Thursday, March 31, 2011

Why Ryan Miller Is Disliked By Some Sabres Fans

Nothing earth-shattering, but in a classic, "what have you done for me lately/the grass is greener"-scenario, the play of Sabres back-up, Jhonas Enroth, has given fuel to the ever-present, "Ryan Miller is average and not worth his salary" contingency.

Ryan Miller

 This is nothing new, it's been going on all year. The Miller-hate/dislike always peaks after a Sabres loss. This time it grew after Enroth shut out the NY Rangers 1-0 Wednesday night while Miller was out with an injury (or if you go to the end, a "fake injury").

Jhonas Enroth
All the talk is about Enroth, and it should be, because of him the Sabres are presently in a playoff position and could end up as high as 6th in the conference. He's been playing very well.

Sabres fans and the media tend to get a little overzealous, at times, and there's talk of Enroth supplanting Miller. WGR's, Mike Schopp, tried to get Sabres beat-reporter Paul Hamilton to commit to the concept, but Hamilton shot him down (the same thing happened when Schopp wanted Lindy Ruff to be held accountable [read:  fired] earlier in the year) without giving the matter a second thought.

The internet's where the fun is as fans chime in on everything. The Enroth/Miller "debate" is interesting, if not amusing at this point, at least in my opinion.

Sports fans usually have a short memory. Before the Toronto game, Miller had two shutouts--both 1-0--at Montreal and vs. New Jersey. Sandwiched in between was a 4-2 victory against Florida. But it was the loss to Toronto that pulled out the pitch-forks and torches.

Meh, whatever. So we delve into the morass with a composite of posts concerning Ryan Miller taken from a hockey-rumor site Wednesday, March 31:

Again.....Miller is so way overrated by many on here Indy......... You know Pairo...For 6.3 million I expect Hasek like performances every night and Vezina trophies every year...

i have hasek/Roy expectations for a goalie making over 6 mil a year.. i don't expect him to save them all (i am realistic) but for what he is supposed to be valued as i don't feel he fills his end of the bargain... All that being said at this point if i had to chose i would probably pick him over Ewok (Enroth).. for now

And I would too but I only base that on Ewok's limited body of work. God forbid Miller DID get hurt for the better part of a full season and Ewok put up a 2.5 GAA and a .910 save percentage while he played, If I'm GM I seriously consider making the change permanent and taking what I can in trade for Miller.

I actually have that mindset now. If Darcy could get a couple top 6 forwards and a pick/prospect (obviously it would depend on which top 6's are coming back) I think long and hard on that deal...

my reason for keeping miller at this point is also based upon the body of work only.. However if you can move miller for a top 6 forward or top 2 D i would do it... go get another back up goalie or young up and comer at a low cost (maybe JSG or Lindback) split the time in goal. As you said solid D and timely scoring seems to mean more..

(out come the stats):

2002-03 15 6 8 2.63 .902
2003-04 3 0 3 5.06 .795
2005-06 48 30 14 2.60 .914
2006-07 63 40 16 2.73 .911
2007-08 76 36 27 2.64 .906
2008-09 59 34 18 2.53 .918
2009-10 47 29 12 2.10 .932
2010-11 32 21 8 2.62 .914

Which one is least like the rest? when will people start to understand last year was the OFF year.. the Stats do not LIE..

aside from the start of last season til the all star break, every year for miller is an off year

i do not understand how so many people are blind to the truth.. him looking good before was smoke and mirrors because they were scoring at will and winning when they had briere and drury.. then last year he stood on his head and now he is back to what he was before but our offense is not.. He has always been a slightly above average goalie that some how is the face of the american hockey.

I don't know how easy it would be to get rid of him, so i think we will have to get used to seeing him back there

Conspiracy Theory Alert!

Ryan Miller faked the injury against the Rangers because he is afraid of making this year his worst loss percentage of his career.

A loss last night would have put him on par with his record during the 2007-08 season - the worst of is career and the year the Sabres finished 10th in the conference.

