November 12, 2013 - 3:30 PM
By Mike Harrington
When I wrote today's Sabres story on their struggles in First Niagara Center, I didn't know the startling fact that I updated the Web version with early this morning: A loss tonight against the Los Angeles Kings makes the Sabres the second team in NHL history to go winless at home in their first 10 games of a season. Jeez.
The Sabres are currently 0-8-1 and the record for worst NHL start at home was set by the 1983-84 Pittsburgh Penguins, who went 0-9-2 (that's two ties) at then-Civic Arena. They finally won a game on Nov. 23, 1983 at the Igloo by beating New Jersey, 4-1.
That Pittsburgh team finished 16-58-6 and their 38 points was last overall in the NHL. It's widely believed the club tanked its season to get the No. 1 overall pick in the 1984 draft -- which it turned into Mario Lemieux. Hmmm. Sounds like a familiar strategy, even though there's no Lemieux in the offing at next June's league meeting in Philadelphia.
Continue reading "To end home futility, history provides fighting chance vs. Kings" »
February 18, 2013 - 9:46 AM
By John Vogl
Along with students, teachers and bank tellers, the Sabres are taking Presidents' Day off.
The collective bargaining agreement mandates teams give their players four days off for every full calendar month, and the Sabres had scheduled today for a respite. Despite a bitter afternoon loss to the Pittsburgh, they're sticking with the plan.
Continue reading "Sabres stick to CBA-mandated schedule, take today off" »
February 18, 2013 - 9:00 AM
February 17, 2013 - 11:31 AM
Sidney Crosby has a point in all 12 of his career games in First Niagara Center. (AP Photo)
By Mike Harrington
Greetings from high atop First Niagara Center as we get set for today's Sabres-Penguins matinee. It's a 12:30 faceoff on NBC. Will the Sabres parlay any momentum from Friday night's third period against the Bruins? Will the Penguins continue to dominate on the road, where they lead the East with seven wins? Those are my two quick questions this morning.
Be sure to join me in a new thread on the Edge at 12:30 for our live game blog -- and have your questions and comments ready in the second intermission for another Sabres FlashChat.
Today's game is the opener of Hockey Day in America and will be followed at 3:30 by the Kings at the Blackhawks on NBC and the Capitals at the Rangers at 6 on the NBC Sports Network.
Gord Miller, the TSN veteran renowned for his work on on the World Junior Championships, will be doing today's play-by-play and former NHL defenseman and longtime MSG analyst Joe Micheletti will be the inside-the-glass man. Rick Jeanneret and Rob Ray will be doing radio only today on WGR.
Some quick numbers to ponder:
Vs. Pittsburgh: The Sabres are just 2-8-0 in their last 10 against the Pens.
Power play: The Penguins are third overall (27.6 percent) and are fourth on the road (28.6) but lead the NHL with 10 road power-play goals. The Sabres are 26th overall (12.7) but are ninth at home (24.0) and 29th on the road (1-30, 3.3. Yikes).
Continue reading "Morning numbers for today's matinee vs. the Flying Crosbys" »
February 16, 2013 - 4:49 PM
By John Vogl
Thomas Vanek leads the NHL in goals and points. The Penguins have noticed.
"Vanek has started off extremely hot, and it’s not something new," Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma said following practice this afternoon in First Niagara Center. "He’s a dangerous player. He’s a skilled player. He can make plays, score goals. He’s a guy who doesn’t have a reputation for doing it on the inside, but he’s good at the net. He’s good in tight spaces. He goes to the net, gets a shot off, does it on the power play.
"He’s a dangerous guy you’re going to have to watch."
Continue reading "Penguins hoping to keep Vanek cool for Sabres" »