Behind the Bench

The Buffalo Sabres are back home after having completed a four-game western road trip. The team got its first win of the season, but bring a disappointing 1-4-2 record into their next home game, Friday against the Vancouver Canucks. On this week's Behind The Bench, Bill Hoppe talks about what Sabres fans who weren't able to stay up for the late night games may have missed. He also discusses two players who badly needed to get on the score sheet, Ryan O'Reilly and Sam Reinhart.


The 2017-18 season is off to a rocky start for the Buffalo Sabres, who are 0-2-1 in their first three games. After a solid debut against the Montreal Canadiens, the team suffered two ugly losses to the New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils, giving up six goals in each game. Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about what's gone wrong in this week's edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench.


The Buffalo Sabres open the 2017-2018 season Thursday evening with a game against the Montreal Canadiens at KeyBank Center and with the new season comes the return of WBFO's Behind The Bench, our weekly conversation with Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe. On the season premiere, Bill talks about Jack Eichel's big new contract extension, what to expect from new head coach Phil Housley, changes to the team's roster, and Bill gives his prediction on whether the Sabres will finally break their six-season postseason drought.


On a special June edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about the hiring of new head coach Phil Housley, which player the team is likely to lose to Vegas in the NHL Expansion Draft, changes to the Sabres' blue line, trade talk surrounding star forward Evander Kane and the upcoming NHL Draft.


On the season finale of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about General Manager Tim Murray's end-of-season press conference and lingering uncertainty over the future of head coach Dan Bylsma. Also, what does Murray need to do in the offseason to get the team back to the playoffs, after a sixth consecutive season on the golf course?


Sabres GM discusses disappointment in the season that was

Apr 13, 2017
Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Buffalo Sabres general manager Tim Murray held his end-of-season news conference Wednesday, looking back on a hockey season that he readily admitted was a disappointing one.


On this week's edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about concerns over forward Kyle Okposo's seemingly serious illness, reaction to the NHL's decision to not participate in the 2018 Olympics, a couple of players who made their Sabre debuts, and this week's games, which included an embarrassing loss to the rival Toronto Maple Leafs. 


On this week's edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about coach Dan Bylsma's benching of forward Sam Reinhart, who violated a team policy, a special night for an veteran who reached a milestone, and a couple of players who have made an impact as the season winds toward its end.


Behind the Bench: Sabres' faint playoff hopes fizzle

Mar 23, 2017

Sidney Crosby struck again against the Buffalo Sabres this week, in more ways than one. In this week's Behind the Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about the Sabres' slide toward the end of the season.


On this week's edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about the team's need to establish an identity down the stretch, with the playoffs out of reach, and the growing pains that come with developing a young superstar.


The Buffalo Sabres' dismal post-bye week stretch continued with bad losses to Pittsburgh last Sunday and Philadelphia on Tuesday night. On this week's edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about what he calls the "worst stretch of the year, by far" and whether the team's head coach and its players are on the same page.


On this week's edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench, the NHL trade deadline comes and goes with, surprisingly, no moves made by the Buffalo Sabres' front office. Reporter Bill Hoppe talks about what happened and how the team's recent run of bad losses has essentially taken them out of playoff contention.


On this week's edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about the upcoming March 1 NHL trade deadline and whether star forward Evander Kane could be dealt to another team. If not Kane, which other Sabres might other teams be interested in (Dmitry Kulikov? Cody Franson?) and what would GM Tim Murray want in return?


On this week's edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about Robin Lehner's critical comments following last Sunday's loss to Vancouver. Were they directed at Jack Eichel? And are certain players not buying into coach Dan Bylsma's system?


On this week's edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe discusses Tuesday's come-from-behind overtime win over the San Jose Sharks and a strong effort by goalie Robin Lehner in last weekend's shutout victory over Ottawa. Also, a look at the tight playoff picture and the role Tyler Ennis has played since returning from injury.


On this week's Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe discusses Tuesday's miserable loss to the Montreal Canadiens and looks ahead at what to expect in a busy month of February as the team looks to make a playoff push in the season's second half.


After three consecutive overtime wins, the Buffalo Sabres are back in the playoff hunt. On this week's Behind The Bench, reporter Bill Hoppe talks about the team's developing character and how the talented Sabres are "learning how to win."


The roller coaster ride that has been the 2016-17 season continues for the Buffalo Sabres, who are still struggling to find consistency in their game. On this week's Behind The Bench, reporter Bill Hoppe talks about how the team compares with their cross-border rivals, the Toronto Maple Leafs, who have undergone a similar rebuild in recent years, and how some of general manager Tim Murray's moves have left the team with holes and question marks throughout the lineup.


On this week's edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about the team's current run, which has them back in the hunt for a playoff spot, and whether Anders Nilsson should be the Sabres' primary netminder in the second half of the season.


On this week's edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about Tuesday's win over the New York Rangers, which came on the heels of a losing stretch that has the team mired in last place. Also, a look at star forward Jack Eichel's recent locker room outburst and a local native who just scored his first NHL goal.


Behind the Bench: Kane is able but O'Reilly is ailing

Dec 29, 2016

The Buffalo Sabres snapped a winless skid earlier this week and prepare to face a division archrival to close out 2016. However, they've lost the services of Ryan O'Reilly, who is out following a medical emergency. Meanwhile, the World Junior Hockey tournament is happening across the border, and there's a Western New York connection. Bill Hoppe has more in this week's edition of Behind the Bench:


On this week's edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about the team's, and goalie Robin Lehner's, struggles in shootouts this season. Also, a look at the standings, the return of a name from the past, and has Rasmus Ristolainen become one of the NHL's elite defenseman?


On this week's edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about Tuesday night's big home win over the Los Angeles Kings, a game that saw the team's best players shine in an exciting, comeback victory.


On this week's edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about the latest "McEichel" game, the continuing impact of Jack Eichel's return on his teammates and the state of the team's blue line, which is missing three regulars.


Jack Eichel is back and the Buffalo Sabres' franchise player made an immediate impact in his return from injury Tuesday night in Ottawa. On this week's edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench, reporter Bill Hoppe talks about Eichel's season debut and his effect on his teammates, one in particular.


On a Thanksgiving week edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about two big wins over Pittsburgh and Calgary, the strong play of goaltender Anders Nilsson and defenseman Taylor Fedun, and why Rasmus Ristolainen's stick has become an issue.


The Buffalo Sabres' offensive woes continue. The team has lost five straight games and, on many nights, has struggled to score more than one goal. Could some home cooking help turn around the team's fortune? Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe weighs in on this week's Behind The Bench.


In trends that should sound familiar to fans, the Buffalo Sabres are struggling to score goals and win on home ice. Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about those issues and updates some key injuries on this week's edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench.


Coming off a four-game losing streak, the Buffalo Sabres rebounded with three straight wins in the past week. On this week's Behind The Bench, Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe says the team, which was in danger of digging itself into an early-season hole, was able to close out the kinds of games they let slip away last week.


The Buffalo Sabres (1-2-2) completed a four-game road trip Thursday with a gut-wrenching loss in Philadelphia. The result wasn't unlike many games last season, where the team failed to close out games in which they had a lead. Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about that and the continuing resurgence of forward Matt Moulson on this week's Behind The Bench.


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