Small Changes Lead to Huge Improvements for Buffalo Sabres

With a total of 5 matches into the 2019/19 NHL season, the Buffalo Sabres seem very different. After almost a decade of struggling to get depth and talent without breaking the bank, the Buffalo Sabres are finally starting to look like a solid team. What gives ice hockey fans the most hope is that the Buffalo Sabres squad looks good and there’s still loads of development down the line.

It’s a Great Time to Be A Sabres Fan

The hot-and-cold start from the Buffalo Sabres this season cannot be compared to the previous sub zero seasons the team had to tolerate. Even when the Buffalo Sabres played at their very best, it was still individual efforts as opposed to team victories. However, this season it certainly feels like the Buffalo Sabres are a solid team when they hit the ice. Scoring is undoubtedly more diverse and the minutes are more evenly divided.

The last time the Buffalo Sabres celebrated two matches over .500, Buffalonians had iPhone 4’s in their back pockets, and no one knew what a Big Ditch beer was. What’s even more impressive is that it could happen again this coming Tuesday. The increase in scoring from the Buffalo Sabres is a massive part of the team’s success. With a total of 11 goals in the last 5 matches, the team is scoring 2.2 goals per match at the moment. This includes a one-goal game and a shutout. Even strength scoring may have decreased for the Buffalo Sabres, but the team is boasting with a 22.2% success rate when it comes to power play which is up by 3% from the previous season.

Special teams have been fantastic for Buffalo Sabre victories, and not so good when it comes to Buffalo Sabre losses. The Buffalo Sabres have managed to miss the mark while playing against the Colorado Avalanche where they dropped a 6-1 decision which also saw the power play go 4-for-0. Thankfully, the Buffalo Sabres have one power play in the last three wins, where the overall is 4-for-7.

Jason Botterill’s Efforts Are Paying Off

The increase in success when it comes to power play is certainly expected. Jason Botterill, the general manager for the Buffalo Sabres, worked extremely hard to improve the scoring acumen for the Buffalo Sabres during the offseason. It also helps that players are starting to live up to their expectations, especially when you look at Kyle Okposo.

What’s even more surprising is the fact that the team is playing extremely well when it comes to the penalty kill. Obviously, the acquisition of Carter Hutton, as goalkeeper, has helped tremendously as well. The penalty kill save percentage from Hutton has been fantastic in the last few games, especially when you look at it from a defensive standpoint. Marcus Scandella and Rasmus Ristolainen continue to lead the Buffalo Sabres when it comes to minutes and plays the majority of the shorthanded time. These changes might be small, but they are certainly helping the Sabres in the 2018/19 NHL season.

The Sabres Lose on Opening Night

The Buffalo Sabres managed to lose their first match of the NHL regular season. For the sixth consecutive season, the Buffalo Sabres are defeated during their opening game, this time around by the Boston Bruins in a devastating 4-0 at the KeyBank Center stadium. David Pastrnak, Ryan Donato, and Zdeno Chara scored for the Boston Bruins, while goaltender Jaroslav Halak managed to turn away every single shot he faced which was 32 in total.

Buffalo Sabres Experience a Devastating Start

After a month of optimism and anticipation, the Sabres were completely unsuccessful during the first 20 minutes of the game. In all honesty, they looked like the Buffalo Sabres who managed to finish with the worst record during the 2017/18 NHL season.

On the first goal from Boston, Zdeno Chara basically strolled down the ice where he fired a wrist shot past Carter Hutton who is the new goaltender for the Sabres. With the second Boston goal, the Bruins had the advantage with Brad Marchand making another incredible pass who funny enough assisted with the first goal as well. Nonetheless, the Buffalo Sabres need faster starts otherwise they are in for yet another horrible season where they are going to lose loads of hockey games.

Rasmus Dahlin Makes His Debut

For most of the opening game, Rasmus Dahlin was one of the better Sabre players against the Bruins. During his debit, he joined the rush, was extremely physical, and made a few great defensive plays. His passes were tape-to-tape and crisp, and he made great decisions which is exactly what you want from a rookie. However, on the third goal from the Bruins, Tage Thompson and Rasmus Dahlin allowed David Pastrnak to slip behind them which led to an easy goal.

