Captain Okposo Leading The Way

Scoring and Smiling

Last night’s 6-3 victory over the visiting Red Wings highlights how far the Sabres young corps of players have come in learning, earning experience, and developing into a solid winning team.

Mr. Krebs provides powerful forechecking

It appeared that most of the 19,070 seats were filled with Hockey fans in a game that meant a little bit more after the blizzard we endured at times tragically here along the Lake this past week.

Mr. Skinner scores his 17th of the year

One NHL slogan today is, “no lead is safe”, as witnessed by Detroit’s four-goal deficit comeback versus Pittsburgh the night before fueling hope for the Red Wings as Detroit snapped three quick goals in less than five minutes in the first half of the third period.

As HC Granato and some players pointed out in post-game interviews they are getting better at holding leads and on a night when Mr. Thompson, Mr. Tuch, and Mr. Dahlin are held off the score sheet there was production across the board.

Mr. Mittlestadt notched his second goal of the night

Detroit owned the third period with three goals and 17 SOG but came up far short as they were penalized a couple of minutes after their third score and that seemed to cool things off but they pulled the goalie with 4:55 remaining.

Mr. Luukkonen held on to the puck at the 4:11 mark and after the face off Buffalo iced the puck at 3:55 Commentator Mr. Ray remarked it was good icing and that the team just needs to be patient.

Jubilation

Sure enough, 18 seconds later Captain Okposo completes his hat trick with a happy net goal, and it’s hats off for the Captain, a five-game winning streak, second highest scoring team, and the second-best power play in the NHL.

ESPN NHL Fantasy Hockey Update

Wk 12 weekly matchups

Standings

The League leader and sitting atop the highly competitive East Division with the other four teams that legitimately still have a shot at the final playoff seeding have themselves what appears to be a fight to the finish.

After week 11 of our 21-week FHL season, the West Division appears set with two top playoff-bound teams and three teams that have a combined win total that matches the win total of the second-place team in the West Division.

Season Stats

Ironically the League’s fourth-place team is the League leader in (G) goals, only team over 200, (A) assists only team over 300, (PPP) power-play points, two dozen more than the nearest rival, (SHP) short-handed points the only team in double digits, and most (SOG) shots on goal.

The League leader leads handily in (HIT) hits and (BLK) blocks but has only scored six more points overall than the fourth-place team, yet it is the strength of 10 wins and a single loss that makes the League leader the team to beat for the Championship.

Goaltending

One position in fantasy Hockey that can win the week or cost severe negative points has to be played judiciously, and putting in goaltenders has to be well thought out, what win-loss record did the goaltender earn against certain teams, or is the goalie facing the Cup Champions?

Using the League leader’s goaltending statistics we note the leader’s goaltenders have the most (SV) saves but the most (GA) goals against and just one win more than the second-place team overall.

How does the goaltender point system work positively and negatively?

Firstly we will add the positive points earned to date for the League leader, 31 (W) wins = 124 points, 1,672 (SV) saves = 33.44 points, 3 (SO) shutouts = 9 points, 8 (OTL) overtime losses = 8 points totaling 174.44 positive goaltending points earned.

Secondly the League leader’s 158 (GA) goals against negative points total come to 316 and when we minus the 174.44 positive points the League leader lost 141.56 points during weekly matchups over the past 11 weeks.

Armed with this information why would any team manager insert a goaltender into the lineup knowing that on average they will lose points and even cost them the weekly matchup?

The fourth-place overall team has the fewest points against in the goaltending statistics, the goaltender used for the lone shutout came after noticing the goaltender’s team was scheduled to play the 32nd-place team in the NHL and earned big-time points for the eventual victorious weekly matchup.

NHL Players

No matter how experienced and successful of a fantasy Hockey team manager you are, ultimately your success depends on the professional Hockey player’s performance, your best scorer could have an “off-game” your goaltender could play like a sieve or your least productive point producer earns a hat trick.  

