Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Why Are the Buffalo Sabres Portrayed As a Dirty Team?

Has anyone else noticed that the NHL seems to have a secret agenda to punish the Buffalo Sabres at every corner? What gives? Why have the Buffalo Sabres been painted in such a bad light?

The Buffalo Sabres have become a league-wide embarrassment this season and the NHL seems to have a vendetta against the team,

especially when it comes to suspensions. Recently Patrick Kaleta was handed a lengthy suspension for hit in which there was no penalty originally called and the player was un-injured. Yet Kaleta received a 10 game suspension and Gary Bettman upheld the suspension after Kaleta appealed.

Next John Scott is being called down to the principle’s office for a elbow/shoulder hit to the head of Loui Eriksson. Despite the fact that Scott likes to play the game close to the edge, he has never been suspended meaning he is not a repeat offender. But it’s expected that the NHL will throw the book at John Scott for his first suspendable offence. Normally a first time offender only has to worry about about sitting for a maximum of 5 games, but there are many calling for Scott to sit for at least 1o games like his teammate Kaleta.

So why do the Buffalo Sabres get called out for questionable hits more often than other teams? It isn’t like the Sabres are the only team in the league to employ players who play the enforcer role and play the game close to the edge. The Toronto Maple Leafs continue to dress Colton Orr and Frazer McLaren, Mike Brown is still floating around the NHL and then there’s the likes of George Parros, Brad Marchand, Steve Downie and Milan Lucic. Heck even more star players such as Dustin Penner are getting rung up for cheap shots;

The Buffalo Sabres are not the only team to employ players that walk a very close line and often cross that line, so why are they portrayed as such a dirty team? Why are they suspended more than any other team in the league right now? Why do the Sabres take the most criticism for being a “dirty” team compared to teams like the Boston Bruins who are cheap shot artist’s?

Is it because the Buffalo Sabres decided they needed to take NHL discipline in their own hands after there was no suspension for Milan Lucic after running Ryan Miller? The Sabres, and rightly so, were very vocal and upset following the incident. Led by Lindy Ruff they basically said they would go out and acquire a goon to make sure something like that doesn’t happen again since the NHL failed to protect a star netminder. The Buffalo Sabres pretty much called out the NHL for their lack of discipline, is that the reason there seem’s to be a target on their back’s? Or is it because they are playing like a glorified AHL team?

I’m not defending John Scott for his hit on Wednesday. He should be suspended for a head hit, but the NHL and Brendan Shanahan have no reason to make an example out of Scott who has never been suspended before. What is your opinion folks; why do the Buffalo Sabres seem to get written up more often than other teams? Does it seem to you that they have a target on their back from the NHL? Why do the Sabres player’s seem to get harsher penalties than other NHL players?

Tags: Buffalo Sabres John Scott Patrick Kaleta

  • qwicwted

    Aside from Shanahan making an example of Buffalo, you have the announcers from NBC -Milbury in particular that seems to have a hard on against Buffalo Hate to watch games via NBC because they are so biased. The league can get away with using Bflo to send a message because it is not a team with numerous star players and it is in a small market.

    • Caitlin Campbell

      The NBC drama is brutal, Even if the Sabres were on the verge of winning the Cup I don’t think they could say something nice about them

      • Richard Spalding

        That’s because the NBC crew is a bunch of hacks (mostly) who could not get jobs anywhere else. Terrible coverage.

        • qwicwted

          Kind of like Chuckie for football – says things just to hear his voice. Oh…..and isn’t Bob Costas on NBC? That’s real crediblity right there – Bob and his hot air.

      • Kevin

        I have to stick up for NBCSC itself for showing so many Sabres games over the last 3 seasons. They could have easily given us less games. And yes, I understand some of them were because of the other team, i.e. Detroit game. But, nevertheless the Sabres are getting the seen by the national audience when alot of other teams are not. And I am sure most fans are scratching their heads wondering why? I don’t like the 3 stooges either, but they don’t make the schedule.

        • qwicwted

          Hummmmm, could it be because of the “rivalry” factor that NBC is promoting. Oh wait……”The NBC Sports Network will exclusively showcase some of the fiercest and historic rivalries in the National Hockey League this upcoming season.

          NBC Sports Group announced Friday that the network will carry 24 games throughout the 2013-14 campaign as part of its exclusive Wednesday Night Rivalry coverage, which returns for a second consecutive season.”
          So, NBC started with Buffalo Detroit, now Buffalo Boston, got to add Buffalo Toronto, how about Buffalo and NY. Seems to me that NBC did make the National TV Schedule and if there wasn’t any fireworks they would be disappointed.

          Come on now Kevin – lets get real here.

          • Dano

            Rivalries? LMFAO!

            Detroit-Chicago. Battle of Alberta! Boston-Habs! Battle of Ontario! Leafs-Habs.. THOSE are rivalries.

