3-4-14: The Sabres and Blues had the biggest splash of the 2014 trade deadline this past Friday. The Sabres acquired Jaroslav Halak, Chris Stewart, William Carrier, and two draft picks in exchange for star players Ryan Miller and Steve Ott. Despite giving up on the season, the move has been seen as a necessary one for general manager Tim Murray.
3-3-14: The NHL’s worst team comes out of the Olympic break and, of course, goes 3-0 in its first three games played. They won the third game against the Sharks after trading Ryan Miller and Steve Ott to St. Louis before the game. GM Tim Murray has the right idea to blow up the Sabres and start anew. Matt Mouslon, Christian Ehroff, newly acquired Chris Stewart and Jaroslav Halak are all in play to be traded. How the Sabres brass handles the Ted Nolan situation will be interesting. Nolan is only coach on an interim basis and many believe with Pat LaFontaine’s stepping down as Vice-President, Nolan’s future in Buffalo could be bleak.
2-10-14: After showing signs of improvement after Ted Nolan took over as coach, Buffalo has once again gone in the tank. The Sabres have lost four straight games, all in regulation. Ryan Miller and Matt Moulson are sure to be traded at the trade deadline. The only thing Sabres fans have should be excited about is the future. With high draft picks in this year’s and next year’s draft, the Sabres should be a winning team again in 5-7 years.
2-3-14: The Sabres had won just two of their last nine games when they headed into Colorado this past Saturday. The Avalanche handed them a 7-1 loss. The Sabres have surrendered 30-or-more shots in each of their last 10 games. For the Sabres fans, I think it’s only a matter of time before the team trades UFA’s to be Ryan Miller and Matt Moulson. The future of the Sabres does look bright if they continue to rebuild the right way.
1-27-14: The Sabres ended their five-game losing streak with a 5-2 victory on this past Saturday against the Blue Jackets. It was only their second regulation win in 15 contests. Buffalo is still in the NHL's basement, but they are close to climbing out. All that matters for Sabres fans is what they do with Ryan Miller and Matt Moulson at the trade deadline. Christian Ehrhoff had a goal and two assists in their win over the Blue Jackets. It was his first three-point game since Feb. 19, 2012.
1-20-14: Buffalo is 2-1-3 in their last six games. The club is still losing much more frequently than it wins, but the Sabres are improving. The Sabres are neck-and-neck with Edmonton and might even catch up to Calgary. Ville Leino is awful. He has three seasons left at $4.5 million per year after this year and has zero goals and just six assists in 30 games this season. In three seasons with the Sabres, he has just 37 points.
1-13-14: The Sabres are the worst team in the league record wise with 31 points in 44 games, but they're not the same pushovers they were at the start of the season. After starting the year 5-20-1, Buffalo is 8-6-4 in their past 18 games. All that matters for Sabres fans is the future. Buffalo will be looking to trade some of their pending UFAs this summer, which include Matt Moulson, Ryan Miller and Steve Ott. The aforementioned Miller has a .928 save percentage, the fifth-best mark among goaltenders with at least 25 starts.
1-7-14: The Sabres went .500 last week and in the team's last 10 games have a 5-3-2 record. Ted Nolan's team has improved dramatically since he took over, those improvements haven’t done much standings wise. Buffalo sits seven points behind the New York Islanders, and the Islanders are more than 10 points out of a playoff spot. The only question is whether the Sabres will pick first overall or not this summer. Linus Omark picked up an assist on the game-winning goal over New Jersey this past Saturday. It was his first point in six games since being acquired from Edmonton
12-30-13: The Sabres season is a lost cause and it very well maybe historic for all the wrong reasons. However, their future is promising. Prospects Ramus Ristolainen of Finland scored a goal for Finland in the World Junior Championships and Mikhail Grigorenko scored for Russia. Nikita Zadorov also notched an assist. Although the present is not pretty the future could be bright for the Sabres. The one question many people have is when will the Sabres hire a new GM and who will it be?
12-23-13: Last week the Buffalo won two out of the three games they played, beating the Winnipeg Jets and then splitting against the Boston Bruins. The season is a lost clause for the Sabres, but there's no question the change in coaching seems to have helped. The Sabres are 5-9-2 since the hiring of head coach Ted Nolan, after going 4-15-1 under Ron Rolston. The Sabres rank dead last in the NHL in goals-per-game, and the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues score more than twice as frequently.
12-16-13: Buffalo is on pace to have one of the worst seasons in NHL history. The Sabres have lost five out of their last six games; however they did beat the struggling Senators 2-1 in a shootout last Tuesday. Buffalo hasn’t earned a regulation win in their past 12 contests. They have just two wins in regulation this season. The 1974-75 Washington Capitals, the worst team in NHL history, had only 21 points in 80 games. The Capitals won eight games—all in regulation, but there was no overtime the. So what does that mean for the Sabres? They’re on pace for the fewest regulation wins in NHL history.
12-9-13: Buffalo played two games last week and they lost both games, and now have yet to record a regulation win in nine games. They lost 3-1 to the New York Rangers at home and were defeated by the Montreal Canadiens. Buffalo is one of only two teams (Toronto is the other) in the entire NHL who give up five shots more per game than they allow. The Sabres are ranked 29th in the NHL in shots for and 28th in shots against.