He opted to play against TO to play for the "easy" win. He played poorly, realized he wouldn't be able to play his best against the Rangers, and instead of taking a likely loss, let Enroth play to not make this the worst season of his career.

My take on Ryan Miller:

Big thanx to my buzzard friends, though...Solid!!!

lindy ruff's gotta have a smile on his face...

after last night's 1-0 win vs. the rangers.

A frustrated Rangers squad wants to continue play after the Buffalo Sabres
hold off the NY Rangers at HSBC with a 1-0 victory.
The Sabres on the ice--Nathan Gerbe, Paul Gaustad, Drew Stafford,
Mike Weber, and Andrej Sekera (not pictured)
will have none of that.

Here's why:
  • the Sabres are now in 7th place in the Eastern Conference (via the new NHL tie breaker) and are one game over the .500 mark (wins vs. total losses) once again
  • they did it by beating, and therefore jumping over, the NY Rangers last night in a game that had a "playoff feel" to it
  • the Sabres shut out the Rangers 1-0, with "back-up" goaltender, Jhonas Enroth, getting the start in place of an injured (day-to-day) Ryan Miller
  • Buffalo played a "lock-down" defensive game limiting the Rangers to a handful of scoring opportunities
  • they only had one penalty against and they killed it
  • they only had one power play opportunity and scored the only goal on it
  • the team came back from laying an egg in Toronto the night before and put forth one of it's best performances of the year
  • the Sabres have not lost back-to-back games dating back to February 16-20, which ended the Tom Golisano-era
  • the team ended a stellar month going 10-4-2 which included three shutouts in the last five games

Individually, here are some players who stood out:
  • Enroth--1st star of the game, was minimally tested and turned aside every Ranger opportunity in his 23-save performance
  • call-up, Marc Andre-Grangnani, foils a three-on-one shorthanded break by the Rangers and gets a secondary assist as the puck bounces off of him to Thomas Vanek who feeds Tim Connolly
  • Connolly--much maligned for nearly every reason under the sun, including not using his shooting skills, blasted a slapshot top-shelf, blocker side with authority for the only goal of the game
  • Mike Weber--rugged, gritty, tough. Just ask Artem Anisimov who ended up on his ass at the side of the Buffalo net
  • Andrej Sekera--"Rej!". Was that you burying Ranger, Ryan Callahan, at the end of the game? Or was that your "bad-ass" twin brother?
  • Weber and Sekera entrusted to preserve the win for the last 1:11 of the game
  • Drew Stafford who was on the ice for the final Ranger's onslaught and came through

And then there's Nathan Gerbe, on the ice once again to preserve a one-goal lead at the end of the game.

The following video, culled from the NY Rangers web-site, shows his defensive smarts as Ranger Marion Gaborik has a golden opportunity in the waning seconds. Gaborik is in position, Enroth is not and Gerbe does the littlest (snicker, snicker) of things (which can be found at the 1:25 mark):

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

the tale of the tape--lundqvist vs. miller

in this corner, coming in at 6'1", 198lbs...7th round draft pick from are, sweeden!


and in this corner, the pride of east lansing, michigan...coming in at 6'2", 175lbs.....



  • miller--$6.250m
  • lundqvist--$6.875m
career record:
  • miller--220 wins, 126 losses, 1 tie, 41 ot losses
  • lundqvist--210 w, 134 l, 0 t, 49 otl
career goals against average:
  • miller--2.57
  • lundqvist--2.31
career save percentage:
  • miller--.914
  • lundqvist--.919
career shutouts:
  • miller--22
  • lundqvist--35
playoff record:
  • miller--22 wins, 18 losses
  • lundqvist--14 w, 16 l
playoff goals against average:
  • miller--2.39
  • lundqvist--2.66
playoff save percentage:
  • miller--.917
  • lundqvist--.907
playoff shutouts:
  • miller--1
  • lundqvist--3