Fantasy Hockey

In conclusion, to become a successful FHL team manager you have to put in time and effort, even 10 minutes a day could ensure you a playoff seeding, but I know that life is more important than a Hockey league that does not exist except digitally.

But you joined an ESPN FHL team for some reason and hopefully, you are enjoying the NHL season with your fantasy team as much as Buffalo Winter.

Perfect Road Trip

Sabres completed a three-game road trip beginning with the defending Cup Champions, the tough Coyotes, and finishing last night by beating the Knights.

The Sabres visiting sin city last night scored a team hat trick by scoring three uninterrupted goals in the second period to take a 3-0 lead on seven shots while at the other end of the ice Mr. Luukkonen stopped all 10 shots he faced.

Mr. Skinner scoring from the suburbs

Mr. Skinner began the festivities less than two minutes into the second period with a wicked wrister over the netminder’s blocker then the Knight’s goaltender struck with Tage Fright watches as Mr. Thompson scores his 50th point and 26th goal of the season.  

Tage Thompson Totals 26 G 24 A

Clanging a shot off the inside corner to score his first of the season Mr. Pilut gives Buffalo the three-goal lead as the assists went to Mr. Krebs who won the offensive faceoff to Captain Okposo who passed it back to the point.

Mr. Pilut is psyched to score his first goal of the season.

Mr. Luukkonen played extremely well facing 43 shots with nearly two dozen shots coming in the third period and one Penalty Shot as Buffalo’s netminder stopped 41 SOG from the Knights contributing to the Sabres first road victory in Nevada.

Mr. Ukka-Pekka Luukkonen stopping Penalty Shot attempt

Ukka-Pekka Luukkonen is playing so well that after making the save on the Penalty Shot with approximately seven minutes remaining and preserving the two-goal lead he confidently slapped the puck at the dasherboards.

The Sabres riding a four-game winning streak and scoring the most goals in the NHL to date are playing one home game in the middle of the upcoming Holiday week with the Lightning this Friday night.

Sabres Spectacular Shutout

Sporting their black and red bison head logo sweaters last night the Buffalo Sabres scored six goals in one period for the second time in one week as the Sabres shutout the Kings at home 6-0 in another impressive offensive output.

Mr. Cozens notched three assists

Buffalo did not score six goals in the first period and coast to victory instead they played a tight defensive game while killing off the first two penalties whistled in the game into the second period and then seemingly scored at will in the third period.

Mr. Anderson earns his 43rd career shutout

Mr. Anderson earns his first shutout since March of 2019 which was against the Sabres, as the Kings fired 40 shots to Buffalo’s 31, both teams were 50% on faceoffs and Los Angeles earned 22 blocks for the game highlighting the wide SOG disparity during the game.

Mr. Thompson scored twice with an assist

Los Angeles tagged with two penalties at the end of the second and beginning of the third period provided a 5 on 3 that Buffalo scored immediately on to get the onslaught started and after four consecutive Buffalo power plays the Sabres earned their third penalty of the game.

Mr. Tuch scores his 15th

This was a sit at the edge of your seat game even after Buffalo scored the first goal less than two minutes into the third period on the power play and after being heavily outshot in the first two periods this game was nowhere near being won.

JJ Peterka

Halfway through the third period Buffalo goes up 3-0 aided by Mr Olofsson and JJ Peterka’s even strength goals tallied 13 seconds apart and three minutes later the Kings take one penalty right after another that Buffalo capitalized on to forge a 5-0 lead.

With less than ninety seconds remaining Mr. Asplund carries the puck into the zone and passes to Mr. Olofsson who one-handed puck handles across the front of the net and as he goes past backhands a pass to Mr. Krebs at the top of the blue ice for goal number six.

Mr. Krebs playing hard in front of the net

Buffalo begins a three-game road trip versus the defending Cup Champions Thursday night then to Arizona to take on the Coyotes in their “home rink” Saturday night culminating with a visit to sin city hopefully Jackie Vegas who is on IR will be healthy enough to play.