There were also a couple of times that the 18-year old appeared to be over anxious in an attempt to make a play. Most of the time, the best thing a defenseman can do is perform a boring, simple play. However, there were also moments of incredible talent that came from the Swedish rookie, and as the season advances, we’ll certainly see more of these moments. In all honesty, it was up and down for Dahlin during his debut for the Buffalo Sabres.

Numbers Don’t Provide the Full Story

If you only take into account the stat line from Carter Hutton following his first game with the Buffalo Sabres, you will obviously think he had a terrible opening night. However, despite taking the loss after allowing three goals, Hutton had loads of big saves to ensure the Sabres remain in striking distance, especially when you look at the first two periods. To be fair, Hutton didn’t receive much assistance during the Sabres debut, and as far as problematic players are concerned, Hutton is far down the list.

Buffalo Sabres Need To Relax

Although Thursday night was quite concerning its definitely not the end of the world. The Buffalo Sabres still have plenty of opportunities to make up for their opening loss this season. Let’s give them another chance and see what happens.

Maple Leafs Looking to Take Advantage of Matthews

As the NHL gets ready to the regular season, the Toronto Maple Leafs are looking to take advantage of Austin Matthews. It is expected that William Nylander may miss the start of the season, so Matthews will be an important part of the Leafs roster.

Mike Babcock, head coach of the Maple Leafs is pleased with the team’s progress, especially that of Tyler Ennis, who has filled in for Nylander on the Austin Matthews line. In the pre-season, Ennis scored two goals and earned an assist.

Matthews also has taken note of Ennis’s contributions. He said Innis is shifty and able to get in and out quickly. Matthews added,

“He gave me an unbelievable pass Saturday night and he’s good one-on-one so when he has the puck, get open for him, because he’s quick and slippery and will find you in open areas.”

Ennis, who played with the Buffalo Sabres in his early career had three 20 goal seasons. At 28, he was acquired from the Minnesota Wild last season and has a bit of a chip on his shoulder over it.

Babcock Confident in Ennis

However, Babcock feels confident in what he has seen. Commenting, Babcock said,

” I thought Saturday night he had some real jam in him. It was good for him. Matty is at another level now and his speed through the neutral zone is going to help anybody.”

Patrick Marleau is another who is gaining confidence in Ennis. Marleau plays left wing on the Matthews line and feels Matthews has taken his skating to a new level. He added,

“I think last game, I went low trying to cover for him and I look up and he’s right next to me so he’s getting to the spots in a hurry.”

Marleau said with a smile.

While it is not ideal for Nylander to miss any regular season games, the Matthews line is super charged with Marleau and Ennis, and for the leafs, that should give them some confidences and peace of mind while they wait for Nylander to rejoin the line.

Matthews noted that Nylander is a he’s a big part of this team but added that the Leafs has a team of talented players and many guys are looking to increase the roles they play. Jake Gardiner, once of those that is a big contributor added, when speaking about Ennis said,

“He’s a heck of a player, obviously, complements Matthews really well. They work well together. But, if that’s the case [with him missing] to start the season, Ennis is a good fill-in and I’m sure we’ll do pretty well without him.”

The regular season gets underway next week. How the Maple Leafs will fare this season is highly anticipated after the signing of John Tavares.

Winter Classic Returns to Buffalo

If you enjoy the NHL winter classic and the atmosphere only part of playing in the open air, then the this is the tournament for you. TCH Hockey is inviting all teams to the Winter Classic Tournament to be held in Buffalo this upcoming season, from the 23rd of November to the 25th and from the 1st of February until the 3rd in 2019.

RiverWorks Ice Rink

The host rinks to the two events are The Healthy Zone and Buffalo’s newest premier RiverWorks, music, entertainment, boating, waterfront and sports destination located on the Buffalo River banks. RiverWorks also offers two ice rinks with open sides, a metal pavilion to provide shelter while still offering an outdoor feel which includes locker rooms that are heated. Part of RiverWorks is the 6,000 square foot area that offers entertainment and outstanding food.

Healthy Zone Rink

On the other hand, the Healthy Zone Rink is a true assist to both the Western New York Community and the East Aurora since its opening in 2008. It is an outdoor venue with a pavilion-style roof, a warming hut that offers fireplaces, a snack bar and television while the facility also includes heated locker rooms. It features one ice rink covered by the pavilion and its open sides offer a great view of the one of a kind, destination. The Health Zone is home to local shops and charming restaurants and located near Main Street.

