Sabres Skills Challenge was a Treat

It was nearly two years ago to the day that I ran this post about the Sabres putting on their own version of a skills competition. Obviously the Sabres and Pegula Sports appreciate my very big brain and think all of my ideas are very good. The best ideas you’ve ever seen.

Kidding aside, the Sabres resurrected a practice they dabbled with in the 90s, with the Sabres Skills Challenge. I’d venture a guess that Sabres Showdown, which debuted during the 2016-17 season was a litmus test for the full-scale event from this past Sunday, and they knocked it out of the park.

Going into Sunday I was worried that the fans may not show and there would be scores of empty seats which would likely doom any future iteration of the event. But the lower bowl and 200 level were each well-filled with some spill over into the 300 level. The Buffalo News reported the attendance to be just shy of 10,000, which is a pretty good turnout for something that a vast majority of the fanbase probably hadn’t seen previously.

The entire affair took just over an hour to complete and the Sabres Store was packed to the gills after the fact. Concessions weren’t overcrowded and from what I observed there were plenty of kids enjoying seeing the Sabres up close and personal. The special jerseys the players donned looked terrific and even though there was maybe a little lack of compete in some of the drills, it was a lot of fun to watch, especially Tage Thompson in the shootout and the Remi Elie, Marco Scandella, Rasmus Ristolainen trio in the 3-on-0 drill. Continue reading

The Instigator Podcast 6.20 – Back from the All Star Break

The All Star break is over and the Sabres have reverted to their most maddening form. On this week’s podcast we talk about Jack Eichel’s impressive weekend in Tampa and toss some ideas around about how the league can beef up the Skills Competition. We touch on Chad Johnson’s continuing struggles in the Sabres crease while also lamenting the continued scourge that is the offside and goaltender interference review system.