            The ONLY bad blood between Buffalo and Detroit was Hasek leaving and going to Detroit, nothing thats lasted ‘ long time ‘ or has any history.

            NBC is a joke.

          • Kevin

            Hey! some of the games they got weren’t on rivalry night. I will agree that NBCSN wants fireworks to boost their ratings or they wouldn’t have come up with a rivalry night and pimp it the way they do with that mr. know it all between the glass. I say one thing about it, it sure beats the Saturday afternoon games.

          • Caitlin Campbell

            All NBC is doing is throwing more fuel on the fire that is the media rampage against the Sabres

    • Joseph Williams

      NBC always favors the “popular” teams. I don’t think their broadcast team is even aware of what tools they are.

  • Richard Spalding

    Oh no – you’re not pushing the “NHL has a secret agenda against Buffalo” conspiracy theory too, are you? It couldn’t just be that Kaleta plays unnecessarily rough or that Scott’s hit was 100% uncalled for it, could it?!?


    • Caitlin Campbell

      hahah Trust me I’m not a fan of either Kaleta or Scott- more so Scott. But you have to admit the Sabres have been taking a lot of crap from media and stuff lately no?

      • Richard Spalding

        Well . . . they play terrible hockey. Their GM should have been removed years ago. They were involved in a preseason brawl and a vicious cheap shot the other night. In all aspects, the Sabres come across as a clueless team with terrible leadership that plays really bad hockey. The Sabres got plenty of good press following the draft – most analysts gave the team grades of A or even A+ There was no anti-Buffalo agenda there, because they made smart decisions. Since then, though – not so much. I don’t know what good news we all want the media to report – this franchise is a mess right now.

        • Kevin

          I agree Rich. I think the NHL has done what the NHL has to do in the situation put before them. It’s all the bad publicity that surrounds the league itself that’s bad. And the Sabres keep feeding the fire of bad perception every time they pull a stunt like Scott did no matter the technicalities.You can’t erase bad perception, not right away anyhow. And if the Sabres ARE being perceived poorly to the press across the country, then it is their own fault. From the owner on down. And it is an insult to the fans and the league to sit and do nothing about it.

          • Caitlin Campbell

            Did you read the article bashing the Sabres from the owner down to Scott today? I haven’t read it but I hear it’s a doozy and I can’t help but agree with them calling the Sabres a joke/mess right now

        • Caitlin Campbell

          Yeah that makes perfect sense… this franchise is a mess right now.

        • qwicwted

          Oh come on now Rich – the preseason brawl with Kessel using his stick to chop at Scott – when Scott was already on the ice and Kessel came out. Hummmmm wasn’t the game played in TO where they get the last change? Why didn’t the coach put someone else on the ice – why Kessel?
          Also, I think TO was involved in several other fights in different games – didn’t Ashton Carter fight someone from Montreal and Colton Orr didn’t he fight George Parros? Oh what about TO’s fights with Edmonton.
          You know Hockey has always had fighting as part of the game and I don’t justify cheap or dirty hits. But it seems to me that Buffalo has been getting the worse of it. Rolston needs to get control of himself and his team. But lets face it Buffalo has always born the brunt of just about everything – Bflo has always been the “ugly sister” and I don’t think the media or the NHL can figure out why the team(s) are so well loved.

          • Richard Spalding

            Just stating the facts. Right or wrong, the Sabres are not doing much right, and Kaleta’s antics and Scott’s hit don’t help.

      • davidmuscalo

        What really angers people is the this was battle between David and Goliath, and Goliath won!

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  • Dano

    ” Why have the Buffalo Sabres been painted in such a bad light?”

    Because the fans allow it. Buffalo fans have stated on several occasions, far and wide, that John Scott shouldnt be in the HNL.

    ‘ Hey, punch me in the face! ‘ and so they have. We reap what we ask for and then complain about it.

    The Bruins fans have always loved goon-type hockey. Their teams have assaulted fans going into the stands. They have a history of ‘ tough guys ‘ roaming the ice.

    Boston fans arent only laughing at the Buffalo Team, but all of its fans for the comments they make.

    “Trust me I’m not a fan of either Kaleta or Scott”

    And when your team takes a physical beating like the Redwings have in the past decade.. Clue for all : Been to the Joe lately? Empty seats everywhere. Their fans miss Kocur and Probert.

    • Kevin

      I saw that the other night, there were more fans in our arena than there were at the Joe. What’s wrong with that picture? Is it because the fans don’t care about the Wings? No, they just aren’t buying tickets is all. Sabres fans buy tickets and then claim they don’t care. Why do so many show up? I mean I’m sorta proud that they show their team spirit, but on the other hand…..

      • Caitlin Campbell

        Well the one credit we get from the media as of late is our dedication. But it’s still pretty difficult

    • Caitlin Campbell

      Look I get it Dano, you like your old school tough hockey but that IS the reason the Sabres are being trashed in the media because of Scott and Kaleta.

