Behind the Bench

On this week's edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about the team's return to action this week, splitting games in Columbus and Dallas. Could rookie forward Casey Mittelstadt be on the verge of a breakout? Also, the Sabres begin a rare seven-game homestand Friday night when they host the Chicago Blackhawks. Success over the two-week stretch is critical for the team's playoff aspirations.


On this week's edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about how the team's long break could help them once again find their game. How did the Sabres go from first place in the NHL to out of a playoff spot in six weeks? And could some fresh faces help the franchise end its long postseason drought?


On this week's edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about Wednesday's much-needed win over the Calgary Flames and where the team stands just ahead of their upcoming bye week. Also, goaltender Linus Ullmark has been outperforming Carter Hutton in recent weeks. Will Ullmark take over the starter role for the Sabres' playoff push?


On this week's edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about Tuesday's 5-1 win over the New Jersey Devils, which saw two Sabres rookies score their first NHL goals. Also, the pending return of star forward Jack Eichel, the return of goal-scoring dynamo Jeff Skinner to Carolina, and what to watch for in the second half of the season.


WBFO

On this week's edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about Jack Eichel's injury, what players need to step up in his absence, and seeing a healthy Lawrence Pilut back in the lineup. With the Sabres holding on to a wild card spot by a thread, Bill also discusses what teams could pass them in the standings.

WBFO's Behind the Bench

On this week's edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about a win over the Anaheim Ducks, the hot play of Linus Ullmark and how he was developed, the Ryan O' Reilly as it stands and the struggling St. Louis Blues, the Sabres raised expectations, and what young defensman you should keep an eye out for in 2019.


On this week's edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about Tuesday's home loss to the Florida Panthers, a team the Sabres have had difficulty defeating. Also, Jack Eichel has been on a tear, continuing his ascent into one of the NHL's elite players, and a look at the situation surrounding now ex-Sabre Patrik Berglund, who was waived Wednesday after failing to report to the team last weekend.


On this week's edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about Tuesday's victory over the Los Angeles Kings, a win that snapped a five-game losing streak. Also, a lack of secondary scoring has become a problem for the Sabres, who continue to rely heavily on their top line. And we check in on rookie defenseman Rasmus Dahlin, the number one overall pick, who has been making dazzling plays on a nightly basis.


After winning ten in a row, the Buffalo Sabres have gone 0-2-2 in their last four games. On this week's edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about a tough stretch of close contests against some of the NHL's top teams. Tuesday night's game against the Toronto Maple Leafs was a showcase for two of hockey's brightest young stars. Sam Reinhart continues to pile up points and rookie defenseman Lawrence Pilut has impressed in his first taste of NHL action.


On this week's edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about the team's remarkable 10(!)-game winning streak and how the first-place Sabres have reinvigorated their fan base with a series of fun and exciting games, many of them decided in extra time.


On this week's edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about the team's six-game winning streak and buzz they have created in Western New York and across the National Hockey League. Also, a look at the continued heroics of goaltender Carter Hutton and how the team's defensemen are contributing on offense, a stark contrast from last season.


On this week's edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about the team's three-game winning streak, the resiliency they've showed against strong competition, and the continued strong play of goaltender Carter Hutton and prolific goal scorer Jeff Skinner.


On this week's edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about the team's nine-goal explosion last weekend against the Ottawa Senators, the strong play of forward Jason Pominville and the team's top line, and what positives can be taken away from some recent losses.


The Buffalo Sabres suffered a tough 2-1 overtime loss to the Calgary Flames Tuesday night, but things are looking up after the Sabres finished with their best record in October since 2011. On this edtion of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks with Nick Lippa about the team's recent success, which includes strong goaltending performances from Carter Hutton and Linus Ullmark. The Amerks are a "powerhouse" according to Hoppe. So when will some of that talent make their way to Buffalo? Also, Jason Pominville will be playing his 1,000 career game in the NHL Thursday against the Ottawa Senators.


On this week's edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about the team's (mostly) impressive western road trip which featured successful lineup changes, the emergence of goal scorer Jeff Skinner and some strong play by defenseman Zach Bogosian.