Tuesday, March 29, 2011

eyes on the prize--the top ncaa free agent

"there will be no financial mandates on the buffalo sabres hockey department"

that's a direct quote from new owner, terry pegula, taken from his press conference at hsbc the day he officially took over the buffalo sabres...

since then, the sabres have made two rather significant personnel moves: 
  • defenseman, craig rivet, was waived then placed on re-entry waivers where he was claimed by the columbus blue jackets...the sabres are on the hook for one-half of his $3.5m salary which, when pro-rated, will be somewhere around $750k
  • the sabres then picked up forward brad boyes and his $4m contract,which, btw, has another year at that hit...his pro-rated salary for the year is somewhere around $1m
presently, according to, the sabres have just under $3.6m in cap space for the year...

top-six center derek roy has been out since late december and probably won't return unless the sabres make the eastern conference finals....

today i came across an interesting article via yahoo's's elliotte friedman says there's a hot commodity on the market now that the ncaa's frozen four has been set...

stephane da costa
his name is stephane da costa and he's a 5'11" 180lb. center from merrimack college out of hockey east...

da costa is a native of paris, france who made a huge impact last season as a freshman for merrimack, a tiny, liberal arts college 25 miles north of boston, ma...

in his first season he finished with an average of 1.32 pts/game, good for seventh in the nation, this was after he attracted a ton of attention scoring five goals in his first home game...

to everyone, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that da costa, the runaway rookie of the year and finalist for hockey east player of the year, would be turning pro...he had the offers at the end of last season, "quite a few" he said through a smile during a merrimack eagle-tribune article on his decision to stay for his sophomore season...

a great run by the warriors came to a finish two days ago at the hands of notre dame...da costa finished the year with 45 pts. in 33 games...the skilled, creative center lead the warriors offense which was 2nd in hockey east (3rd in the nation) and 2nd on the power play...

and it looks like he'll be turning pro soon...very within the next two days...

there were quite a few teams interested in da costa last season--with the anaheim ducks inviting him to camp--and now, according to friedman, at least 20 teams have scouted him this past season, with 15 having some level of interest...friedman has the following teams looking very closely at da costa:  boston, minnesota, anaheim, nashville and pittsburgh...he states that the team the spent the most time scouting the kid is ottawa

the catch to signing him is this:  according to friedman, the collective bargaining agreement he must sign a multi-year contract with his nhl team...

word on the street is that he will command, and probably receive, the maximum $3.75m/year contract--$900k salary plus $2.85m in bonuses...

are the sabres one of the 15 teams having a level of interest in the 21 yr. old dea costa?

with the lack of depth at center in the organization, it would behoove them to go after him...

if de costa is the prized ncaa free-agent right now and if the sabres truly have no financial mandates, outbidding heavyweigths like pittsburgh, boston, anaheim and even ottawa could be a major step in turning the buffalo sabres into a "first class organization and hockey heaven"...

on stephane da costa from hockeysfuture:

"Da Costa is a dynamic 5'11/180 lbs center that possesses tremendous hockey sense with equally good vision, hands and creativity. And it is what he does with those attributes that has gotten so much attention from the NHL. Da Costa possesses an uncanny ability to find and utilize open patches of ice to consistently create smart, effective plays. He follows plays exceedingly well and can make plays in transition. He also possesses great finishing ability as well. While not lightning fast, Da Costa does possess some good speed and does a good job of consistently keeping his feet moving. He maintains very good balance on his skates and despite being a smaller player uses his body quite well in protecting the puck. Another of Da Costa's notable assets is his blistering shot. He is not a particularly physical player, but does play with some competitive edge to his game."

update, 3-31-2011...the ottawa senators, who had scouted da costa and were the front-runners to sign the kid, did do so...a two year entry-level deal

Sunday, March 27, 2011

les habi-taunts growing muffled

as the montreal canadians go o'fer...

the canadians saw plenty of nathan gerbe's back
as the smallest player in the league
netted two goals vs. the habs to start the canadians
ominous three game goal-less streak
0-le', 0-le', 0-le'...yup that's three 0' in zero' in shutouts in the last three games...