12-2-13: For once, the Sabres had a relatively good week picking up three of a possible six points. They opened the week with a loss to Montreal, then rallied to beat Toronto in overtime on Friday and then forced overtime against the Devils the following night. Generating offense continues to be a problem for Ted Nolan’s squad. Buffalo. Aside from Cody Hodgson and Matt Moulson, no Sabres skater has hit double digits in points yet this year.
11-25-13: New coach. Same old story for the Buffalo Sabres. Buffalo has lost four straight games going back to November 16 and lost all three games they played last week. The Sabres minus-33 goal differential is dead last in the NHL. The one bright spot for the Sabres continues to be Ryan Miller’s play. He’s made the best out of a horrible situation and should be the starting goalie for Team USA in Sochi, especially if Jonathan Quick’s injury prolongs.
11-18-13: GM Darcy Reiger and head coach Ron Rolston finally got the axe this past week. In comes former Buffalo Sabre Pat LaFontaine as Director of Player Operations and former coach Ted Nolan as interim bench boss. Surprisingly, the Sabres actually won two out of three games this week. Ryan Miller was tremendous. In his two starts, the Sabres were outshot by a combined margin of 78-43, but somehow managed to outscore their opponents 5-3. Maybe the changes in the front office and behind the bench will spark Buffalo.
11-12-13: It’s pretty much the same story for the NHL’s worst team as they struggled mightily this past week. One bright spot was the Sabres did beat the Sharks (yes it’s hard to believe) 5-4 in a shootout. In reality, the Sharks should have won that game as they actually scored but the referees missed the call. Matt Mouslon has only played six games as a member of the Sabres and his six points are good for second on the team behind Cody Hodgson’s 13 points. You have to wonder when the Sabres will deal Ryan Miller as it looks like his days in Buffalo are almost over.
11-5-13: Even newly acquired Matt Mouslon can’t turn around the lowly Sabres. Moulson fared well in his first three games as a Sabre registering two goals and two assists. The Sabres lost 4-3 to Dallas, 2-0 to the Rangers and 6-3 to Anaheim. There is no question they’re the leagues’ worst team and possibly worst franchise overall. Buffalo has scored the first goal only twice this season in 16 games played and when they did score first they lost both games.
10-29-13: At 2-11-1 it’s officially rebuilding time for the Buffalo Sabres. Late Sunday night GM Darcy Reiger dealt star forward Thomas Vanek to the New York Islanders in exchange for Matt Moulson, a 2014 first-round pick, and a 2015 second-round pick. The Sabres got incredible value for a player who will be a free agent at the end of the year and already told the world he’ll test the market. Moulson is also a UFA at year’s end and what the Sabres try to do with him will be interesting. Ryan Miller will be the next one to leave. I’d be remiss not to mention John Scott’s vicious hit on Loui Eriksson last week. It was a dirty hit that has no place in the league. Scott is suspended indefinitely.
10-21-13: The Sabres got their first win of the season over the New York Islanders via the shootout last week. They followed up their first win of the year by getting utterly destroyed by the Vancouver Canucks and Colorado Avalanche. It’s a lost season already for the young Sabres squad that has a ton of potential in the years to come. Ryan Miller has actually played well given the terrible situation he’s in. No doubt that the trade talks surrounding Thomas Vanek and Ryan Miller will happen at some point this season.
Nothing is going right for Buffalo. Five games into the season and they have yet to register a win. They had a tough first three games against the Penguins, Senators and Red Wings but after back-to-back home losses to two beatable opponents in Tampa Bay and Columbus, the Sabres appear to be in trouble. They have two of the league’s worst +/- players in Mike Weber and overpaid defenseman Tyler Myers. If things don’t change quickly, it’s shaping up to be one of the worst seasons in Sabres franchise history.
10-7-13: Generating offense has been a sore spot for the Buffalo Sabres this season. They have only registered two goals in their three losses. You can’t win many hockey games playing like that. Granted, it’s a rebuilding year for Buffalo and Sabres fans ought to get used to seeing their team at the bottom of the standings. It’s going to be a long year in western New York.
8-22-13: The Buffalo Sabres are in a rebuilding mode and there is much uncertainty surrounding the team this upcoming season. The Sabres are the youngest team in the NHL and one major question is how will head coach Ron Rolston fair in his first full season behind an NHL bench? Sabres fans will get their first in person look at their beloved blue and gold at the home opener on Oct. 4 against the Ottawa Senators. Former bench boss Lindy Ruff makes his return to the First Niagara Center on Oct. 28 as the Sabres play host to the Dallas Stars.
7-25-13: The Sabres have signed goaltender Matt Hackett to a one-year deal.
Sabres 2013 NHL Draft Summary
Pick #8: Rasmus Ristolainen, D
Pick #16: Nikita Zadorov, D
Pick #35: J.T. Compher, LW
Pick #38: Connor Hurley, C
Pick #52: Justin Bailey, RW
Pick #69: Nicholas Baptiste, RW
Pick #129: Calvin Petersen, G
Pick #130: Gustav Possler, RW
Pick #143: Anthony Florentino, D
Pick #159: Sean Malone, C
Pick #189: Eric Locke, C