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The 2011–12 Buffalo Sabres season was the 42nd season of operation (41st season of play) for the National Hockey League franchise that was established on May 22, 1970.[1] Their season began October 7, 2011 against the Anaheim Ducks in Helsinki, where the team named Jason Pominville the 13th full-time captain in team history.[2] Pominville filled the vacancy left by Craig Rivet, who was claimed via waivers by the Columbus Blue Jackets during the previous season.

2011–12 Buffalo Sabres
Division3rd Northeast
Conference9th Eastern
2011–12 record39–32–11
Home record21–12–8
Road record18–20–3
Goals for218
Goals against230
Team information
General ManagerDarcy Regier
CoachLindy Ruff
CaptainJason Pominville
Alternate captainsDerek Roy
Drew Stafford
Thomas Vanek
Paul Gaustad (Oct.–Feb.)
ArenaFirst Niagara Center
Average attendance18,272
Team leaders
GoalsJason Pominville (30)
AssistsJason Pominville (43)
PointsJason Pominville (73)
Penalty minutesPatrick Kaleta (116)
Plus/minusTyler Ennis (+11)
WinsRyan Miller (30)
Goals against averageDrew MacIntyre (1.38)

Contents

Off-seasonEdit

The Sabres signed several free agents. This was due to the new ownership giving permission to the managing staff to bid for free agents. The previous ownership allowed free agents to leave rather than pay for free agent contracts. The Sabres home also underwent a makeover. The interior of the arena was painted Sabres colors, blue and gold. The players locker rooms also received an extensive multimillion-dollar upgrade.[3] The naming rights were transferred from HSBC to First Niagara Bank and the arena took on the name First Niagara Center. [4]

Regular seasonEdit

The Sabres participated in the 2011 NHL Premiere, playing their first two regular season games in Europe. After a 2–0 start in Europe, the Sabres returned home and continued to play well. They had a record of 10–5 going into a November 12 game against the Boston Bruins,[5] where, in the first period, Ryan Miller left his crease to play a puck and was hit by the Bruins' Milan Lucic. Miller suffered a concussion and neck injury on the hit and would go on to miss nine games. Lucic was penalized for charging on the play but was not suspended or fined by the League.[6] During the middle part of the season, injuries plagued the team. By the All-Star break the Sabres sat in 14th place in the Eastern Conference and had 225 man-games lost to injury.[7] Jason Pominville was the only Sabre named to the All-Star Game roster.[8] Luke Adam was one of 12 rookies selected to participate in the All-Star Skills Competition.[9]

During the 33 game stretch from the Bruins game (November 12) to January 24, the Sabres had a record of 9–19–5. The poor play included a team record 12-game road losing streak and a run of five consecutive regulation loses on a single road trip.[10]

Things then began to turn around with a shootout win at the New Jersey Devils on January 24, the final game before the All-Star break.[11] The Sabres then went on an 18–5–5 run, going from 14th in the Eastern Conference back into the eighth and final playoff position on March 24 with a 3–1 win at home against the Minnesota Wild.[12] On March 27, the Sabres faced the Washington Capitals for a pivotal game for the final playoff position. The teams entered the game tied at 84 points, with the Capitals holding the tie breaker advantage. The Sabres won the game by a convincing 5–1 score.[13] In the second period of the game, the Sabres were ahead 3–1 and down injuries to two defensemen. Christian Ehrhoff and Andrej Sekera were both injured in the period and the Capitals were going on the power play when Robyn Regehr took a hooking penalty. The penalty left the Sabres with only three available defensemen. On the ensuing power play, Alexander Ovechkin bobbled a pass at the blue line, where Jason Pominville took the puck and scored a short-handed goal to put the Sabres up 4–1. Ryan Miller made 44 saves, improving to a personal record of 8–0–2 in his last ten games and 14–1–3 in 18 games. The win put Buffalo in sole possession of the eighth playoff spot and even in games with Washington.

The Sabres' position in eighth place was short lived, however, due to two consecutive regulation losses, first at home to Pittsburgh and then at Toronto.[14][15] At home on the back end of the home and home with Toronto, the Sabres fell behind 3–0 in the first period and 5–3 in the third. The Sabres then rallied to score two goals in the final five minutes of the third to tie the game at five. In overtime, Dion Phaneuf took a delay of game penalty, where Derek Roy ended the game on the ensuing power play with his second goal of the game. The win pulled Buffalo even in points with Washington at 88.[16] Washington still held the tie breaker advantage, with each team having two games left to play.