Event Dates 2018 & 2019

For each event there, a limit on the number of teams that can enter the event, and it is highly recommended that teams register early as it is a first come, first serve basis. Last season the tournament sold out quickly and had well over 125 teams entering. The first event takes place over the Thanksgiving weekend in November from the 23rd to the 25th. The next event then takes place at the start of the new year on the 1st to the 3rd of February 2019.

Team Fees

The team fees start from $695 to $1250 and all teams paying two months prior to the event in full will receive an early bird discount of $50.

2018/2019 Tournament Highlights

The upcoming tournament highlights include that both the first and second team will receive a team trophy as well as custom medals. Signed memorabilia is part of the free tournament raffle and customised photos of teams will the taken by on-site photographers.

Discounted Hotel Rates at all Local Hotels

There will be no fees at the gate and all local hotels have agreed to charge discounted rates, while the tournament director and a team of staff will always be available during the tournaments. Some of the championship games might start at 5 pm. Teams need to reserve their hotel accommodation well in advance and travel permits need to be submitted at least two weeks prior to the event. This year the tournament is bound to attract even more teams than last year and TCS Hockey looks forward to the two upcoming events with great excitement.

Gambling Laws in New Jersey

Often thought of as the most moderate in the country, New Jersey gambling laws have recently opened the doors to online casino gambling. The garden state has a long history in gambling and was the home of the very first casino in Atlantic City. Recent changes to the laws in both poker and casino permit citizens access to online gambling.

Sports betting in New Jersey


As recent as a month ago the optimistic David Rebuck, Director of Gaming Enforcement in New Jersey mad a statement that by July this year he aims for the Garden State to be the top United States sports betting market.
Bordered on the east and north by New York, the Atlantic Ocean on the east, Delaware and Pennsylvania to the southwest, it is the fourth-smallest state, although New Jersey is the eleventh most populated, and in 2017 an estimated 9 million residents called New Jersey home. It is the most densely populated US state and the third wealthiest by income per household.

New Jersey Biggest Sports Betting Market in the US

Should California and New York go live in the sports betting market, New Jersey could find it a tall order to provide larger sports betting market, yet it is not far-fetched. According to the latest DGE on the 12th of July 2018, the total gambling revenue in June reached $233.6 million in New Jersey. When compared to the corresponding month last year it indicates an increase of 7.3%.

To put these figures into perspective, the Gaming Control Board of Nevada revealed in January that the strip collected around $572 million in winnings from gamblers in December 2017 alone. In the case of Nevada, it represents a decline in profits of 3.2% when compared to the same month one year earlier.

Online Sportsbook Live in New Jersey

Online sportsbooks live in New Jersey include Caesars, William Hill, PlayMGM, SugarHouse, DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook. The first to launch on mobile was DraftKings who held the monopoly for three weeks since PlayMGM launched its sports betting app on the 22nd of August.

Racetracks and Casinos in New Jersey are allowed to form partnerships with up to a maximum of three online sports betting sites, although they first need to have a physical sportsbook. At the moment, eight of the casinos in New Jersey have retail sportsbooks.

Once the Supreme Court ruling unlocked the legal sports betting option, it was a race to become the first to allow sports betting. The race was won by Delaware according to online reports who started accepting wagers on sports from Tuesday on soccer, hockey, golf, football, MMA/boxing, baseball and auto racing. NJ state Gambling Laws allow sports betting both for online wagering and physical sportsbooks and on the 8th of September DraftKings celebrated a million bets. They feel the start of the NFL season increase the pace rapidly in reaching this astonishing milestone.

Buffalo: An Ice Hockey Heaven

When the Buffalo Sabres were purchased by Terry Pegula in early 2011, hockey fans were rather sceptical as no one ever heard of the multi-billionaire with business interests in real estate, natural gas, and entertainment. However, doubt was instantly removed from fans when Pegula stated that the reason for the Buffalo Sabre’s existence was to win a Stanley Cup.
It’s been nearly eight years since the multi-billionaire from Pennsylvania purchased the Buffalo Sabres and he still hasn’t delivered on his promise that the Buffalo ice hockey team will bring back a Stanley Cup. In all honesty, the team has been performing quite poorly under the ownership of Pegula. The Buffalo Sabres have made it to the playoffs only once since Pegula purchased the team.