it's a drought that would make any sabres fan happy not only because buffalo was the team that started this streak by playing (what should be considered) a perfect road game in their 2-0 shutout of the habs, it also pulled them to within two points with a game in hand...

were the canadians feeling invincible after their 8-1 shellacking of the wild in minnesota?...ole'

were the canadians looking ahead to their first post zdeno chara/max pacioretty game when the sabres shut them down?...ole'

did they either take the wrong approach (go for the win instead of vengeance) because they really thought they could beat the bruins as a form of retribution?...or did they take that approach because they had no one willing to take on the likes of chara and milan lucic, among others?...either way, they came out on the losing end of a bad, 7-0 loss at the hands of the bruins...ole'

no, mr. (paul) mara, not "Every team in the season has a lapse where they lose 7-0, 8-1,"...that should be considered an epic fail, a total humiliation...yes, mr. [mike] cammalleri, the habs must "figure it out, and figure it out in a hurry"..."The thing about a lopsided game like this is that it’s less about the opponent and more about us and what we have to do to prepare for the playoffs,” Cammalleri said. “You can almost throw this game out as far as getting ready for the playoffs."

absolutely...except for the fact that you got shut out again...this time 2-0 to the washington capitals at home and left the ice to the boos of your fans...that two shutouts in a row at home...the three shutouts in a row for the club is unmatched since 1949...

and you know what?...couldn't happen to a nicer team...

i don't care that their fans boo the american national anthem...fine with me

i don't care if they burn down all of quebec after a win over each his own

what i do care about is the pressure they're feeling right now...the weight of going 186:05 without a goal coupled with the fact that they have two teams breathing down their necks in the standings...including the buffalo sabres...

another loss or two and they could be in jeopardy of missing the playoffs as opposed to "preparing for the playoffs...

like i said, couldn't happen to a nicer team...


the 8th place sabres look to climb in the east

ryan miller is 7-3-2 for the month of march including key victories over the ny rangers (to open the month,) philadelphia, and boston in the first half of the month...during that time the team went 3-2-1 in his six games...he gave up 18 in those games...

beginning with the carolina game on march 15, miller has played six in a row and the team has gone 4-1-1...during that span his goals against has been cut in half to nine goals against...

you may have noticed miller way outside the crease challenging shooters, like he always does when he's on top of his game--like last year when he won the vezina trophy...why, all of a sudden, is he playing like that again?...

from last night's post game, miller talks about it, "We're doing a good job supporting each other...I can tell when we're playing a good, solid defensive style...I can commit to either a shot or a one-option on a pass...that's when i can really come out of my crease and the percentage is gonna go up with me making the save, when I can get there early, be set, get my body in the way..." 

wgr's paul hamilton elaborates, "He's much, much better when he's not worried about that back-door play. How many times did we see those back-doors for tap-ins in the beginning of the year?...when he's on top of his game he's up on his crease, he's not worried about that stuff because he knows his teammates have his back."

it's a team philosophy that head coach, lindy ruff, has been teaching (or trying to teach) for years...over the non-playoff years you've seen the team win when they play as a team and lose when they get too fancy and play an individual game...people mock lindy ruff all the time for his system when the team loses and laud the success of teams like the wings with mike babcock and the devils with jacques lemaire...but it's the same system, using different players with different talent-levels...

bucky gleason has a great article on "good friends" ruff and lemaire in today's buffalo news "It's getting the guys to play together, getting the guys to believe in themselves, getting the guys to play as a team," Lemaire said. "Lindy knows exactly what he has on his hands and how to deal with it."

what lindy ruff has is an excellent goalie that's hard to beat when his team mates do their job...that's how you get two shutouts in the last three games as you charge up the standings in the eastern conference

Thursday, March 24, 2011

will luke adam make it three in a row?

luke adam
the portland pirates and head coach kevin dineen may have themselves another dudley "red" garrett memorial trophy winner in forward, luke adam...
if adam does take home the outstanding ahl rookie honors, he will make it three in a row for the buffalo sabres organization, following in the footsteps of forwards nathan gerbe (2008/09) and tyler ennis (2009/10)...