The Sabres would go on to pick up only one point in their final two games, ultimately failing to make the playoffs.[17]

On April 3, 2012, following their final regular season home game, the Sabres announced a new record for average paid attendance of 18,272 per home game.[18]

PlayoffsEdit

The Sabres attempted to qualify for the playoffs for the third consecutive season. The attempt fell three points short and the Sabres finished in ninth place in the Eastern Conference.

StandingsEdit

Northeast Division
Pos Team GP W L OTL ROW GF GA GD Pts
1 y – Boston Bruins 82 49 29 4 40 269 202 +67 102
2 x – Ottawa Senators 82 41 31 10 35 249 240 +9 92
3 Buffalo Sabres 82 39 32 11 32 218 230 −12 89
4 Toronto Maple Leafs 82 35 37 10 31 231 264 −33 80
5 Montreal Canadiens 82 31 35 16 26 212 226 −14 78
Source: National Hockey League
x – Clinched playoff spot; y – Clinched division.


Eastern Conference
Pos Div Team GP W L OTL ROW GF GA GD Pts
1 AT z – New York Rangers 82 51 24 7 47 226 187 +39 109
2 NE y – Boston Bruins 82 49 29 4 40 269 202 +67 102
3 SE y – Florida Panthers 82 38 26 18 32 203 227 −24 94
4 AT x – Pittsburgh Penguins 82 51 25 6 42 282 221 +61 108
5 AT x – Philadelphia Flyers 82 47 26 9 43 264 232 +32 103
6 AT x – New Jersey Devils 82 48 28 6 36 228 209 +19 102
7 SE x – Washington Capitals 82 42 32 8 38 222 230 −8 92
8 NE x – Ottawa Senators 82 41 31 10 35 249 240 +9 92
9 NE Buffalo Sabres 82 39 32 11 32 218 230 −12 89
10 SE Tampa Bay Lightning 82 38 36 8 35 235 281 −46 84
11 SE Winnipeg Jets 82 37 35 10 33 225 246 −21 84
12 SE Carolina Hurricanes 82 33 33 16 32 213 243 −30 82
13 NE Toronto Maple Leafs 82 35 37 10 31 231 264 −33 80
14 AT New York Islanders 82 34 37 11 27 203 255 −52 79
15 NE Montreal Canadiens 82 31 35 16 26 212 226 −14 78
Source: National Hockey League
x – Clinched playoff spot; y – Clinched division; z – Clinched conference.


Schedule and resultsEdit

Pre-seasonEdit

Regular seasonEdit

2011–12 Game Log
2011–2012 Schedule

Player statisticsEdit

SkatersEdit

GoaltendersEdit

Regular season
Player GP TOI W L OT GA GAA SA SV% SO G A PIM
Ryan Miller 61 3536 31 21 7 150 2.55 1788 .916 6 0 0 0
Jhonas Enroth 26 1399 8 11 4 63 2.70 756 .917 1 0 0 2
Drew MacIntyre 2 43 0 0 0 1 1.40 18 .944 0 0 0 0

Denotes player spent time with another team before joining Sabres. Stats reflect time with Sabres only.
Traded mid-season. Stats reflect time with Sabres only.

Awards and recordsEdit

AwardsEdit

Regular Season
Player Award Awarded
Ryan Miller[19] NHL First Star of the Week March 5, 2012
Ryan Miller[20] NHL Second Star of the Week March 26, 2012
Marcus Foligno[21] NHL Rookie of the Month March 2012
Ryan Miller[22] NHL Third Star of the Month April 2, 2012

RecordsEdit

On October 25, 2011, Brad Boyes played in his 500th consecutive NHL game, becoming the 20th player in NHL history to reach that mark. This streak ended at 513 when he was injured in the November 23 game.[23][24]