However, one of the statements that were made when Pegula purchased the Buffalo Sabres did indeed come true. In his introduction, after purchasing the team, he stated that his biggest goal was to transform Buffalo into a hockey heaven and this is exactly what is currently happening thanks to Harbor Center.

Harbor Center

When Pegula decided to purchase the Buffalo Sabres in 2011, things in Buffalo wasn’t great. The city was essentially in a rut which it has been for most of the 20th century to be honest. Little to no development took place in the downtown area of the city which caused most of the life-long residents in Buffalo to up and leave. The city managed to earn the awful “The Armpit in the East” nickname and the city certainly lived up to its name.

Obviously, fans weren’t too proud to live in a city like this and Pegula certainly wanted to change this for the better. He managed to accomplish this by constructing a state-of-the-art facility known as Harbor Center. It’s now considered to be one of the most sought-after hockey buildings in the world. In 2012, it was announced that Harbor Center will be the premier ice hockey facility in the state. The arena, consisting of a two-story restaurant with two ice rinks and a Marriot hotel, opened its doors in the fall of 2014.

The Harbor Center has almost single-handedly brought back tourism in the downtown area of Buffalo. This incredible facility has hosted multiple hockey tournaments since it opened its doors and has been visited by more than 200 teams situated around North America.

The Harbor Center also serves as a home for several different teams

With seating for over 1,800 people, the Key Bank Rink is home to the OJHL Buffalo Jr. Sabres and the NCAA’s Canisius Golden Griffins. It’s also home to the NWHL Buffalo Beauts who are one of only four teams in the National Women’s Hockey League. This amazing arena also played host to the NWHL inaugural All-Star Game that managed to draw more than 1,000 fans to the event.

The Harbor Center has allowed the city of Buffalo to play host to several prestigious events that it previously could only dream of. It’s for this reason that Buffalo is now considered a hockey heaven, thanks Pegula.

UB is headed to Nattys!!!

The University at Buffalo ACHA D1 Men’s Hockey Team is headed to The ACHA Men’s Division I National Championships for the first time in over 10 years.

The Bulls will take on #16 University of Colorado at 5pm on Thursday, March 5th at the OBM Arena in Strongsville, OH, hosted by the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission and John Carroll University.

UB ended the regular season at #17 in the nation to earn an at large bid to The ACHA Men’s Division I National Championships from March 5th – 10th.

If UB is victorious in their first game they will take on #1 Arizona State University Sun Devils (Defending Champion) on Friday, March 6th.

UB Family, Friends, and Fans stay tuned for the hotel accommodations information.

If you would like to support UB Hockey please donate at http://www.ubhockey.myevent.com/3/donate.htm

Link to: ACHA Men’s Division I National Championships Schedule

Link to: ACHA Men’s Division I National Championships Bracket

Link to The tournament website: http://www.clevelandsports.org/Events/ACHA-National-Championship

 

http://achahockey.org/view/achahockey/men-s-d1-4/2015-nationals

#1 ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY WILL LOOK TO DEFEND ITS TITLE 

UNION LAKE, MI – Arizona State University is the #1 team in the 2014-2015 ACHA Men’s Division 1 Ranking #18 and will enter the 2015 ACHA Men’s Division 1 National Championships looking to defend its title as the top seed before jumping up to NCAA Men’s Division I next season.  The Sun Devils took home the Western Collegiate Hockey League Regular Season Championship for the second year in a row and boast a 31-3-1 record.  #2 Central Oklahoma swept arch-rival Oklahoma in a home-and-home series, winning 2-0 at home on Friday before squeaking out a 2-1 overtime-shootout win on Saturday on the road.  With the Bronchos holding down the #2 seed, the Western Collegiate Hockey League will send the top two seeds to the 2015 ACHA Men’s Division 1 National Championships.  Minot State held the #3 spot after a 12-3 thrashing of NJCAA Dakota College at Bottineau, and the #3 seeded Beavers will look to regain the title they won in 2013.  Robert Morris Illinois swept league-rival Lindenwood over the weekend (3-1, 3-0) and will enter the tournament as the #4 seed, looking to improve on its Runners-Up finish in the 2014 National Championship Game.  Eastern States Collegiate Hockey League Regular Season Champions Stony Brook swept Lebanon Valley(2-0, 6-1) and will enter as the #5 seed, looking to improve on its semi-finals appearance a year ago at nationals.