the only organization to have back-to-back-to-back "red" garrett winners within the last 35 years was the providence reds (ny rangers) from 1973-76...a team who was coached by former sabres gm, john muckler, during that stretch...

a look at adam's stats as of right now gives an strong indication that he's the one to beat...amongst rookies he leads in points (54,) points/game (1.15,) goals (25) and plus/minus (+21) and he's tied for fourth in assists (29)...

all this in 47 games for the portland pirates this season (less games than any other rookie save nazem kadri's 44)...

this is a tribute to luke adam himself who has done a great job shuttling back and forth between the pirates and the's a tribute to his willingness to take a demotion as a learning experience and continue to improve upon his game...

sabres director of amateur scouting, kevin devine (left)
with 2009 1st round pick, zack kassian (center) and
amateur scout, al mcadam (right)
having two, and possibly three, ahl outstanding rookies in a row is no small feat and is a tribute to the job the amateur scouting staff has done finding talent in the draft ...

gerbe was a 2005 fifth-round pick (#142) of jim benning's staff...benning left the organization in 2007 and kevin devine, as head of amateur scouting, is responsible for drafting both ennis (#26 overall) and adam (#44) in 2008...(in that same draft he also convinced sabres gm darcy regier to trade up to the #12 spot to draft 2009/10 nhl rookie of the year, tyler myers)...

interesting to note that before gerbe, the organization's last "red" garrett winner was mika noronen in the 1999/00 season...

portland pirates head coach, kevin dineen
it's also a tribute--and big props need to be given--to head coach kevin dineen and portland assistant coach, eric ahl coaches their task is molding a transient team into a cohesive unit and right now their team sits atop the atlantic division of the eastern conference...

all year long players get called up to the big club and then get sent back...they're injured and they return...a combination of call-ups to the big club and/or injuries on a large scale means plugging holes with echl players who on a tryout basis...all the while, the coach and his staff are the only real constants throughout the season...

from the draft to juniors to the ahl, there seems to be a foundational thread running through the organization all the way up to the big club...both gerbe and ennis are making solid contributions to the sabres in their first full nhl seasons...adam, who had three goals and an assist in 19 games with the sabres this season, got a good taste of life in the nhl this year and should make a strong push for the big club next season...

even if he doesn't win the award, ya gotta love what's on the horizon for the sabres organization...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

nathan gerbe leading the way for the sabres

"I don't wanna get scored against, so I think that's the desperation more. It's not so much the gettin' the goal, it's not gettin' scored against. You wanna do everything you can..."
--nathan gerbe post-game on his empty net goal to seal the 2-0 road win at montreal

how do you forget about blowing a two-goal lead with less than three minutes to play, then losing 20 seconds into overtime at home the game before?...go into montreal, play a near perfect road game against a division rival, and seal the tight game with an empty netter...

nathan gerbe's dogged determination sealed it last night...the sabres just concluded three games in four nights and gerbe has goals in all three...the sabres snared five of a possible six points, with the only blemish being the aforementioned blown lead vs. nashville...

all the talk today is about gerbe...and it should be...desperation, grit, tenacity, sandpaper, drive, finish...all combined to produce goals in three consecutive games, four of the last five...he's been playing a complete game too, as witnessed by the confidence that lindy ruff had in gerbe by putting him on the ice with a one goal lead in a crucial game...the result?...all encompassed in the aforementioned quote by gerbe and his reward--an empty net goal--for his hard work and determination...

if you want more gerbe, click here...there's a video of his game-winning assist on brad boyes overtime winner vs. boston...his team-record, two goals in five seconds vs. the islanders (as well as his demeanor and quote)...

in addition, there's nate's last stand? where he's at the precipice of falling from the nhl club either to the bench or to portland, after a horrendous first two months of the season...


the sabres held an optional practice of the players on the ice--nathan gerbe

Friday, March 18, 2011

no if's, and's or...


