50 Moments for 50 Years: Part Two

The last 50 49 years of Sabres hockey have been filled with thrilling games, agonizing defeats and a few extremely weird occurrences. In line with some of the work The Buffalo News and The Athletic has done in celebrating the team’s anniversary, I wanted to take a look at some of the most seminal moments in franchise history.

This isn’t a ranking but an attempt to touch on the big benchmarks and memorable moments from the last 50 (49) years. Here is part two of the list: Continue reading

50 Moments for 50 Years: Part One

The last 50 49 years of Sabres hockey have been filled with thrilling games, agonizing defeats and a few extremely weird occurrences. In line with some of the work The Buffalo News and The Athletic has done in celebrating the team’s anniversary, I wanted to take a look at some of the most seminal moments in franchise history.

This isn’t a ranking but an attempt to touch on the big benchmarks and memorable moments from the last 50 (49) years. Here is part one of the two-part list. Continue reading

The Instigator Podcast 8.15 – What to do with Mittelstadt

Joined by Sabres Twitterer @ntrider825, we discuss the struggles of Casey Mittelstadt and why a spell in Rochester is maybe the only logical step left to explore. Kevin and I run through a few other topics as it pertains to the Sabres finding opportunities to improve their roster as they sit in an advantageous position in the standings.

Confessions of a Josh Allen Skeptic

The Josh Allen Experience has been, well, an experience.

Everything surrounding his drafting and the start of his career has been rife with debate. It was pretty evident the Bills were going to move on from Tyrod Taylor after the 2017 season with a mind on drafting a quarterback of the future that spring. And right from the get-go, the process was a fight.

I was a Tyrod fan but I was on board with moving on from him. It seemed as if they had reached their limit with him under center with an effective but somewhat predictable offense. It felt like the Bills were closer to a Wing-T than the other teams around the league racking up passing yards. Of course, the underlying numbers indicated the offense under Taylor was better than you might’ve assumed, but it still felt like they were limited with him at quarterback. Even in breaking the drought, the toothless attack in Jacksonville served as the final straw for just about everyone who hadn’t already began to look forward.

Keep the white facemasks, please and thank you.

Knowing that it was likely the Bills would be drafting a quarterback in 2017, I had already begun to look ahead to some of the players they could be targeting. I was fully on board. Using a high draft pick to ideally get a quarterback capable of vaulting the offense into the 21st century was what I’d been waiting for. Thanks to his impressive sophomore year, Josh Allen was my personal favorite entering the 2017 season. But as his play wavered in his junior year, I soured on the thought of him. Especially as a high pick.

So, when it looked more and more obvious that Allen was going to be Buffalo’s pick, I got progressively more disappointed with the decision. Given all of the data available to us, it wasn’t unfair to question whether or not it was a good pick. Yet, very quickly it became a capital crime in the eyes of Bills Mafia to question the new quarterback. An odd wrinkle but not wholly unexpected. You want your guys to do well, right? You want your team to be the one making good decisions, not bad ones. I’m almost always on the side of at least giving the organization (Bills or Sabres) the benefit of the doubt with a hire or a signing or a draft pick. I’d much rather start on the positive side of things as opposed to the negative. But considering the way his play regressed in 2017, I wasn’t sold on the pick. Still, the preposterous amount of piling on for anyone who even dared to mention that maybe we shouldn’t put too much stock into wins over Gardner-Webb or Texas State made this an exhausting endeavor from day one.

I’m not sure if that makes me a critic of his. I certainly didn’t want him to fail, I wasn’t rooting against him. But I wanted to see some proof of concept before buying in. Continue reading

The Instigator Podcast 8.14 – Hall Monitors

With Taylor Hall’s name buzzing around the rumor mill, we consider whether or not the Sabres would be wise to invest the assets (and potentially cap space) into the Devils star, or if the club should consider other options. Our primary focus this week is the improved play the team has enjoyed over the last two weeks and whether or not there are moves available to Jason Botterill that would capitalize on their play and supplement their roster.

The Instigator Podcast 8.13 – Death by Special Teams

Disturbing and unusual news broke today regarding Bill Peters and his treatment of his players, most notably Akim Aliu. Accusations of Peters using racist remarks have rocked the hockey world and we spend some time discussing the fallout from the report along with the firing of Mike Babcock in Toronto. We also touch on Buffalo’s penalty kill and the massive issues the Sabres have had when down a man. Steve Smith’s impact on Buffalo’s continued struggles is at the center of our conversation on the penalty kill and Buffalo’s recent cold streak on special teams.

You can listen to The Instigator Podcast on most podcast streaming services, including large providers such as iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeartRadio and TuneIn and most other third-party podcast streaming apps. You can find links to subscribe and rate the show below:

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Sabres and Amerks Goalie Gear Breakdown

It’s a good year to be a gear nerd in Buffalo as the Sabres goaltenders have extra masks and pads on display thanks to the 50th anniversary celebration.

The annual 2ITB Sabres goaltending fashion update is running a little later than usual in order to capture the recent Hockey Fights Cancer masks and to account for all of the equipment being worn from Buffalo down to Cincinnati.

As always, this post captures the mask art and gear being worn by any goalies on an NHL contract in the pipeline with special dispensation made for 2019 draft pick Erik Portillo because of his crazy Bauer True Design pads. Continue reading