MilestonesEdit

Regular Season
Player Milestone Reached
Brad Boyes 200th Career NHL Assist October 7, 2011
Ryan Miller 400th Career NHL Game October 7, 2011
Drew Stafford 200th Career NHL Point October 15, 2011
Brad Boyes 500th Career NHL Game October 22, 2011
Thomas Vanek 400th Career NHL Point October 27, 2011
Corey Tropp 1st Career NHL Game November 4, 2011
1st Career NHL Goal
1st Career NHL Point
November 8, 2011
1st Career NHL Assist November 11, 2011
Nathan Gerbe 100th Career NHL Game November 12, 2011
T. J. Brennan 1st Career NHL Game
1st Career NHL Goal
1st Career NHL Point
November 23, 2011
Zack Kassian 1st Career NHL Game
1st Career NHL Assist
1st Career NHL Point
November 25, 2011
1st Career NHL Goal November 26, 2011
Brayden McNabb 1st Career NHL Game November 26, 2011
Joe Finley 1st Career NHL Game December 2, 2011
Derek Roy 400th Career NHL Point December 2, 2011
Tyler Ennis 100th Career NHL Game December 2, 2011
Drew Stafford 100th Career NHL Goal December 16, 2011
Derek Roy 500th Career NHL Game December 16, 2011
Thomas Vanek 500th Career NHL Game December 16, 2011
200th Career NHL Assist December 20, 2011
Derek Whitmore 1st Career NHL Game December 20, 2011
Marcus Foligno 1st Career NHL Game December 20, 2011
Brayden McNabb 1st Career NHL Goal
1st Career NHL Point
December 26, 2011
1st Career NHL Assist December 31, 2011
Cody McCormick 300th Career NHL Game January 3, 2012
Jason Pominville 500th Career NHL Game January 16, 2012
Mike Weber 100th Career NHL Game January 16, 2012
Jason Pominville 400th Career NHL Point January 18, 2012
Ryan Miller 25th Career NHL Shutout February 8, 2012
Tyler Myers 200th Career NHL Game
100th Career NHL Point
February 17, 2012
Ville Leino 200th Career NHL Game February 25, 2012
Marcus Foligno 1st Career NHL Goal
1st Career NHL Point
March 10, 2012
1st Career NHL Assist March 12, 2012
Travis Turnbull 1st Career NHL Game March 21, 2012
Christian Ehrhoff 200th Career NHL Assist March 21, 2012
Travis Turnbull 1st Career NHL Goal
1st Career NHL Point
March 23, 2012
Robyn Regehr 900th Career NHL Game April 3, 2012
Andrej Sekera 300th Career NHL Game April 3, 2012

Final rosterEdit

TransactionsEdit

The Sabres have been involved in the following transactions during the 2011–12 season:

TradesEdit

Date
Details
June 25, 2011[26] To Calgary Flames
Chris Butler
Paul Byron
To Buffalo Sabres
Ales Kotalik
Robyn Regehr
2nd-round pick in 2012 – Jake McCabe
June 29, 2011[27] To New York Islanders
4th-round pick in 2012 – Loic Leduc
To Buffalo Sabres
Christian Ehrhoff[a]
June 29, 2011[28] To Chicago Blackhawks
Steve Montador[b]
To Buffalo Sabres
Conditional 7th-round pick in 2012 – Judd Peterson
February 27, 2012[29] To Nashville Predators
Paul Gaustad
4th-round pick in 2013 – Juuse Saros
Buffalo Sabres
1st-round pick in 2012[c] – Mark Jankowski
February 27, 2012[29] To Vancouver Canucks
Marc-Andre Gragnani
Zack Kassian
To Buffalo Sabres
Cody Hodgson
Alexander Sulzer

Draft picksEdit

Buffalo's picks at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

Round # Player Position Nationality College/Junior/Club Team (League)
1 16 Joel Armia Right Wing   Finland Ässät (SM-liiga)
3 77 Daniel Catenacci Center   Canada Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL)
4 107 Colin Jacobs Center   United States Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL)
5 137 Alex Lepkowski Defense   United States Barrie Colts (OHL)
6 167 Nathan Lieuwen Goaltender   Canada Kootenay Ice (WHL)
7 197 Brad Navin Center   United States Waupaca High School (USHS-WI)

