Kukla's Korner

The Sabres Observer

Pegula’s Silence On Penn State Is Overstated

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.

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Sabres Lead NHL In Local TV Ratings

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.

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McKee Adjusting To Life Behind The Bench

From WGR-550,

“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.

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Ruff Wants Myers To Be Aggressive

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.

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Enroth Equals One Less Axe To Grind

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.

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Revisiting The Vanek Ice Time Debate

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.

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Leino Finding His Place In Buffalo

From WGR-550,

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.”

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Good On Ruff For Sticking With Gragnani

The Sabres are in Montreal tonight and will try to deny Carey Price his 100th career win.  The Habs goaltender is off to a rough start, giving up a few too many five-hole style goals early this season.

Buffalo will go with the same lineup they used in Saturday’s win at Pittsburgh.  That means Brad Boyes will at least temporarily avoid the fourth line.  There was some talk that Mike Weber would be put into the lineup to replace the struggling Marc Andre-Gragnani on defense, but I’m glad to see that Lindy Ruff is giving him one more chance and letting him try to right the ship in his hometown.  They have won 3 out of 4 with the kid playing, and I still like the look of him and Christian Ehrhoff manning the points on the power play.  If tonight is another disaster for Gragnani, however, then all bets are off.

Ryan Miller will be in net for Buffalo.  Keep an eye on Derek Roy, who revealed to the media yesterday that he’s playing with a hamstring injury.

Twitter: @DaveDavisHockey

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Sabres, Weather, Staff Leave Fans All Wet

Six power plays resulting in two goals.  Not too shabby.

Unless both goals are scored by the other team, that is…

•  If it weren’t for a Ryan Miller save on an Eric Staal breakaway and a goalpost save on Brandon Sutter, it would’ve been four shorthanded goals for the Carolina Hurricanes in rainy Buffalo last night (Canes won 4-3).  I get that the Sabres want to be aggressive with the man advantage, but unless they miraculously figure out how to hit on 25% of their power plays, then thirteen shorties against last season and two given up last night are way too high a price to pay.

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Sabres New Locker Room Photos

Yours truly was among the group of media and bloggers attending an open house showing off the Sabres new locker room facilities. 

A few reporters who have been in pretty much every locker room in the league say they’ve never seen anything like this.

I added a few notes to each photo based mostly on what they were telling us while giving the tour of this



Photo gallery

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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.

2014-15 NHL Reverse Standings


Email: dd@kuklaskorner.com Twitter: [@DaveDavisHockey]


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