Pipe Dream: It’s Time for a Sabres Skills Competition

Rosters for the 2017 NHL All Star game were announced with far less fanfare than the 2016 version as John Scott’s name was nowhere to be found on the four division squads for the event. While the new three-on-three format injected some much needed life into the weekend, the highlight for many remains the Skills Competition.

The Skills Competition is a perfect made-for-TV event that showcases the incredible skill of NHL players in easily digestible bites. It’s a format that’s been pulled to local events by many NHL clubs on an annual basis, as teams take advantage of longer breaks in the schedule to put on a show for their fans. The Sabres even ran their own in the 90s before putting an end to the practice.

Bringing back the Sabres Skills Competition has been a common request (at least in my personal Sabres Twitter echo chamber) and those cries seemed to intensify last year with the debut of Sabres Showdown. Giving fans the chance to see a Sabres-specific skills competition on TV gave them a glimpse of what could be in store with a ticketed event.

Adding an event like this to the Sabres schedule would accomplish a number of easily attainable goals. It’s an event that can be sold as an open ticket instead of first accommodating season ticket holders, thus extending an opportunity for those fans who don’t typically attend a game to grab a seat at Key Bank Center for Sabres hockey. The tickets themselves would (read: should) be below that of the box office price for a game, again helping to include a segment of the fanbase that typically can’t attend a game in person. These are also best served as early afternoon events, which is tailor-made for #familyfriendly #fun. Lastly, a special event like this could be considered a way that the team is giving back to the fans, another issue that has gained momentum in recent years. Continue reading

The Instigator Podcast 5.29 – Turning the Corner

With a trifecta of impressive wins under their belt – and another near miss – the Sabres are creating some believers in Western New York. While there’s still work to do, it appears the rest of the team has caught up to the impressive play in goal. Chris and Tyler discuss the goaltending debate despite the lack of an actual goalie controversy while also highlighting the impressive play of Evander Kane, Sam Reinhart and Kyle Okposo, among others. Be sure to listen in here or grab the episode on your mobile device and listen on the go.

Subscribe to The Instigator Podcast on iTunes

Subscribe to The Instigator Podcast on Google Play

 

The Instigator Podcast 5.28 – New Year but Asking the Same Questions

Back for the new year, Chris and Tyler are stuck asking the same questions of the Sabres that were asked in 2016. The Sabres appear to be stuck in neutral with no real signs of getting moving again thanks to injuries, poor special teams and poor coaching. We analyze what options are left at this point in the year and look forward with some hope as not everything is bleak down at Key Bank Center. Catch the new episode here or on your device, links to subscribe to The Instigator Podcast can be found below.

Subscribe to The Instigator Podcast on iTunes

Subscribe to The Instigator Podcast on Google Play

Crease Crash Course: Brain Farts All Around in Florida

The Sabres were just minutes away from an impressive comeback road win in Sunrise when a quartet of bad plays led to the tying goal in a game the Sabres would ultimately lose in a shootout.

At the center of Nick Bjugstad’s goal is Zach Bogosian, who makes a number of bad decisions which led to the goal. Robin Lehner, who had played a strong game to this point, ultimately made a very strange decision and poor read prior to Bjugstad chipping the tying goal home.

This is the first goalie review in some time as Buffalo’s run over the last few weeks has featured mostly straightforward play. Both Lehner and Anders Nilsson have continued to play very well and the goals they’re being beaten on aren’t too complicated. So the lack of really in-depth plays to review (and the lack of quality replays in some cases) has led to the absence. However, Bjugstad’s goal on Tuesday featured a number of breakdowns, including the goaltender. Continue reading

The Instigator Podcast 5.27 – Do the Sabres have a Crease Crisis?

With a lot of attention directed to Buffalo’s goal tending as of late, Chris and Tyler spend this week’s podcast discussing the strength shown by Lehner and Nilsson so far this year while also pouring water on the idea that there could be some sort of controversy brewing.

Subscribe to The Instigator Podcast on iTunes

Subscribe to The Instigator Podcast on Google Play

 

The Instigator Podcast Interview – Featuring Sabres History and Memorabilia

We will be doing a new feature on The Instigator Podcast on a weekly (or semi-weekly) basis. The interview series will be one-on-one conversations covering a wide range of hockey topics. We’ll touch on Sabres topics and general NHL and hockey fandom as well.

The first Instigator Interview features the men behind the Seymour Knox’s Ghost Twitter account as he and Chris discuss his impressive memorabilia collection the covers one-of-a-kind items from The Aud and beyond. We also discuss whether or not the team has done enough to honor their rich history in recent years. You can catch the interviews in the same places you find our regular episodes.

Subscribe to The Instigator Podcast on iTunes

Subscribe to The Instigator Podcast on Google Play

 

The Instigator Podcast 5.26 – Veteran Presence

After a brief layoff Chris and Tyler are back in action not 24 hours after Buffalo’s comeback win against the Kings. This week’s podcast covers the impressive debut of Brendan Guhle, the continued struggle of finding the right spot for Josh Gorges and some insight on the veterans on Buffalo’s roster who are outperforming expectations.

Catch The Instigator Podcast here or grab it on your mobile device via iTunes or Google Play.

Subscribe to The Instigator Podcast on iTunes

Subscribe to The Instigator Podcast on Google Play