      • Dano

        Their being trashed has nothing to do with not putting the puck in the net? It has nothing to do with the consequences of who was drafted and not dipping into the free-agent pool? It has nothing to do with the fans here supporting the views of Mike Milbury/NBC?

        • Caitlin Campbell

          Obviously their not winning doesn’t help things but take a look around the web and read something that isn’t a Sabres source and you’ll see they don’t like the Sabres because of the hits and what not.

          • Dano

            Why should I ‘ take a look around the web ‘? Why should you or I care what someone from another town thinks about the local hockey club? Does social status really matter that much?

            The reason people will say what they have is because its ‘ popular ‘. Its a chance to demean someone and jump on the bandwagon.

            I understand a good portion of life for most people is being on Twitter , Facebook.. I go outdoors and enjoy the weather, life, no ‘ suffering ‘. Im hoping the pond freezes early this year and offer you an invite to come play if you wish.

            If the Sabres folded tonight, and cease to exist, the negativity would go to the next team.

            If you wish to tell me that other teams dont have people doing the same things Buffalo has done and NOT be thrown in the spotlight, I present to you Chara from last nights game against SanJose.

            Its all ‘ opinion ‘ and when band wagoned, left unchecked, it will grow. The flames will be fanned and then you have an uncontrollable fire.

            Thats why the Sabres are in the water they are in. Take away the hits and they are still laughed about.

            The Sabres absolute failure in management and coaching is most of it. The Players are the fallguys in this instance.

  • Dano

    Some of this though.. I believe is a message to Pegula, the new kid on the block with lots of money.

    Rumor has it, he and another owner had quite a verbal spat during the lockout.

    Some of this COULD be showing Pegula he has to ‘ learn ‘ his place. That hes not going to walk into the league with billions of dollars and have the best toys.

    • Caitlin Campbell

      It would be nice if he’d exercise his right as owner and spend money and fire Darcy, Time for him to put his owner pants on and set this ship back on the right track

      • Dano

        I dont know if he really can at this point or for this season. I HOPE he could but.. I dont know if he really wants to. I’m not Pegula and I dont hold his check-book but if it were mine..

        • Lloyd M. Jr.

          Maybe it’s time suddenly for THE FANS to take ownership.
          At a Pegula presser, some angry fans can usurp the mike and say, “Thank you, Mr. Pegula, for suddenly and generously donating your money and equipment to us as we set out to make the Sabres winners again.”

          • Dano

            Uncle Joe and Minh would love us for doing so! ;)

          • Caitlin Campbell

            hahah that’s a great idea the fans should take over

          • Andrew

            Works for the Seattle Sounders.

  • davidmuscalo

    I think one reasons the Sabres are being targeted relates their recent past reputation as a soft team. Now, that the team has some guys with guts, the rest of the league is chagrined by the fact they can no long run over a Sabres player without reprisals.

    The real issue here, however, is Shabbyhan. He does have vendetta against this team. I am not sure why, but his decisions when Sabres’ players are involved always go against the our player, and he applies the most extreme sanctions against our players that he has available. When our players are illegally checked, for instance Gerbe last season was hit from behind in the letters on his sweater and injured on the play, they aren’t even reviewed.

    Additionally, the original six teams seen to be favored over the other 24 teams when it comes to enforcement of the rules. I am not aware, perhaps someone can educate me here, of any disciplinary actions taken against players from Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Montreal, New York Rangers or Toronto.

    No other player in the league has been targeted the way Kaleta’s has been scrutinized.

    • Dano

      Actually Matt Cooke and Rafi Torrez have been made examples of.

      How about Kronwall of Detroit? He has been throwing some nasty hits over the last few years. Never called. The Irony is someone runs him, and they get suspended by Shaniaban.

    • Caitlin Campbell

      I fully agree, not only do Sabres’ players get the max suspensions, when there’s a dirty hit against them nothing happens. I think in large part it has to do with the fact that they toughened up and attempted to police the game themselves.

    • Lloyd M. Jr.

      Sabres ownership should tell Shannahan to F HIMSELF.

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  • acpilkin

    Interesting thought: if Kessel (who had no prior history) doesn’t miss a regular season game for using his stick as a weapon, why should Scott (who also has no prior history) receive more than a 5 game suspension? I’d love to hear the answer from the NHL. The inconsistencies are just absurd.

  • [email protected]

    Call me a conspiracy theorist, but perhaps it is to generate headlines about the NHL taking big steps towards player safety. Pick on a team like the Sabres, who don’t have as many fans outside of their immediate area compared to say Boston or Detroit. That way, they can appear as if they are taking a stance against injuries without riling up a large amount of their paying customers.

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  • bugzzz

    The unsuspended Lucic hit on Miller led to all this. There was no justice for the Sabres and they have adopted a chip on their shoulder ever since. The NHL should ban fighting and goonery across the board. It takes away from watching skilled players do amazing things.