The Sabres Observer
The Buffalo Sabres, outscored 17-9 since Milan Lucic played their star goaltender like a fiddle to expedite the post-Cup hangover recovery of his own team, aren’t going to impress anyone by throwing down with the Bruins tonight. That ship has sailed.
Say what you want about Lucic, but his dastardly deed in that landmark game eleven days ago was effective, bordering on brilliant. Meanwhile, Patrick Kaleta was too preoccupied with visions of the defendant chair in Brendan Shanahan’s office to regain some dignity for his club at the expense of Tim Thomas. Nobody else in the Buffalo lineup was up for the challenge that night either.
Boston has outscored their opponents 18-5 since The Hit, although they were already in the process of staking their claim as once again the team to beat in the Northeast Division before then. Proving to be tougher and more physical than the one club that was expected to challenge for that title certainly helped clear the path.
Sadly, it’s too late for the Sabres to salvage enough face to make up for the embarrassment that took place in Boston. When you forget your wife’s birthday, buying her a belated gift eleven days later isn’t going to earn you a get out of jail free card. You’re still sleeping on the couch.
Via Paul Peck of WIVB-TV tweet,
Tyler Myers broken wrist. Surgery today. Out at least a month.
Myers suffered the injury in Saturday night’s game against Phoenix.
The Buffalo Sabres have played 50 regular season games in their home building since the start of the 2010-11 campaign, and they’ve only won half of them. After coming out on top in last night’s 1-0 snoozer in Carolina, the Sabres will play 10 of their next 12 games in front of their faithful yet occasionally cranky fans. I’ve just been informed by Captain Obvious that this would be a great time for Buffalo to shed its moniker as underwhelming in Buffalo.
Lindy Ruff on so many occasions has shown a knack for pushing the right buttons. His shifting of Derek Roy to the top line with Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville in the third period of the Montreal game helped spark his team to a huge comeback win. His one-game benching of Tyler Myers seemed to time warp the kid back to his glory days of 2009.
Does Ruff have any more magic up his sleeve that could be used to make his team a tad more miserable to play against at home? Should he engage in mind games and make them stay at the Adam’s Mark Hotel while enjoying team bonding days taking in the sights at Niagara Falls? What would his former coach and master mentalist Scotty Bowman do in this situation?
There isn’t much time to figure it out. The Sabres host a solid Phoenix Coyotes club tonight, followed by a highly anticipated affair on Wednesday against Martin Lucic and the Boston Bruins.
Just over a year after Penn State alumnus Terry Pegula and his wife Kim donated $88 million to help the university build an ice arena and establish men’s and women’s hockey programs, the Buffalo media is looking for a reaction from the Sabres owner on the child rape scandal that is currently engulfing his alma mater.
To be honest, the expectation for Pegula to come out with definitive or substantial comments (other than, like everyone else, shock and condemnation) so soon after this all became public knowledge isn’t realistic. If he does happen to speak today, great. But let’s be clear about this - folks are interested in much more than the inevitable bland and cliché-filled reaction that we’d expect in this situation.
People want to know if Pegula is going to pull his rug of money out from under the school’s hockey program.
From the Sabres,
The Buffalo Sabres have posted the highest local television ratings in the NHL through the month of October. Sabres games on MSG averaged an 8.3 rating last month, the highest number in three years for the Buffalo market.
The 8.3 average rating represents approximately 54,000 households in the Buffalo market throughout October and takes into account the two afternoon games the team played while in Europe. In primetime games on MSG, the Sabres telecasts averaged a 9.3 rating and approximately 60,000 viewing households. The team’s home opener against Carolina on Oct. 14 drew the largest audience, with an 11.5 rating and approximately 74,000 households.
“It is not my goal or intent to make all of the defensemen into shot blockers,” McKee joked with Sabres’ GM Darcy Regier at the press conference to announce his hiring. “As a player moving into the coaching aspect of things, there’s certainly a lot to learn.”
That’s where he stands now: behind the Amerks’ bench, towering over head coach Ron Rolston and assistant Chad Cassidy.
“There are times when I wish I could jump out there on the ice,” McKee says after a 3-1 loss to the Adirondack Phantoms. “But, hey, I’m grateful for the opportunity to be part of the game.”
more , including a look back at McKee’s career and the path that led him into coaching.
From Sabres Edge blog (Buffalo News),
Tyler Myers has been pretty quiet so far. The Sabres’ big defenseman has no goals and two assists in nine games, not the numbers of an offensive catalyst.
Coach Lindy Ruff said today he wants Myers to be more aggressive joining the rush.
“There’s a little indecision in his game,” Ruff said after an optional morning skate for tonight’s game against Florida. “He had a couple games where I thought he was real good at it, then I thought there was a couple games where the young man looked tired to me, didn’t get there. We pointed out there’s situations where he needs to be there. We’ve talked about that with him even this morning.”
more , including the latest on Jochen Hecht’s injury & Andrej Sekera’s promotion.
“Not surprised to hear Enroth is starting in goal for Sabres tonight. Ruff needs to give him regular starts and not fall into his old habits.” - Jerry Sullivan, Buffalo News
Sadly, opinion columns from our trusted local reporters in Buffalo will amount to less entertaining reading this season, thanks in part to the reality that Lindy Ruff’s ongoing media facewash over his management of goaltenders will likely be on indefinite hiatus.
We’re only a few weeks into the season, and folks here are already treating Coach as if he returned from summer counseling sessions determined to finally change his ways. Because we all know it’s his fault that Patrick Lalime couldn’t stop a beach ball during the Buffalo portion of his career.
Jhonas Enroth will make his second start of the season tonight for the Sabres as they face Columbus, and Ruff in turn will be getting the ole’ “atta boy, it’s about time” treatment from everyone who has waited so long for the leader of their beloved team to finally listen to them.
Should Buffalo’s star forward be spending more time on the ice?
Thomas Vanek (6 goals, 4 assists in 7 games) is fourth in the NHL this season in points per game, but his ice time lags behind other players who are off to hot starts.
16 players have 9 or more points in the early season scoring race, and Vanek has averaged less ice time minutes (17:10) than all of them except for Tyler Seguin. The NHL’s top scorer thus far, Phil Kessel, has played 20:32 per game.
Sabre forward Ville Leino was benched during last night’s win over the Canadiens in Montreal, registering just 2 shifts in the 3rd period. After signing a rich 6-year contract in the off-season, Leino has gotten off to a slow start with 1 goal and 0 assists in 5 games. He knows that he needs to step up his game.
“I don’t know if it’s the system or whatever, but I’m sure that I’m not happy with how I’ve played. I’m sure Lindy isn’t happy either. I’m just trying to work here and get things working.”
About The Sabres Observer
Dave Davis has covered the Buffalo Sabres for various NHL accredited websites and newspapers since 2003. He was the senior writer and Sabres correspondent for The Fourth Period, covered hockey for Western New York Sports and Leisure Magazine, and has had articles featured on NHL.com, FOX Sports, Yahoo Sports and in New York Sportscene. Sabres news and notes can be found on his Twitter page.
Davis originally garnered media attention in 2002 as leader of a lobbying campaign working in unison with potential buyer Mark Hamister attempting to secure state financing to keep the Sabres in Buffalo. In 2004, Davis was briefly back on the airwaves - this time reaching the finals of the inaugural "WGR Rookie" sports talk competition. After a few years of "syndicating" his articles on various sites, along with doing some internet radio work, Davis now devotes his new media efforts to bringing quality Sabres related opinions and content to Kukla's Korner.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: [@DaveDavisHockey]