Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A great sports weekend gets even better today

Reprinted with permission from

Things couldn't have gone better for Western New York sports fans over the weekend, unless you're a constant caller to WGR's Whiner Line.

The weekend kicked off a little early with the Buffalo Sabres downing the Calgary Flames 4-3. On Saturday there was a double dose of good news as both the Sabres and the Rochester Americans came out on top in OT by identical 4-3 scores.
And on Sunday, the Buffalo Bills bottled up almost sure-fire first-ballot Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rogers and his Green Bay Packers en route to a 21-13 win at Ralph Wilson Stadium making for a Monday morning full of call-offs and hangover cures.

Buffalo sports fans will get the week going tonight as the Ottawa Senators come to town tonight for a 7:00pm game that was originally scheduled for February 15, 2015. The brutal "Wall of Snow" November storm caused a game between the Sabres and the NY Rangers to be rescheduled. The NHL pushed up the Ottawa game to December 15 to accommodate the Rangers on February 15.

It will be the first of four meetings between the Atlantic division rivals.

The Sens will be facing a Sabres team that's on a roll. They're 9-3 in their past 12 games scoring 30 goals during that span while giving up 24 for a plus-6 goal differential. Not bad for a team that was a minus-41 in that department before this last streak.

Buffalo's rise really begins in goal as Jhonas Enroth looks to be the starter tonight. Enroth has been a wall during this hot streak. In his last 10 games he's 8-2-0 with a 2.04 goals against average and a .940 save percentage.

Sabres forward Tyler Ennis was named the NHL's first star of the week last week after helping lead Buffalo to a 3-0 record for the week. The "greazy" winger scored the only goal in a 1-0 win over the Stanley Cup Champion LA Kings, had three assists vs. Calgary and added another vs. Florida. All four of his assists were primary assists.

Since being put on a line with Matt Moulson and Zemgus Girgensons, Ennis he's scored 4 goals and added 10 assists in 14 games.

And finally, for those fans who've been worried about the Edmonton Oilers tanking the season, bench-boss Dallas Eakins has been fired.

The Oilers are a mess right now and have plummeted to the bottom of the standings. Since winning back-to-back games in early November the Edmonton is 1-11-4, including a stretch where they went 0-7-4 between wins.

Not sure how much good news it is, though, as they're bringing up their Oklahoma City Barons coach, Todd Nelson. GM Craig McTavish will take the reigns until Nelson gets up to speed.

At one point to begin the season, the Sabres were being accused left and right of tanking the season for a shot at Connor McDavid. Cry's of tanking were so far-reaching that even Canadian media legend Dave Hodge chimed in giving the team a "thumb's down to the Sabres' lust for McDavid."

Hodge, whom I have the utmost respect for, suggested that Sabres GM Tim Murray wants to "lose properly" suggesting Murray's rallying cry is "Let's get Connor with honour."

Yet, nothing from the Canadian media concerning the pathetic Oilers. Perhaps Hodge should simply alter the folloing quote. "The Sabres Oilers are probably bad enough (despite three consecutive #1-overall picks) to get the most favourable draft odds by trying their best, and so they should say and do everything to suggest that 30th place is not acceptable."

Yeah. Right?

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