sabres d-man chris butler
since february 23, the first game after terry pegula took over the franchise, chris butler has mostly been paired with tyler myers when in the line-up logging under 18:35 seconds once (16:04 vs. philly)...

the sabres went 6-1-2 during that stretch...

with butler out of the line-up?...0-2...

cut it anyway you want it, dissect it all you want...the fact is, with butler and myers paired together, the buffalo sabres have corraled 14 out of a possible 18 points, and before their 1-0 loss to carolina (butler did not play,) the sabes had gone from 9th place, eight points behind the rangers to jumping the same team into 7th...

individually, buts has zero goals, one assist and was a plus-3 in those nine games...

tyler myers, who many believe has ditched the "sophomore slump" from earlier in the season (myself included,) has two goals, three assists and was a plus-three during that stretch...

nothing earth-shattering offensively, but with those two together, you have the making of a solid defensive pairing for the sabres as they battle to get into the playoffs...

the eastern conference playoff bubble gets muddled

there's a cage-match brewing for the 7th and 8th spots in the eastern conference...the ny rangers and sabres are holding their own (barely,) the carolina hurricanes went 0-3-1 between two wins vs. the sabres (then proceeded to lose to the maple leafs,) and toronto is working themselves into the mix as well...atlanta, who started the year near the top of the conference, is still hanging around after their win last night...

and don't forget the torrid play of the new jersey devils, who've gone from possibly owning the top overall pick at this years draft to within six points of the top-eight with a 23-4-2 run...if it weren't for losing to ottawa twice in the last five games, they could be in 9th or 10th making the other bubble teams cringe even more...

as for the sabres?...they've just finished playing nine games in 15 days that started out with a seven game road trip...and you think the team had it rough, check out what newly acquired forward brad boyes has been through since leaving st. louis in late february...brutal...props, though...boyes has seven points in nine games with the sabres...

alas, the sabres are in 8th place right now and are finishing up a three-day break between games...

here's where the 7th through 11th place, eastern conference bubble teams stood at the beginning of the month:
  • ny rangers--70 pts
  • carolina --67
  • buffalo--65
  • toronto--63
  • atlanta--63
buffalo moved up by snagging 11 pts and are hot on the trail of the rangers, the canes dropped and the leafs and thrash's how it looks right now:
  • ny rangers--78 pts
  • buffalo--76
  • carolina--74
  • atlanta--72
  • toronto--72
the sabres gained some serious ground on the rangers, even moving into 7th place before their 1-0 loss to carolina on tuesday...the rangers went 4-3-0 including a loss to buffalo and a split on a mini west coast road trip...carolina stumbled going 3-4-1, but two of their wins came at the expense of the sabres (one in overtime)...

atlanta is still hanging around even though they did a little selling at the trade deadline...craig ramsay has his team doing what's necessary to stay in the hunt...they're 4-3-1 for the month...toronto did some damage by going 4-4-1 while beating the sabres once and the canes once in the process...their loss last night vs. florida certainly didn't help matters, though...

and we're gonna keep an eye on the devils, although they're in 12th place right now with 70 points...nj shot up into the picture by going 6-2-0 in march and, before last night's 3-1 loss had a streak of 17 games without allowing more than two goals...although they may have faced their own waterloo in ottawa, their record since an 0-4 start to the calendar year cannot be dismissed...

here's the teams and their remaining schedules for the month broken down into games vs. division leaders, playoff teams and non-playoff teams as of right now:

