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Category: Buffalo-Sabres

Evening Line- Jeremy Roenick


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Sabres Win

from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,

Seriously. It happened Wednesday night in KeyBank Center. I realize this wasn't momentous enough for thousands of you to someday claim you were there, so you'll have to take this corner's word for it.

The 18-game winless streak – the longest in the NHL in the post-2005 shootout era – is over. The 11-game home winless streak is also history, one shy of equaling the franchise record.

Give the Sabres full marks for their 6-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers, a victory that essentially was three games in the making after the Sabres frittered away third-period leads against the Flyers here Monday and Saturday in Boston.

Things have been particularly egregious at home, where the Sabres were 2-11-3 and had not won since Jan. 30. They were last in the NHL at 1.63 goals per game at home and a shocking 0.88 per game at 5 on 5. Patently absurd.

Frankly, it's been a good thing for this team there have been no fans around. I can hear the booing. But maybe they've missed the motivation. There's just nothing in the way of atmosphere without the masses.


Game highlights are below.

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The Buffalo Sabres Were Rolling Last Night But…

from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,

The first thing that popped in my head late Monday night was that old clip of John McEnroe from an early 1980s tirade at Wimbledon.

Remember the one where the ball was clearly on the line and chalk flew up? What four words that live in tennis lore did McNasty rail at the umpire after his serve was called out?

You cannot be serious.

That's how you have to feel after the Buffalo Sabres' utter collapse in KeyBank Center. Their hideous winless streak was over, cemented away in the history books at 17 games and no more.

And then it wasn't over. And now it's 18 games.

A 3-0 lead after two periods went poof in the night. The Philadelphia Flyers roared back with three goals in the third period and got the winner in overtime. A shocking 4-3 loss. An 0-15-3 record, equaling the NHL's longest winless streak of the last 27 years.


Game highlights are below.

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Eric Staal Traded To Montreal For Draft Picks

MONTREAL - Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin announced on Friday that the team has acquired Eric Staal from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for the club's third and fifth-round picks in the 2021 NHL Draft. The Sabres will retain $1.625 million of Staal's salary.

Staal, 36, suited up for 32 games with Buffalo this season, recording three goals and seven assists. In 17 seasons in the NHL with the Carolina Hurricanes, Minnesota Wild, New York Rangers and the Sabres, the 6'04'' and 195 lbs left-handed centerman amassed 1,031 points (439 goals, 592 assists) in 1,272 regular season games. A Stanley Cup champion with Carolina in 2006, Staal has 51 points, including 21 goals, in 62 playoff contests over the course of his NHL career.

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Another Loss In Philadelphia And Buffalo

from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,

For the free-falling Flyers, it was a bad rerun Thursday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

Eight nights earlier, the Flyers endured the Massacre at Madison Square Garden, where they suffered a nightmarish 9-0 loss to the New York Rangers.

In the rematch, it was more of the same: Blown defensive assignments, shoddy goaltending, lousy special teams.

Rangers 8, Flyers 3.

The Rangers built a 6-0 lead in the opening minutes of the second period en route to giving the Flyers a four-game losing streak for the first time since midway through last season.

Stop the season, the Flyers want to get off.

“This team has really lost its identity from where we were at the beginning of the year to where we are now,” defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere said. “We’re too good of a team to let it squander away.”


from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,

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Another Loss For The Buffalo Sabres

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13 Games Without A Win In Buffalo

from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,

Poor Don Granato.

When I asked the Buffalo Sabres' interim coach an hour before Thursday's snorefest in KeyBank Center how he was going to get these guys to compete, he started out by saying, "That's a million dollar question and that's what we're pushing for."

Actually, around here, it's really a six or eight or nine million dollar question.

On yet another bizarre day in and around the rink that reeked of 2021, the Sabres were toyed with by the Boston Bruins. It was a name-the-score game that ended 4-1. The shots on goal finished 37-24 after the count was 35-16 midway through the third period.

That's a 13-game winless streak, one shy of the franchise record set by the 2015 tankers....

The Sabres play with no jam, no vigor and no fight. They're 0-17-1 when trailing after two periods. Battling back is simply too hard or too much of a bother for them.

After the game, Granato promised to demand more and push harder. We'll see how that goes in practice Friday.

read on

Game highlights are below.

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Right Decisions A Must For The Buffalo Sabres

from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of NHL.com,

The Buffalo Sabres took a step toward turning themselves around when they fired coach Ralph Krueger on Wednesday, but it was a first step. What matters now is the next step, and the one after that, and the one after that.

Coaching is part of a larger picture. The Sabres (6-18-4) are last in the NHL this season, a big disappointment. But they likely will miss the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the 10th straight season, the longest drought in the NHL. What does that tell you?

"Of course, results matter," general manager Kevyn Adams said Wednesday. "This is a results business, and where we are is unacceptable. It speaks for itself. But it's deeper than that, and to change the culture and to do what we have to do to get this headed in the right direction, I felt this was the move we had to make."

Asked about changing the culture, Adams spoke of each member of the organization "stacking wins" in his or her role. He said he made a tough decision in firing Krueger, a smart, worldly man the players liked and in whom they believed, amid a season filled with injuries and COVID-19 disruptions. Assistant Don Granato replaces Krueger for now.

"Now my next decision has to be the right one, and it has to be the right one after that," Adams said.


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Farewell Ralph Krueger

from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,

Farewell to The System, whatever it was supposed to be.

Farewell to The Principles, which were clearly never adhered to by the players.

Farewell to Synergy, another of Ralph Krueger's infamous buzzwords.

Krueger's shelf life expired in stunningly quick fashion with the Buffalo Sabres after just 97 games as his firing was mercifully announced Wednesday morning. These players, many of whom have been through this before, quit on yet another coach. This recent stretch felt much worse than the final days of Dan Bylsma and Phil Housley.

The Sabres should be firing about 20 players here, but we know how this goes with any team: The coach always takes the fall in these situations.

And there's plenty of blame to be directed at Krueger.

Krueger's hire was hailed as out of the box and overdue by the oogling Canadian media when it came in 2019. Krueger, remember, was fired via Skype by the Edmonton Oilers in 2013 after just one lockout-shortened season. Clearly, he made a lot of media pals north of the border by being a background source for Team Canada at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

The praise was far and wide, especially when the Sabres started last season 8-1-1. When the Sabres fell apart at the end of the 2019-20 campaign and proved utterly noncompetitive through much of the last 15 games of this one, there was nary a peep about Krueger being an issue from the other side of the border until the last few days. Funny how that works.


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Shame On Everyone In Buffalo

from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,

Shame on you, Terry and Kim Pegula.

You have run your hockey team into the ground. That your football team was one win shy of a Super Bowl doesn't excuse your inaction.

Shame on you, Kevyn Adams.

Do you want to be taken seriously as an NHL general manager? Then how can you tell us you're angry, use the word "unacceptable" about 27 times and then do nothing while another season goes up in flames? The way this is going, your first season in the chair should be your last.

You know what Adams should do? Park his butt behind the bench and coach this disaster for the final 29 games, just so he gets an up-close look at what he wrought.

Shame on you, Ralph Krueger.

You just never adapted your system to your players and the results are mind-boggling. They quit on you. You should be furious with them. But you know how this goes: It's your fault. Your career as an NHL coach should have been over two weeks ago. It's hard to fathom you still behind the bench.


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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com



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