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 7.24 – 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.

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Sabres Rewind: The Very Bad, No Good Second Period

Things started pretty well for the Sabres in Toronto on Monday night. They carried play throughout the first period and were eventually rewarded with the game’s first goal.

Quick note for this edition. For portions of the play that aren’t ass backwards or super goofy I will keep using comic sans for max comedy. For general highlights or more serious aspects I won’t act like the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers and use a normal font.

They didn’t carry that positive momentum into the second period, however. The Leafs scored three goals in just over two minutes and four total in the period to take a lead they wouldn’t surrender. A couple of the goals were fairly straightforward. John Tavares got a good tip on Jake Muzzin’s point shot – Matt Hunwick could’ve done a better job tying up Tavares on that one – and Auston Matthews cashed in an unfortunate bounce off Evan Rodrigues. The other two goals were tougher to watch.

The first was Freddie Gauthier’s backhand that chased Carter Hutton. This goal wasn’t so much a lapse by any one player on the ice. At the core, it was simply a bigger player utilizing good body position against a smaller one, but it highlights some of the oddities about Buffalo’s defensive zone coverage. Continue reading

The Instigator Podcast 7.20 – Botterill Speaks, Now What?

Jason Botterill held court with the press and gave his head coach a vote of confidence. He also reinforced his previous claims of the deals he’s looking to make ahead of the deadline. We air some frustrations with Botterill’s apparent approach and break down some of the recent deals to break, including Charlie Coyle to Boston and Jakub Silfverberg’s extension in Anaheim. We also offer up a few thoughts on Jeff Skinner, trying to cool off any concerns people may have regarding whether or not he’ll be signing an extension in Buffalo.

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The Instigator Podcast 7.19 – Evaluating Housley

We’re back after another break to take a look at just what Phil Housley has done well and what he’s done poorly. We run through the questionable lineup decisions he’s been part of and some of the odd on-ice deployment he continues to favor. Along the way we also touch on the women’s game, as they’ve captured quite few headlines in recent weeks between the exploits of Kendall Coyne Schofield at the NHL Skills Competition and setting a new attendance record with the NWHL All Star Game in Nashville.

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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