The Instigator Podcast 10.37 – Which Eliminated Teams Are Ripe for Moves

With the first round of the NHL Playoffs complete, we look at which teams could be looking to make adjustments this offseason and whether or not the Sabres can capitalize on any such moves. We also touch on the signing of Alexander Kisakov and the latest on the Arizona Coyotes arena saga.

The Instigator Podcast 10.36 – Sabres Hold 9th and 16th Picks after NHL Draft Lottery

The Sabres didn’t see their picks move in the NHL Draft Lottery and they will draft ninth and 16th in this year’s draft. The only first round pick to be determined is that of the Florida Panthers, which will fall between 28th and 32nd depending on their finish. On this week’s show we talk about the lottery results and who the Sabres could be looking at with their top two picks. We also talk about Barry Trotz’ departure from the New York Islanders and run through some of the key talking points from the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Instigator Podcast 10.35 – Sabres 2022-23 Season Recap

Another season is in the books and we look back at the way the Sabres played over the course of 2022-23 and what it means for them going forward. While we don’t assign grades to any individual, we break down each of the team’s position groups to see where the bright spots were and where the Sabres need to improve most.

We wrap up the show with a brief conversation on the NHL playoffs and which early storylines in the postseason stand out most to us.

The Instigator Podcast – SkateSkins and the Intersection of Hockey and Fashion with JustDishin

Matt Keeler and Nick Ciavarella of JustDishin join the show to discuss SkateSkins and the product’s introduction into the NHL. They also offer some tremendous insight into the intersection of hockey and fashion and how that evolution has the ability to move the sport forward on a number of levels. This wide ranging conversation touches on a number of intriguing topics, including the latest from JustDishin and SkateSkins, a product that made a huge splash in the NHL last week.

The Instigator Podcast 10.34 – Which Player from 05-06 or 06-07 Would You Plug Into the Current Sabres Roster

It’s another Ask Instigator version of the podcast as we answer a number of listener questions on everything from trading their first round picks and what a lottery win would mean for the Sabres to which player from 2005-06 or 06-07 would we pick up and place on the current iteration of the Sabres roster.

We also touch on Jack Quinn and JJ Peterka’s All-Rookie Team nomination in the AHL and discuss Vegas impeding elimination from the NHL playoff race and how that affects the Sabres in the draft.

The 10 Best Sets of Sabres Goalie Equipment

Another season is winding down and the future in net for the Sabres is up in the air once again. That’s exciting for a few reasons. First and foremost, the opportunity to improve in net opens the door for the Sabres to take a big step back to respectability as they work through this rebuild.

Second, and most importantly, a new goalie (or goalies) means new goalie gear.

Thanks to the Sabres rich history in goal, there have been buckets of goalies whose mask design or gear choices have been terrific. With the 2021-22 NHL season ready to wrap up, it felt like a good time to look back at 10 of the best sets of goalie gear in Sabres history.

You’ll notice that no one from the era of vintage pads did not make the cut. That’s simply because vintage pads are quite ambiguous. There’s nothing that really sets Roger Crozier apart from Gerry Desjardins or Gary Bromley besides their masks (and we’ve already ranked those). Those terrific vintage sets all have their place in history, but when it comes to the best looks in team history, they can’t compare to the way more modern pads pop with different color combinations.

This isn’t a ranking so much as a collection of the sets I feel look the best. So, the list isn’t in any particular order. Though I did save the best for last.

Continue reading

Answering the 10 Big Sabres Questions from the Preseason

Entering the year, the Sabres were very much in a state of flux. Jack Eichel hadn’t been traded, nor had he gotten the surgery he preferred. Buffalo’s offseason pointed towards another difficult season as the team continued to rebuild. With so much uncertainty surrounding the on and off-ice business of the team, I put together a list of 10 big questions that would likely define the 2021-22 season.

As the season wraps up, I wanted to take some time to look back on each of those topics and see just how they affected the Sabres as the season progressed.  

Continue reading

The Instigator Podcast 10.33 – Owen Power is Right at Home in Buffalo

Owen Power’s NHL career is a week old and we spend some time reflecting on his strong play through the first four games he’s appeared in. We also touch on how he and Rasmus Dahlin are rounding out a formidable top-four for the Sabres.

Also on the show is a discussion over Devon Levi and Erik Portillo each returning to school and how that affects Buffalo’s decisions in net for the offseason. We wrap up this week’s show talking about the introduction of ads on NHL jerseys.

The Instigator Podcast 10.32 – Betting Hockey with Jason Moser of PuckLuck.com

Jason Moser of PuckLuck.com joined the show this week to discuss the way he applies advanced analytics to betting NHL games and how his model can help give bettors an edge in winning hockey bets. We discuss how he developed the model using common analytics such as expected goals and how those models are applied to determine which NHL games offer the best opportunity for betting wins on a night-to-night basis.

We also touch on how models such as Jason’s can be applied to areas such as fantasy hockey. All of the information can be found on Jason’s site, puckluck.com, which is free and available to the public. We talk at length about the sort of information he provides on the site and how it is structured to help you win more bets.

The Instigator Podcast 10.31 – Reflecting on RJ Night and Devon Levi’s Decision

The Sabres celebrated Rick Jeanneret on Friday night and they put on quite a show in the process. We talk about the whirlwind evening and many of the highlights of the team’s impressive pregame ceremony, decisive win over the Predators and touching post-game tribute.

We also touch on prospect Devon Levi and the news that he will be returning to Northeastern for his junior season after finishing 2021-22 as a Hobey Baker finalist. Levi isn’t the only collegiate goalie the Sabres need to be tracking, as there are signs that Erik Portillo could qualify as a free agent as early as the 2023 offseason. That, plus Levi’s return likely puts him front-and-center to the Sabres plans to ink their collegiate prospects.