The Instigator Podcast 7.28 – Applying Kekalainen’s Deadline to the 2007 Sabres

In the wake of the first two eliminations in this year’s playoffs, we thought it would be interesting to take a look at how Jarmo Kekalainen’s aggressive trade deadline strategy may have been applied to the 2007 Sabres. So we endeavored to apply a similar approach to what the Sabres could have done in 2007 while staying within the limits of the salary cap and realistic moves that were available at that time. Along the way we unpack the series sweeps suffered by the Penguins and Lightning, discuss the signings of Casey Fitzgerald and Jacob Bryson and touch on the disappointing attendance at this year’s Frozen Four.

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The Instigator Podcast 7.27 – Sabres Back on the Coaching Search Post-Housley

Phil Housley has been relieved of his duties as the Buffalo Sabres head coach, putting the Sabres back on the hunt for a head coach. Things moved quickly, with Todd McLellan linked as the leading candidate to land the Sabres job, with some saying the two sides were moving quickly towards an agreement. We talk about what ultimately cost Housley his job and whether or not McLellan strikes us as the right answer for what the Sabres are looking for. We touch on some of the other potential head coaching candidates in the league today and pay tribute to the careers of Jason Pominville and Bob Cole.

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The Instigator Podcast 7.26. – The Airing of Grievances

We are a little light on analysis this week as the Sabres inability to function as even a mediocre NHL franchise pushed us to our breaking point. We’re a few months past Festivus but we go in on every facet of the Sabres that has irked us this season and in the past.

Before we haul off on the Sabres poor play we spend sometime discussing the latest in the world of women’s hockey as the NWHL is poised to take another big step forward next season.

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The Instigator Podcast 7.25 – Assessing the Sabres Goalies with Cat Silverman

Cat Silverman of The Athletic and InGoal Magazine joined the show this week for a long overdue goalie episode. We hit on a number of goalies from around the league, including Darcy Kuemper and Carter Hart. There’s even a brief mention of Sabres legend Matt Hackett. Our main focus was on Carter Hutton and Linus Ullmark and just what the Sabres have in the pair, how they’ve fared this season and how they might improve moving forward.

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Sabres Rewind: More Fun in the Defensive Zone

Buffalo’s most recent attempt to string together back-to-back wins fell short with a road home loss to Toronto on Wednesday night. The Sabres allowed three-straight to the Leafs after taking a first period lead and the first two goals were both messy in their own regard.

John Tavares’ tap-in was the product of an effective cycle driven by William Nylander and Buffalo’s continued struggles picking up coverage in the defensive zone. Far too often this season, the Sabres have gotten loose in their coverage, leading to uncontested shots and tap-ins for their opponents. Their coverage has been so poor at times that opponents managed to not only find a free lane to the net but have teammates sitting open on the back door as well. It’s a problem that’s plagued the Sabres all season and I’m not quite sure if they’ll ever solve the problem unless the coaching staff makes some fundamental changes to their system.

Like with most plays, everything is harmless enough as Nylander picks up the puck behind the net. Sam Reinhart is low in the zone filling the typical center duties, Jack Eichel and Jeff Skinner are higher, covering the points, and Rasmus Ristolainen and Marco Scandella each have a man.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Instigator Podcast 7.24 – Filling the Talent Gulf

Our plan this week was to discuss the continued impact poor drafting and generally below average talent has had on the Sabres but we wound up on a Phil Housley tangent for a portion of the episode. Last night’s loss bore all the hallmarks of a team that’s quit on its coach and it seems more and more evident that the only recourse will be to fire Housley sooner rather than later. Though there is reason to believe the Sabres wish for him to be around for another training camp and the start of next season. Between the Housley discussion is a rundown of potential college free agent targets and a look at how first round misses can derail any progress a team is trying to make.

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The Instigator Podcast 7.23 – Dumbfounded by Deployment with Ben Mathewson

Ben Mathewson joins the show this week to discuss the questionable deployment utilized by Phil Housley, the opportunities in front of the coach to optimize his lineup and just what Jason Botterill is doing well (and poorly) in plugging the holes on Buffalo’s roster. On the docket: Casey Nelson’s quality contribution, why they opted not to make more recalls as their slide began, what’s the point of playing Tage Thompson on the fourth line and, yes, Vladimir Sobotka.

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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