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Behind the Bench: Sabres' faint playoff hopes fizzle

17 hours ago

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.


courtesy Arcadia Publishing

A newly-published book, Baseball in Buffalo, offers images of "America's Pastime" as it was played in Buffalo and Western New York since the mid-1800s.


WBFO's Michael Mroziak

Basketball brought thousands of visitors to Buffalo during the NCAA tournament, but what impressions of the Queen City will they take home with them? WBFO hit the streets to get a line on how visitors enjoyed March Madness in Buffalo.

Pulitzer-Prize winning New York City newspaper columnist Jimmy Breslin died Sunday morning from complications of pneumonia. He was 88 years old, and his death was confirmed by his physician, William Cole.

Breslin was the tabloid voice of the little guy, famous for celebrating gritty New York City characters in newspaper columns, as well as several books of fiction and non-fiction, Often these characters lived in the less glamorous boroughs outside Manhattan. But Breslin was also a character in his own right.

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.


Michael Hetzel and the NWHL

Harrison Browne, the Buffalo Beauts' transgender trailblazer, plans to end his playing career after this season in the National Women’s Hockey League.

College basketball fans — the choice is yours. Fill out your bracket now if you haven't already. Or experience angst until Thursday, when the first round of the men's NCAA tournament starts. On Sunday, the selection committee set the field for the annual descent into March Madness.

While the tournament officially starts Tuesday with the First Four in Dayton, Ohio, the first round — and where ballots start counting — is Thursday.

The four No. 1 seeds are defending champion Villanova, North Carolina, Kansas and Gonzaga.

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.


WBFO file photo

The Buffalo Bills ended speculation about their immediate plans for the quarterback position, announcing they have retained Tyrod Taylor by restructuring his contract. It was the first of a few moves announced by the pro football team Wednesday. 

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.


Sabres stay put on NHL's trade deadline day

Mar 1, 2017
WBFO file photo

Buffalo Sabres general manager Tim Murray says he made calls and took a few, but when the National Hockey League's trading deadline came and went Wednesday afternoon, there were no big deals to announce.


YouTube/Midwest Radio of Fargo-Moorhead

Buffalo amateur hockey teams, one a junior college squad and the other made up of teenagers, are gaining national attention for the wrong reason. A player is suspended from classes and facing criminal charges while a youth hockey coach familiar to Buffalo Sabres fans is suspended indefinitely as the results of their alleged behavior in weekend games.


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.


After three quarters, this game looked for all the world like a rout by the Atlanta Falcons. They were up 28-9. Their quarterback Matt Ryan, who just won the regular season MVP on Saturday night, was playing like an unstoppable Super Bowl MVP, too.

Then, something unbelievable happened: The New England Patriots came back.

WBFO file photo

As Super Bowl mania takes the nation by storm, a new study conducted by a personal finance website places Buffalo in the top 10 percent of best football cities in the nation.

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.


UFC

Buffalo will be the site for Ultimate Fighting Championship 210 on April 8, as the Octagon sets down at KeyBank Center for the promotion's first visit here since 1995.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Two days after announcing via social media they had hired their new head coach, the Buffalo Bills formally introduced Sean McDermott at One Bills Drive.


Twitter

The Buffalo Bills will formally introduce their new head coach on Friday. Sean McDermott comes to Buffalo after six years as defensive coordinator for the Carolina Panthers. Bills analyst Matt Sabuda weighs in on the hire on a special edition of WBFO's Beyond The Playbook.


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.


twitter.com/buffalobills / Buffalo Bills

The Buffalo Bills have found a permanent replacement for Rex Ryan. Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott will take up the role of head coach.

https://twitter.com/WNYFlash / Western New York Flash

Professional women's soccer is leaving Western New York, bound for warmer weather, with the sale of the Elma-based Western New York Flash to the North Carolina Football Club.

University at Buffalo

Willie Evans, a star runningback for the University at Buffalo's football team in the late 1950s, has died.

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.


WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Buffalo Bills owner Terry Pegula has full confidence in general manager Doug Whaley's ability to turn around his franchise, and outlined the reasons coach Rex Ryan was fired in an exclusive interview with The Associated Press.

Buffalo Bills general manager Doug Whaley faced a tough line of questioning in his end-of season news conference Monday, after yet another season in which the team failed to make the playoffs.

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