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POSTED ON Saturday, 04.9.2011 / 1:07 PM ET
By Scott Miner - Manager of Digital Media / THE NEW ERA
Patrick Kaleta & Jhonas Enroth discuss the game at center ice at the Nationwide Arena. (Photo:

After last night's emotional overtime win, the Buffalo Sabres have clinched a spot in the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Technically speaking, they clinched the spot once the game was tied at the end of regulation, but the extra point was the icing on the cake. Following the game, the team headed out to Columbus where it’ll wrap up the regular season tonight when they take on the Blue Jackets.

Buffalo had a team meeting and video session this morning prior to a handful of players taking the ice. Last night's heroes, Nathan Gerbe and Thomas Vanek, were on the ice for the optional skate along with forward Patrick Kaleta, whose status for the game tonight was not confirmed.

“Pat has had two regular practice and strength wise, he’s getting close. And he wants to play, but I don’t think he’s physically where he was before the injury happened.”
Head Coach Lindy Ruff discussing Patrick Kaleta

Full Lindy Ruff Interview

Defenseman Andrej Sekera and forward Mike Grier have not been cleared to play and will miss tonight’s season finale.

A familiar face will be on the opposing bench tonight as blueliner Craig Rivet suits up for what could possibly be his last NHL game. Rivet was claimed off waivers by Columbus on February 26 and has played in 13 games for the Blue Jackets, tallying one goal and a plus/minus of -7. Rivet came to Buffalo in the summer of 2008 when he signed as a free agent. He played 165 games for the Sabres totaling 42 points (4+38) and 237 penalty minutes.

Don’t forget to tune into MSG tonight at 6:30 for the pregame show and follow all the action with the live updates on
POSTED ON Tuesday, 03.29.2011 / 2:34 PM ET
By Scott Miner - Manager of Digital Media / THE NEW ERA
It's game day in the Great White North and the Sabres and Maple Leafs are closing out the 2010-11 season series between one another.  The Sabres are 3-2-0 this year against Toronto after dropping the most recent game by a score of 4-3 in Toronto. This game has all sorts of playoff implications as both teams need the win.

The Sabres are sitting in eighth place in the Eastern Conference with 85 points. A win tonight would put them at 87 points and potentially in a three-way tie with Montreal and the New York Rangers for the six, seven and eight spots. Montreal is playing host to the Atlanta Thrashers, so Buffalo will still have a game in-hand on the Habs at the conclusion of tonight's games.  The Rangers, who will be in Buffalo to face the Sabres tomorrow night in another huge showdown, are off tonight and will have the same number of games played as the Sabres after tonight.

"Anytime you can eliminate a team its nice... you have less teams chasing you, less teams on your heals." - Forward Brad Boyes on taking on the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Leafs are on the outside looking in and need a win tonight to stay within striking distance of a playoff spot.  Sitting in the 10th spot with 78 points, Toronto could move within five points of a playoff spot with a win, or fall to 11th place with a loss and an Atlanta win.

Sabres forward Mike Grier skated with the team this morning, but his status for the night remains in question. Head coach Lindy Ruff commented that Grier will be a game-time decision.

In other injury news, Sabres defenseman Jordan Leopold did not make the trip due to a hand injury. Leopold was scheduled to meet with a specialist on Monday, however, missed that appointment as he came down with the flu. Defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani, 24, was recalled from Portland (AHL) and participated in practice yesterday and today's morning skate. The 2005 third round selection was leading all AHL defenseman in assists (48) and points (60) at the time of his recall.

Fun Fact: Since 2005-06, the Sabres are 29-11-1 against the Maple Leafs.
POSTED ON Wednesday, 03.16.2011 / 3:24 PM ET
By Scott Miner - Manager of Digital Media / THE NEW ERA
I was hoping to write this blog a bit a sooner than today but the past couples of days have been a complete whirlwind.

Click here to check out highlights
It all started on Saturday night as the Bandits took down the Boston Blazers in a thrilling 12-10 game at HSBC Arena. If you’ve never been to a Bandits lacrosse game, I strongly recommend it. John Tavares, a living legend in the box lacrosse world, scored four goals and added two assists for a six-point night while goalie Mike Thompson turned away 40 shots en route to his sixth win of the year. As always, the crowd in “Banditland” was electric and the atmosphere is more of a party than a professional sports game.

Sunday started off as a regular Sabres game day and while preparing for the face-off, a co-worker stopped by to tell me the tragic news regarding Rick Martin. Hearing the news, it was like time stopped and I went from a game preparation mode to designing a graphic to announce that a legend in the hockey world and a Buffalo sports icon had passed on. I really don’t know what to say to follow this other than it is a loss, both to the Sabres and to the community.

Following all of that up was a 6-4 win over Ottawa and a 1-0 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes last night. The loss on Tuesday night put the Sabres back into eighth place in the Eastern Conference with 12 games left to play, which should make for a very interesting final month of hockey at HSBC Arena.

Don’t forget that this weekend (March 17-20) is the 2011 Willie O’Ree Skills Weekend and NHL legends Dominik Hasek, Grant Fuhr, Willie O’Ree and Scotty Bowman will all be in attendance. Also, Lil’ Wayne will be performing at the Arena on Friday - tickets are still available.
POSTED ON Friday, 03.11.2011 / 4:51 PM ET
By Scott Miner - Manager of Digital Media / THE NEW ERA
Welcome to the first entry of “The New Era.” If you are a frequent visitor to, you’ll know that “Sly Notes” is Kevin Sylvester’s take on the NHL and “Beyond the Boards” is a look inside Sabres hockey. This blog will be something a bit different. This blog will focus on the happenings at HSBC Arena. With a new owner comes change and we want to make sure that the fans are in-the-loop with what is going on at the Arena. So let’s get right to it.

The team returned to Buffalo today following a road trip that started back on February 28 and found that a number of changes had occurred at HSBC Arena, particularly in the Sabres’ dressing room.

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The brushed aluminum locker room door that use to be adorned with a large “B” with a sword running through has been removed and replaced with a blue and gold, 3-D, old school Sabres logo.

The main entrance of the room used to be dominated by a “Slug” logo, but now features a picture of the French Connection adjacent to the players’ stick rack.

Opposite of the stick rack is a glass plaque with Terry Pegula’s now famous quote from his introductory press conference:

“From this point forward, the Buffalo Sabres’ reason for existence will be to win the Stanley Cup.”

And most notably, the old carpet inside the Sabres’ locker room has been removed and replaced with a large blue field with the team’s crest prominently featured in the center. The outer rim of the carpet is a new silver color.

Other subtle changes around the arena include replacing old logos with the new primary logo, including on the doors of the Sabres’ main offices.

A number of other changes are in store for the players and the fans, so make sure to check back often as we update this blog with what is going on at HSBC Arena.

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