ny rangers (7 games):
  • division leader (1)--boston
  • playoff (3)--montreal, pittsburgh, buffalo
  • non-playoff (3)--florida, ottawa, ny islanders
buffalo (7):
  • division leader--none
  • playoff (2)--montreal, ny rangers
  • non-playoff (5)--atlanta, nashville, florida, nj, toronto
carolina (6):
  • division leader (1)--washington
  • playoff (3)--tampa bay (2,) montreal
  • non-playoff--(2)--ottawa, ny islanders
atlanta (6):
  • division (2)--vancouver, philadelphia
  • playoff (2)--buffalo, montreal
  • non-playoff (2)--ny islanders, ottawa
toronto (6):
  • division leader (3)--boston (2,) detroit
  • playoff (1)--buffalo
  • non-playoff (2)--minnesota, colorado
nj devils (6):
  • division leader (2)--washington, boston
  • playoff (2)--pittsburgh, buffalo
  • non-playoff (2)--colombus, ny islanders
the sabres have the opportunity to solidify their place in the eastern conference and move up to 7th in the second half of the month...they play two of seven vs. teams that are presently in the playoffs picture...crucial games vs. nj and ny rangers coming up and the loser of those two games could have their playoff push stunted...

the rangers and canes have similar, middle-of-the-road schedules while atlanta has a balanced one, although they play the top two teams in the nhl in vancouver and philadelphia...

toronto has a brutal can't dismiss them, but it'll be very difficult for them to remain in the hunt while playing division leaders boston twice and detroit once...

all-in-all, the sabres are pretty much just like every other team on the bubble--right around fact if you look at the eastern conference standings right now no team has better than a two game winning streak (pittsburgh and ny rangers) and only one team has a two game losing streak (ny islanders)...all the rest fall in between...

the mantra from january for the sabres continues:  two points by any means necessary...

Monday, March 14, 2011

here's to you, rico

audio clips for rick martin

a moment of silence before last nights game
in honor of the late rick martin

rick martin on schopp and the bulldog 2-24-11

nys police captain steven nigrelli


rip simonick

terry pegula

lindy ruff pt. one

lindy ruff pt. two

larry playfair

ottawa postgame lindy ruff

nathan gerbe postgame

tyler ennis postgame

paul hamilton postgame


wben audio archives

video clips rick martin





news links for rick martin

gilbert perreault 
tyler ennis sports a tribute to the late rick martin

john vogl, buffalo news

jerry sullivan, buffalo news

john vogl, postgame



yahoo sports;_ylt=AuKKcnPpU7DUQJbpAJVaiw17vLYF?urn=nhl-wp269


Sunday, March 13, 2011

r.i.p. richard "rick" martin

the buffalo sabres family lost a great one today...

rick martin, winger for the famed "french connection" reportedly died of a heart attack today...he was 59...

rene robert, rick martin, gilbert perreault
the french connection
rises to the rafters

rest  in peace...

you will be missed....

rick martin (#7) welcomed new owner terry pegula
who welcomed back rene robert (#14) to make
the buffalo sabres whole again



Saturday, March 12, 2011

Five significant Buffalo Sabres’ off-ice personnel

from yahoo sports

The Buffalo Sabres are like any other professional sports team in that it takes more than just athletes and coaches to create an entertaining atmosphere for the fans. Down through the years, the Sabres have had a long list of off-ice personnel that have played important roles in the team's history. Here is an acknowledgement of the five most significant Sabres' off-ice personnel and how each person left their mark on the history of the Buffalo Sabres.

Frank Christie - Trainer
When a Buffalo Sabres player was injured on the ice between 1970 and the mid-1980s, the familiar form of trainer Frank Christie would make his way to the fallen player. Christie started out in the Buffalo Bisons' organization in the late 1940's. When the Bisons folded and the NHL's Buffalo Sabres moved into the Memorial Auditorium, Christie was kept on as the trainer. Frank Christie was respected by opponents, revered by the Sabres players and popular with the fans. He was inducted into the Buffalo Sabres Hall of Fame in 1980, and then into the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame in 2005. He passed away in 1986.

Robert "Rip" Simonick - Equipment Manager
Rip Simonick (no one calls him Robert), was hired by the Buffalo Sabres when he was just 21-years-old to work for Frank Christie doing errands and a lot of grunt work. He worked his way up from an errand runner to equipment manager. As of 2011, Rip still works for the Sabres and he is one of the longest tenured equipment managers in the NHL.

