Buffalo Sabres, Rex Ryan, NHL All-Star Captains


Good morning, Buffalo Sabres fans. It’s another gameday in Buffalo, as the Minnesota Wild are in town tonight. Tonight’s game will see a few familiar faces on the ice, including former Buffalo Sabres Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville. In addition, a new face may make his debut for the Wild — Devan Dubnyk. Whether or not he’ll actually make his debut with the team is still to be determined, but it’s certainly a possibility.

First up, let’s talk about Buffalo Sabres general manager Tim Murray.

Murray was recently interviewed by NHL.com’s Dan Rosen, and in their conversation, Murray clearly points to analytics when discussing the Buffalo Sabres’ good and bad swings throughout the season.

This, according to the Bleacher Report piece, is a “refreshing grasp” on analytics.

"He’s evaluating the Sabres with clear eyes, and in the long run that’s only going to be good for the team."

Regardless of what happens on the ice tonight for the Buffalo Sabres, the talk of the Buffalo sports community actually surrounds the Buffalo Bills right now. The team officially introduced Rex Ryan as its new head coach on Wednesday.

Ryan, formerly coach of the NFL’s New York Jets, was a Toronto Maple Leafs fan — but says his new allegiance is to the Buffalo Sabres.

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Ryan was in attendance at Tuesday’s Buffalo Sabres game, reportedly sitting in a suite with Buffalo Sabres and Buffalo Bills owner Terry Pegula. The team didn’t recognize him on the Jumbotron – and they couldn’t, since he hadn’t officially been announced as Bills coach yet – but it would certainly be nice to see him return to a game and be recognized.

Back to the NHL now. The league has a busy week ahead before its annual NHL All-Star Game, this year to be held in Columbus, Ohio and hosted by the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The NHL officially announced its team captains for the event on Wednesday.

Nick Foligno and Jonathan Toews were named captains, with Patrick Kane, Ryan Getzlaf, Rick Nash and Drew Doughty. Teams will draft their players in the upcoming days before the events at Nationwide Arena.

Which team will Buffalo Sabres forward Zemgus Girgensons end up on?

Finally, the Rochester Americans accomplished an incredible feat last night, coming back from a 4-1 deficit to defeat the Texas Stars 6-5.

The Amerks have struggled overall this season — but could that incredible win be the one that defines their season and turns things around?

Things didn’t start off great for the Amerks, as Texas took an early 1-0 less than four minutes in. Rochester’s Tim Schaller tied it up halfway through the first period, but Texas would score the next three goals to take a decisive 4-1 lead.

Or at least — it should have been decisive. With the score 4-1 just three minutes into the second period, that could have easily spelled t-r-o-u-b-l-e for the Rochester Americans. The Stars could have kept up their scoring ways and it could have easily turned ugly.

But alas – it didn’t.

The Amerks scored four unanswered goals, including three in the second period, to not only tie the game, but take a 5-4 lead just minutes into the third. The Stars would tie it on a power play later in the period, but Johan Larsson capped off the comeback with a late goal (18:27) to give the Amerks the win.

Brayden Irwin, Mikhail Grigorenko and Jerome Gauthier-Leduc also scored for the Amerks. Tim Schaller had a pair of goals.

The Amerks continue their road swing in San Antonio and Oklahoma City this weekend.

Next: Team USA Wins Gold at HARBORcenter