The score was inflated thanks to three late power play goals for the Blues, all coming in the final five minutes of the game, but St. Louis...

Sabres at Blues Complete Coverage: Game #17

Jori Lehtera scored a natural hat trick en route to a 6-1 win for the Blues over the Sabres. Game #17 Buffalo Sabres (3-11-2) atSt. Louis Blues (9-4-1) Puck Drop: 8:00 pm EST | Scottrade Center | St. Louis, MO TV: NBCSN | Radio: WGR 550 SB Nation Blues Blog: St. Louis Game Time Three Questions 1. Will Drew Stafford's move to center help spark the league's worst offense? In search of something - anything - that will help them generate more offensive chances, the Sabres are sending Drew Stafford back to high school. Specifically, the position he played as a teenager - center....

Connor McDavid injures hand in fight, could miss significant time

The consensus #1 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, and the young man the Buffalo Sabres have set their tanking sights on, could be out a while after suffering a hand injury. Tonight we found out that Connor McDavid, uber-prospect of the century, Lord of the 2015 NHL Draft and Savior of the Depressed Masses, is human after all. McDavid suffered a hand injury tonight after a fight with Bryson Cianfrone and was rushed to a local hospital for x-rays. While he held his own in the fight, McDavid accidentally punched the glass after whiffing with the right hand, and it turns out that tempered glass >...
Sabres at Blues Preview: Drew Stafford is now a center, all our problems are solved

Sabres at Blues Preview: Drew Stafford is now a center, all our problems are solved

The Sabres look to get back on the winning side of the ice as they travel to St. Louis to take on the Blues. Game #17 Buffalo Sabres (3-11-2) atSt. Louis Blues (9-4-1) Puck Drop: 8:00 pm EST | Scottrade Center | St. Louis, MO TV: NBCSN | Radio: WGR 550 SB Nation Blues Blog: St. Louis Game Time Three Questions 1. Will Drew Stafford's move to center help spark the league's worst offense? In search of something - anything - that will help them generate more offensive chances, the Sabres are sending Drew Stafford back to high school. Specifically, the position he played as a teenager -...

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