Seymour Knox III - Owner
It was the tireless work of Seymour Knox III and his brother Northrup that brought the NHL to Buffalo. Knox was born in Buffalo and his grandfather was Seymour Knox I, the founder of the Woolworth's Department Stores. Seymour and Northrup started petitioning the NHL as early as 1965 to get a franchise in Buffalo. When his first petition was refused, Knox tried to move the California Golden Seals to Buffalo but that was also denied by the league. When the league announced plans to expand for the 1970-1971 season, it decided to include Buffalo as one of the cities to get a franchise. Prior to his death in 1996, Knox helped to oversee the building of the Sabres new home called HSBC Arena. In honor of his achievements, the city of Buffalo named the street where the new arena sits Seymour H. Knox III Plaza.

Rick Jeanneret - Broadcast Announcer
Rick Jeanneret joined the Sabres' broadcast team in 1971 as the radio voice of the Sabres. When television announcer Ted Darling left the broadcast team due to illness in 1991, Jeanneret became the radio and television voice of the Sabres. His creative calls and distinctive voice have helped him to become one of the best known hockey announcers in the history of the NHL. He has become as much of a fixture to Sabres fans as the blue and gold colors or the crossed-swords logo.

Ted Darling - Broadcast Announcer
Ted Darling was the very first "voice of the Buffalo Sabres" for radio and television. At the start of the 1971-1972 season, the radio duties were given to Rick Jeanneret and Darling became the television voice of the Sabres. His impact on the Sabres organization is significant. He was voted into the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame in 1995, and the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1994. The press box at HSBC Arena is named the Ted Darling Press Box in his honor. Some of his memorable calls include the call of Gilbert Perreault's first goal, the game against the Atlanta Flames that happened immediately after the tragic death of defenseman Tim Horton and calling a game against the Montreal Canadiens from his home during the Blizzard of '77 when Darling was snowed in.

march 4, 2011

Friday, March 11, 2011

terry pegula's mandate comes to life

the buffalo sabres returned home for practice today after being on the road for six games
and were greeted by this plaque and a new rug:

pretty simple, yet striking


cool quotes from sabres president, ted black, on the changes and the dedication to the fan experience (from jon vogl, buffalo news):

"We really tried to work hard these last two weeks [during the sabres road-trip] because we do want to make sure that we show some actions behind our words, that the Sabres are a first-class organization and we are hockey heaven,"

"We're committed to being slug-free by the beginning of next year. The real important part of this process is we're engaging the fans. We're listening, and we're doing something."

"Terry actually coined the phrase, he said it's going to be the 'French Reconnection.' That doesn't just extend to those three special alumni. It's all players." (former sabre dominik hasek will be a guest on march 19)

good things come in small packages

5'5" nathan gerbe has heart and desire
to equal that of 6'8" zdneo chara

the buffalo sabres are in 7th place in the eastern conference after a win at boston last night...the gutty road perfomance--game six of seven on this road trip--saw the sabres come back from a 2-0 deficit and a 3-2 deficit to win the game in overtime...

the two smallest sabres on the team, tyler ennis and nathan gerbe were instrumental in the win--ennis with a deft touch on his goal and gerbe, who also was mixing it up physically with the edgy bruins, with an overtime, overdrive assist on brad boyes' game winner...

to the video:

tyler ennis shows his poise and touch to pull the sabres to within one
just :27 after the bruins take a 2-0 lead

nathan gerbe flicks a snapshot at tim thomas and barrels after it
sending the rebound to a wide-open brad boyes for the game winner

nathan gerbe shows some spunk and cody mccormick,
despite being dead tired at the end of a shift,
takes on boston's milan lucic

with the win the sabres are now 4-1-1 on their roadie and have come back to win versus two of the top teams in the eastern conference--the east-leading flyers on saturday and boston last night...

the sabres head to toronto tomorrow night for the final game of this roadie sitting in 7th place in the eastern conference, one game below the actual .500-mark for the season...

this from a team that started the season 3-9-2 and at one point were last in the league