The Instigator Podcast 11.18 – The Sabres and the Three-Headed Goalie Monster

The Sabres waived Vinny Hinostroza on Wednesday afternoon, opening the door for the team to officially carry three goaltenders on the roster. We discuss the decision to waive Hinostroza, the challenges of carrying three goalies and how this decision affects Buffalo’s outlook as they work to stay in the Eastern Conference playoff race. We start the show with a conversation about Ivan Provorov and his decision to not wear the Flyers Pride Night warmup jersey earlier this week.

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The Instigator Podcast 11.17 – Setting Expectations for a Growing Team

We’re back to discuss the Sabres continued improvement and some thoughts on how to judge this team as they creep into the playoff picture. We talk about resetting expectations for a team that is still growing in order to remain realistic regarding the outlook for the remainder of the season. We also talk about the back-to-back losses the Sabres suffered and even bring back some conversations about potential arena renovations and just when we may see those plans resurface.

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The Instigator Podcast 11.16 – Sabres New Year’s Resolutions

We turn the calendar to 2023 and offer up the resolutions we have for the Sabres in the New Year. The Sabres find themselves creeping up on the playoff race in the Eastern Conference and are enjoying impressive seasons from a number of key contributors. With their impressive improvements in mind, we dig into a few areas we hope to see the team focus on in 2023.

The Instigator Podcast 11.15 – Are the Sabres Ready for the Next Step?

The Sabres return home from a West Coast swing with a trio of key victories. They’ve vaulted themselves into the Eastern Conference wild card race and look poised to take a significant step forward in the ongoing rebuild. The team’s impressive run off their previous losing streak hasn’t just put them back within sight of a playoff position, but it has reset expectations within the fanbase. As the NHL’s highest scoring team with a handful of individual award candidates, the question has become whether or not it’s time for Kevyn Adams to take the next step in building his roster. We look at what that could mean for the Sabres and even offer up a few names which would provide an opportunity for improvement in both the short and long term.

The Instigator Podcast 11.14 – Sabres Status Report After 25 (Plus Three) Games

The Sabres have played 28 games and it feels like a good time to take an assessment of their progress thus far. We talk about our choice for MVP, top rookie and breakout performer through the first portion of the year. We also touch on what’s been the most frustrating and disappointing aspects of the season to this point. Also on this week’s show: a discussion over the Bo Horvat and Jesse Puljujarvi trade speculation and a brief rundown of the potential Sabres attendees at the World Junior Championships. Plus some thoughts on Matt Savoie not receiving an invite to Team Canada’s camp.

No One Cause to Sabres Goal Prevention Issues

The Sabres have a goal prevention issue. Many have boiled it down to a goaltending issue, but it’s not that simple. Although, it’s played a big role.

Tage Thompson just tied the franchise record for goals in a game as part of a 9-4 win. The Sabres have scored four or more goals in seven of their last 10 games but are just 5-4-1 in that span. The Sabres have scored the most goals in the entire league but are six points out of the Wild Card race. It’s a peculiar situation they find themselves in and their inability to keep pucks out of their net is one of the most frustrating aspects of what’s been a promising season.

Buffalo is currently in the top half of the league in xGF% according to Natural Stat Trick and that positive goal differential is commendable considering the next closest differential belongs to the Flames who are dead even as of this writing and sitting 21st in the league in overall standings.

The Sabres’ recent loss to the Lightning was a contest that highlighted more than a few of Buffalo’s most notable struggles on the year. The penalty kill struggled, they surrendered a third period lead and their goaltending wasn’t up to snuff. Given how quickly things fell apart on the Sabres, I wanted to go back through the game and see how it all unfolded. Below are each of the six goals from the Tampa game broken down into a handful of key steps as each goal developed and was scored. It illustrates nicely just how many different factors came together to sink the Sabres and how many of these issues have been present in many of the team’s contests this year.

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The Instigator Podcast 11.13 – Answers in Goal Won’t Come Easy for the Sabres

While virtually every aspect of the Buffalo Sabres play has been humming of late, their netminders have been suspect for most of the season. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has been given an opportunity to prove his worth to the organization, but early returns have been questionable. Finding a solution that offers the club a true improvement in net is easier said than done. We discuss the shortcomings in goal plus the challenges that will face the Sabres in trying to once again improve between the pipes.

Fit Check: 2022-23 Sabres Goaltenders

It’s taken a little longer than usual due to the late-November launch of the Sabres alternate jersey but all the different sets of gear worn by Buffalo’s goaltenders have now seen the ice (with the exception of Eric Comrie’s black and red setup).

The black and red uniforms offer a great shift for the team’s netminders, providing a drastically different look for each when the team wears their new third jersey. Perhaps we will see more mask art or pads for the team’s Reverse Retro jerseys, but for now each goalie has sported two different sets on the year. It offers a great variety of looks and there’s a similar collection of mask art to admire. I’ve included Rochester’s goaltenders in the mix as well since more gear is always more fun.

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The Instigator Podcast 11.12 – Jakob Chychrun and the Sabres Interest

Jakob Chychrun’s name has been all over Sabres Nation since Jeff Marek first asked if the Sabres could be a darkhorse contender for the defenseman. We talk about what sort of fit Chychrun would be and lay out the potential trade chips the Sabres would have to offer Arizona in a potential deal. We also ran through a few other topics including the new contract for Roope Hintz and the Sabres moving to terminate Riley Sheahan’s contract.

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Buffalo’s Best Moments in Red and Black

The Sabres will take to the ice downtown in black and red uniforms for the first time since the spring of 2006. As 90s Night will be full of nostalgia, let’s look back on some of the best moments of Buffalo’s black and red era.

These are presented in no particular order as ranking the best moments of that 10-year span would be awfully subjective. Feel free to share your favorite Goathead memories in the comments or on Twitter.

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