This ranking marks the deadline for choosing the 20 participating teams for the 2015 ACHA Men’s Division 1 National Championships.  The top 14 teams in the ranking will all return to the 2015 ACHA Men’s Division 1 National Championships, including #6 seed Ohio (Central States Collegiate Hockey League Regular Season Champions); #7 seed Oklahoma; #8 seed Adrian (Great Lakes Collegiate Hockey League Regular Season Champions); #9 seed Lindenwood; #10 seed Iowa State; #11 seed Liberty; #12 seed Rhode Island; #13 seed Illinois; and #14 seed Davenport.  Joining those 14 schools will be 6 new teams that did not participate a year ago: #15 seed Niagara (Northeast Collegiate Hockey League Regular Season Champions); #16 seed Colorado; #17 seed Buffalo; #18 seed Robert Morris Pennsylvania (College Hockey Mid-America Regular Season Champions); #19 seed Villanova (Eastern Collegiate Hockey League Regular Season Champions); and the host of this years tournament, #20 seed John Carroll.

National Tournament Breakdown by leagues:

5 – (CSCHL) Central States Collegiate Hockey League – Robert Morris Illinois, Ohio, Lindenwood, Iowa State, Illinois

4 – (WCHL) Western Collegiate Hockey League – Arizona State, Central Oklahoma, Oklahoma, Colorado

2 – (CHMA) College Hockey Mid-America -Robert Morris Pennsylvania, John Carroll

2 – (ESCHL) Eastern States Collegiate Hockey League – Stony Brook, Rhode Island

2 – (GLCHL) Great Lakes Collegiate Hockey League – Adrian, Davenport

2 – Independent – Minot State, Liberty

2 – (NECHL) Northeast Collegiate Hockey League – Niagara, Buffalo

1 – (ECHA) Eastern Collegiate Hockey Association – Villanova

This week’s big gainers were #11 Liberty (up 2 spots), #19 Syracuse (up 2 spots), and #23 Navy (up 2 spots).

The Western Collegiate Hockey League leads the way with all 6 of its member teams being ranked, as does the 5-team Central States Collegiate Hockey, followed by the Eastern States Collegiate Hockey League and the Great Lakes Collegiate Hockey League, which each have 4 ranked teams in the Top 25.

Over the past twelve seasons, 10 different schools have won the ACHA Men’s Division 1 National Championship: Illinois (2), Lindenwood (2), Arizona State, Davenport, Delaware, Minot State, Oakland, Ohio, Penn State, and Rhode Island.

Beginning its 24th season of action, there have been a total of 12 schools that have won the ACHA Men’s Division 1 National Championship:

  • Penn State (5 times)
  • Ohio (4 times)
  • Illinois (2 times)
  • Lindenwood (2 times)
  • North Dakota State (2 times)
  • Arizona State
  • Davenport
  • Delaware
  • Iowa State
  • Minot State
  • Oakland
  • Rhode Island

54 teams will compete in Men’s Division 1 this season, including two new teams: Midland University, located in Fremont, NE, and the Indiana Institute of Technology, located in Fort Wayne, IN.

Here is how the ranking is going to work using the computers:  The ACHA will use the two computer rankings generated by USHSHO.com, Ranking A (Wins with Maximum Goal Differential of 7) and Ranking B (Wins with Maximum Goal Differential of 1), and come up with an average of the two rankings.  The ACHA will then use the list generated from the average for its weekly ranking.  Ties will be broken using the higher ranked team from Ranking B until the Top 25 teams are listed.  Games that go to a shootout will be scored as ties.

