May 19th, 2013 at 7:17 PM
By Paul Lane Sabres 101
Buffalo Sabres goalie Jhonas Enroth was named best goalie of the IIHF World Championships after leading Sweden to the gold medal Sunday.
He made 26 saves to help the Swedes easily defeat Switzerland, 5-1. Henrik Sedin scored twice and added an assist for Sweden. The Swiss earned the silver to garner their first IIHF medal in 60 years. They scored first before Sweden peeled off the last five goals of the game.
Enroth finished the tournament with a 6-1 record. He allowed only eight goals in seven games, including two shutouts. Former Sabre Henrik Tallinder also won a gold.
In the bronze medal game, Alex Galchenyuk scored in the shootout to give the United States a 3-2 win over Finland. Read more... Join the Conversation...
May 18th, 2013 at 8:06 PM
By Paul Lane Sabres 101
Buffalo Sabres goalie Jhonas Enroth made 30 saves to record his second shutout of the IIHF World Championships on Saturday and propel Sweden to Sunday's gold medal game.
The Swedes' opponent will be the stunning Swiss, who shut out the United States on Saturday to remain perfect in the tournament.
Enroth improved to 5-1 in the tournament after Saturday's 3-0 win over Finland. He's also posted a 1.17 GAA and.955 save percentage, allowing only seven goals in six games. Loui Eriksson scored two power play goals for the Swedes, while Henrik Sedin added an empty-netter late.
The Swiss, meanwhile, shocked the Stars and Striped to guarantee their first IIHF medal since 1953. Nino Niederreiter, Julian Walker and Reto Suri scored for the Swiss, who got 29 saves from Reto Berra in the win.
Finlans and the United States play for the bronze medal at 10 a.m. EST Sunday. The gold medal game takes place at 2:30 p.m. EST.Read more... Join the Conversation...
May 18th, 2013 at 9:00 AM
By Paul Lane Sabres 101
There was really nothing to celebrate about the Buffalo
Sabres' 2013 season. But amid the darkness were a few tiny bright spots. Here they are, in convenient categorical organization for easy consumption.
MVP: Ryan Miller
There always have been and always will be haters of the former Vezina winner. The 32-year-old finished below .500 (17-17-5) for the first time in his career while playing a full season. He also posted a career-worst 2.81 GAA. But his save percentage (.915) was exactly at his career average while facing a league-high 1,270 shots. Boasting a good record is incredibly hard when you face 40 or more shots per night. The Sabres likely would have finished dead last in the NHL without Miller backstopping the squad. Thomas Vanek would be considered here, but he vanished for much of the latter part of the season, due in part to injury issues.
BEST FORWARD: Vanek
That being said, Vanek still performed like the team's premier goal-scorer. He led the team with 20 goals and 41 points despite missing 10 games. That pace would have given Vanek his third career 40-goal season in a full year. The 29-year-old did most of his damage early on, scoring 12 of his goals in his first 15 games. Steve Ott (nine goals, 15 assists) was a force on the ice and probably deserves to be named captain next season ahead of Vanek (if Vanek is not traded), but goals win games – not big hits.
BEST DEFENSEMAN: Christian Ehrhoff
Ehrhoff was one of very few defenders to occasionally show spark on this squad last season. He finished a team-high plus-6 while also finishing fifth on the team in points (five goals, 17 assists in 47 games). No Buffalo blueliner really had a good season, but Ehrhoff was consistently the least out of position throughout the year and was generally dependable. Mike Weber also rebounded from a tough 2011-12 season to become a leader of the defensive corps.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Brian Flynn
Marcus Foligno was supposed to contend for the Calder Trophy this season after a great late-season run to end 2011-12. But Flynn came out of nowhere to beat him out for the honor and help propel the Sabres' youth movement. The 24-year-old first-year pro was called up after recording 16 goals and 16 assists in 45 games with the Rochester Americans. He scored six goals and five assists over 26 NHL games, scoring more goals than Foligno (five) and also posting a plus-6. The undrafted Flynn could contend for a second-line spot in 2013-14.Read more... Join the Conversation... May 17th, 2013 at 7:15 PM
By Paul Lane Sabres 101
The leaders of two of the NHL
's surprise teams from this past season join the man at the helm of the league's best team as finalists for the league's coach of the year award.
Bruce Boudreau of the Anaheim Ducks, Paul MacLean of the Ottawa Senators and Joel Quenneville of the Chicago Blackhawks were named Jack Adams Award finalists Friday.
The Ducks won the Pacific Division after not being expected to make the playoffs. They finished 30-12-6, good for 66 points and second overall in the Western Conference. They were upset in the first round of the playoffs by the Detroit Red Wings.
The Senators made the playoffs this season after also being expected not to take part. They finished 25-17-6, good for 56 points and seventh place in the Eastern Conference. They upset the Montreal Canadiens in the first round of the playoffs and are down 1-0 to the Pittsburgh Penguins entering tonight's game.
The Blackhawks won the President's Trophy with a 36-7-5 record. They went the first 24 games of the season without losing a game in regulation. They're leading the Red Wings 1-0 in the second round of the playoffs after eliminating the Minnesota Wild in five games in the first round.
No Buffalo Sabres were nominated for any award again this year. No Sabres have won any awards since 2010, when Ryan Miller won the Vezina and Tyler Myers won the Calder. The finalists for the other awards this year are as follows:
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- HART TROPHY (MVP): Sidney Crosby, Penguins; Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals; John Tavares, New York islanders
May 16th, 2013 at 9:00 AM
By Paul McCarthy
The Buffalo Sabres missed the playoffs again this season and the fan base was in an uproar. But were they just victims of their own unrealistic expectations??
On Sunday afternoon, January 20th, the Sabres opened the season at First Niagara Center with a 5-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. The NHL lockout was over, hockey was back, and the city of Buffalo was abuzz in excitement.
Three months later, on April 19th, the club hosted the New York Rangers in a game that was a must-win to keep Buffalo's slim playoff hopes alive. But the result was a disastrous 8-4 defeat. In the midst of this debacle, the fans mock-cheered long-time franchise goalie Ryan Miller. Miller replied with a mock-salute back to the fans and afterwards made thinly veiled comments to the media that the time had come for him to leave.
What happened in just three months??
Had Buffalo Sabres fans somehow been robbed of a legitimate shot at the Stanley Cup??
In the previous season, 2011-12, the Sabres started off terribly, made a late run for the playoffs, but ended up falling short. GM Darcy Regier's biggest off-season move involved trading Derek Roy to Dallas for Steve Ott. The deal was intended to add some grit to the team at the cost of some goal scoring.Read more... Join the Conversation...