On this week's edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about an up and down start to the season for the team, who have looked impressive in their three wins and dreadful in their three losses. Also, the return of oft-injured defenseman Zach Bogosian and a check-in with the Sabres' AHL affiliate, the Rochester Americans.


On this week's edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about the first three games of the 2018-19 season, which featured an ugly opening night loss to Boston followed by two impressive wins over the New York Rangers and Vegas Golden Knights. Also, a look at the team's improved depth, represented by the strong play of its fourth line. And how has rookie defenseman Rasmus Dahlin looked in his first NHL games?


The Buffalo Sabres kick off the 2018-19 season with a home game against the Boston Bruins Thursday night. On the season premiere of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about the team's revamped roster, which includes #1 overall draft pick Rasmus Dahlin, top line forward Jeff Skinner and new goaltender Carter Hutton, among others. Also, Jack Eichel gets the captain's 'C' on his jersey and Bill gives his prediction on whether the Sabres, who finished in last place in the NHL last season, will make the playoffs for the first time since 2011.


The Buffalo Sabres once again find themselves in last place to end the year. On this season’s final edition of Behind the Bench, WBFO’s Nick Lippa sat down with Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe to discuss which part of this lowly year of hockey was truly the worst, Jason Botterill’s end of the year press conference, the success of the Amerks, and more.


On this week's edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about the (merciful) end of the team's home schedule for the 2017-18 season, a campaign that saw the team win a paltry 11 home games. Also, two of the team's top prospects are with the team for a late-season cup of coffee. Bill shares some thoughts on Casey Mittlestadt and Alexander Nylander on the penultimate episode of Behind The Bench.


On this week's edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about the highly-anticipated arrival of top prospect Casey Mittlestadt, the team's first-round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft. What skills have made Mittlestadt so widely admired? And how is the 19-year-old handling the pressures that come with the expectations of a beaten-down fanbase?


On this week's edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about this week's loss to the Arizona Coyotes and how it recalls a similar game between the two teams three years ago. Also, what has head coach Phil Housley so upset? And how has young goalie Linus Ullmark looked in a Sabres uniform since his recent recall from Rochester?


On this week's edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about the imminent return of star forward Jack Eichel, who has missed more than a month of action with an ankle injury. Also, two prospects are up from Rochester. Why are the Sabres carrying three goaltenders? And how does Justin Bailey fit into the team's plans?


On this week’s edition of WBFO’s Behind the Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about an embarrassing loss to the Calgary Flames after a string of impressive victories and the end to Chad Johnson’s hot streak. With the Sabres on the verge of falling to last place in the NHL, what do fans have to be hopeful about moving forward? 


On this week's edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about the trading of Evander Kane to the San Jose Sharks and the underwhelming package GM Jason Botterill was able to get in return for the talented winger. Did Botterill fail his first big trade deadline test? And was trading Kane instead of re-signing him the right move?


On this week's edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe previews Monday's NHL Trade Deadline. Most of the chatter has centered around forward Evander Kane, who will almost certainly be dealt away. But who else could be traded? And what should GM Jason Botterill be looking for in return?


On this week's edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about the injury to star forward Jack Eichel and how two players in particular, Ryan O'Reilly and Sam Reinhart, have stepped up their games, leading to wins against two top teams. Also, a look at top defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen's recent struggles.


On this week's edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about the team's continuing struggles at home, where they've now lost four straight games, and their failure to execute "simple plays." Also, how the Sabres' season of misery is leading to a lot of empty seats at KeyBank Center. And we'll catch up with former Sabres goalie Ryan Miller, now playing in his 15th season, who has found comfort and contentment in Anaheim.


On this week's edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about the team's inability to keep the momentum going from last week's successful road trip in Tuesday's home loss the Devils. Why have the Sabres struggled so much at home this season? And are the trade rumors surrounding a slumping Evander Kane affecting his play on the ice?


On this week's edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about what may have the team's worst game of the season, last Saturday against the Dallas Stars, and its best, Tuesday night in Edmonton. Also, star forward Jack Eichel is red hot, the team's power play is clicking and we remember late USA Hockey general manager Jim Johannson, who gave Sabres head coach Phil Housley his first coaching job.


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