The computer ranking will for the second time determine the 20 teams that qualify for the 2015 ACHA Men’s Division 1 National Championships, which will include the following seven autobids:

  • (CHMA) College Hockey Mid-America – ROBERT MORRIS PENNSYLVANIA
  • (ECHA) Eastern Collegiate Hockey Association- VILLANOVA
  • (ESCHL) Eastern States Collegiate Hockey League- STONY BROOK
  • (GLCHL) Great Lakes Collegiate Hockey League – ADRIAN
  • (NECHL) Northeast Collegiate Hockey League – NIAGARA
  • (WCHL) Western Collegiate Hockey League- ARIZONA STATE
  • (HOST) JOHN CARROLL

The 19th ranking of the regular season will be released on Friday, February 27, 2015.

The 2015 ACHA Men’s Division 1 National Championships will be hosted March 5-10 by John Carroll University and the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission at the OBM Arena in Strongsville, OH. This will be the fourth year of the 20-team format.

2014-2015 ACHA Men’s Division 1 Ranking #18

Rank

School Name

Record

Previous

1

Arizona State

31-3-1

1

2

Central Oklahoma

29-5-1

2

3

Minot State

27-7-1

3

4

Robert Morris (IL)

29-4-2

5

5

Stony Brook

28-5-0

4

6

Ohio

25-6-5

6

7

Oklahoma

23-8-3

8

8

Adrian

28-3-1

9

9

Lindenwood

14-13-3

7

10

Iowa State

15-13-5

10

11

Liberty

20-10-5

13

12

Rhode Island

30-7-2

11

13

Illinois

21-15-1

12

14

Davenport

22-10-5

14

15

Niagara

17-5-2

15

16

Colorado

14-14-2

16

17

Buffalo

25-6-1

17

18

Delaware

15-11-4

19

19

Syracuse

22-9-1

21

20

Colorado State

17-20-1

18

21

Michigan-Dearborn

18-18-3

20

22

Lebanon Valley

15-11-4

22

23

Navy

18-9-1

25

24

Oakland

18-19-1

24

25

Arizona

11-20-3

23

The UB Hockey Team NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT!

UB Hockey is headed to The ACHA Men’s Division I National Championships for the first time in over 10 years. UB Hockey ended the regular season at #17 in the nation to earn a spot in The ACHA Men’s Division I National Championships from March 5th – 10th.  They will take on #16 University of Colorado at 5pm on Thursday, March 5thand they need your help getting to Nationals.

Every Dollar Counts – Please help us reach our goals off the ice so we can score more goals on the ice.

Thank you for your Support and Go UB Hockey!

Follow us at ubicehockey.com and on twitter @ub_icehockey

NECHL Playoffs : UB Hockey

UB Hockey NECHL Playoff – Possible Game Schedule:

Quarterfinals: Friday 2/20  @  Onondaga Nation Arena

Game 1: 4:00pm – #3 Buffalo vs. #6 Oswego

Game 2: 7:30pm – #4 Cortland  vs. #5  RIT

Semifinals: Saturday 2/21 @ Tennity Ice Pavilion

Game 3: 2:30pm – #1 Niagara vs. lowest seed #

Game 4: 6:30pm   #2 Syracuse vs. #3 Buffalo*

Finals: Sunday 2/22 @ Tennity Ice Pavilion

Game 5: 4:00pm – Game 3 Winner vs. #3 Buffalo*

*If Buffalo Wins and Advances

SPECTATOR CHARGE

All Students are Free

$15  Weekend Pass  – include all games fri, sat, sun

$10      Day Pass: Quarterfinal Day or Semi & Final  only  – includes fri games or sat & sun games only

$5        Final Only – includes sun final only 

NECHL Roadtrip

Buffalo is 22 – 6 – 1 on the season, and 6 – 3 – 1 in NECHL play.

With 3 weeks to play the Bulls have 3 NECHL games (1 home & 2 away) to conclude the 2014-2015 regular season.

This coming weekend UB will take on Cortland (2/6) and Binghamton (2/7).

Over the next two weeks the Bulls hope to secure a trip to the 2015 NECHL Playoffs in Syracuse, NY from  February 20 – 22 and trip to the ACHA 2015 Men’s Division 1 National Championships in Cleveland, OH from March 5 – 9.

02/06/2015 @ Cortland 7:00 pm Park Center Alumni Arena
02/07/2015 @ Binghamton 8:15 pm Chenango Ice Rink
02/13/2015 vs. St. Bonaventure 7:30 pm Northtown Center (SENIOR NIGHT)