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Welcome Back, Nolan

by Amy Moritz

Welcome to the new era in Buffalo Sabres history. One that has a heavy dose of its past intertwined.

The crowd at First Niagara Center was loud, energetic and filled with anticipation as the Buffalo Sabres took to the ice for their game with the Toronto Maple Leafs. When Ted Nolan emerged from the tunnel and took his spot behind the bench, the cheers were solid and sustained.

In their pregame montage, the arena went dark with spotlights on Pat LaFontaine's retired jersey and the 1997 Northeast Division Championship banner, won under Nolan's previous coaching stint with the franchise. Classic calls of LaFontaine goals echoed through the arena followed by snippets from Monday's press conference announcing LaFontaine as president of hockey operations and Nolan as interim head coach.

While there were a healthy number of LaFontaine jerseys, the crowd was dominated by Maple Leafs sweaters with chants of "Go Leafs Go" greeted by boos.

The Sabres played welcome back videos for Nolan and LaFontaine during broadcast media timeouts in the first period. They showed Jean Knox in attendance at the game after the Nolan tribute and then showed LaFontaine from his seat in the press box. Both received raucous cheers.

The Sabres started their top line of Matt Moulson, Cody Hodgson and Drew Stafford along with the defensive pairing of Henrik Tallinder and Tyler Myers. 

Ryan Miller got the start in goal.

Buffalo also got the first power play of the game and 6:30 into the first period held a 5-0 lead in shots on goal.

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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl | [email protected]

About Sabres Edge


Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington | [email protected]


Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz | [email protected]

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