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ National Hockey League (2010). The National Hockey League Official Guide & Record Book/2011. Triumph Books. p. 27. ISBN 978-1-60078-422-4.
  2. ^ "Sabres name Pominville as captain". October 6, 2011. Archived from the original on June 17, 2013. Retrieved May 7, 2013.
  3. ^ "New digs honor Sabres' past". Retrieved October 24, 2011.
  4. ^ "NHL's Sabres to rename arena First Niagara Center". Retrieved October 24, 2011.
  5. ^ "Bruins bounce Sabres for fifth consecutive win". ESPN. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
  6. ^ Miller skeptical of Milan Lucic
  7. ^ Harrington, Mike (January 29, 2012). "First-half follies have Sabres stuck in the breakdown lane". The Buffalo News. Retrieved January 30, 2012.
  8. ^ Morreale, Mike. "Pominville excited to spend time among All-Stars". NHL.com. National Hockey League. Retrieved January 30, 2012.
  9. ^ "POMINVILLE & ADAM SELECTED TO ALL-STAR GAME". NHL.com. National Hockey League. Retrieved January 30, 2012.
  10. ^ 4, Sabres 2
  11. ^ 2, Devils 1, SO
  12. ^ 3, Wild 1
  13. ^ "Sabres climb past Caps, into 8th as Ryan Miller saves 44". ESPN.com. ESPN. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
  14. ^ "Crosby leads Penguins to 5-3 win in Buffalo". NHL.com. NHL.com. Retrieved April 2, 2012.
  15. ^ "Leafs damage Sabres' playoff hopes with 4-3 win". NHL.com. National Hockey League. Retrieved April 2, 2012.
  16. ^ Vogl, John (April 3, 2012). "Sabres display wow factor". The Buffalo News. Retrieved April 4, 2012.
  17. ^ "Bruins top Sabres 4-3 in season-ending shootout". NHl.com. National Hockey League. Retrieved April 9, 2012.
  18. ^ "AVERAGE PAID ATTENDANCE AT AN ALL-TIME HIGH FOR SABRES IN 2011-12". Sabres.com. NHL.com. Retrieved April 5, 2012.
  19. ^ Three Stars: Miller, Kronwall, Emery earn honors
  20. ^ Malkin, Miller, Ovechkin named week's Three Stars
  21. ^ Sabres' Foligno named Rookie of the Month
  22. ^ Flyers' Bryzgalov earns First Star for March
  23. ^ "Sabres Boyes hits 500 games in a row tonight". Archived from the original on April 15, 2012. Retrieved October 28, 2011.
  24. ^ Reitz, Mark (November 23, 2011). "Ironman Brad Boyes "out for a period of time"". NBC Sports. Retrieved December 21, 2011.
  25. ^ "Buffalo Sabres - Team - Roster". Retrieved April 7, 2012.
  26. ^ SABRES ACQUIRE REGEHR, KOTALIK AND 2012 SECOND ROUND PICK FROM CALGARY
  27. ^ BUFFALO SABRES ACQUIRE RIGHTS TO NEGOTIATE WITH CHRISTIAN EHRHOFF
  28. ^ SABRES TRADE MONTADOR'S NEGOTIATING RIGHTS
  29. ^ a b SABRES ACQUIRE HODGSON, SULZER, FIRST-ROUND DRAFT PICK AT TRADE DEADLINE
  30. ^ SABRES SIGN VILLE LEINO
  31. ^ a b c SABRES SIGN MacINTYRE, WHITMORE AND STUART
  32. ^ a b SABRES SIGN RYAN AND SZCZECHURA
  33. ^ a b SABRES INK FORWARDS BOYCHUK, PARKER
  34. ^ SABRES SIGN JOE FINLEY
  35. ^ SABRES SIGN VARONE TO ENTRY-LEVEL CONTRACT
  36. ^ SABRES AGREE TO TERMS WITH FORWARD BRIAN FLYNN TO NHL CONTRACT
  37. ^ Leafs Sign Tim Connolly
  38. ^ Vancouver Canucks sign Nolan Baumgartner and Mark Mancari
  39. ^ Rob Niedermayer will play in Switzerland next season
  40. ^ Bulletin: Senators sign forward Mark Parrish to a one-year contract
  41. ^ Bulletin: Senators sign defenceman Tim Conboy to a one-year contract
  42. ^ LALIME RETIRES, WILL WORK ON RDS HOCKEY BROADCASTS
  43. ^ GRIER ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT AFTER MORE THAN 1,000 NHL GAMES
  44. ^ SABRES SIGN 2009 DRAFT PICK BRAYDEN McNABB
  45. ^ SABRES AGREE TO TERMS WITH MARCUS FOLIGNO
  46. ^ SABRES SIGN 2010 FIRST-ROUND PICK MARK PYSYK
  47. ^ SABRES AGREE TO TERMS WITH DREW STAFFORD
  48. ^ SABRES GET THEIR MAN
  49. ^ SABRES AGREE TO TERMS WITH NATHAN GERBE
  50. ^ SABRES SIGN CHRISTIAN EHRHOFF TO A LONG-TERM CONTRACT
  51. ^ SABRES RE-SIGN CODY McCORMICK
  52. ^ SABRES RE-SIGN DEFENSEMAN MIKE WEBER
  53. ^ a b SABRES RE-SIGN PERSSON AND TURNBULL
  54. ^ a b SEKERA AND ELLIS SIGN MULTI-YEAR DEALS
  55. ^ ENROTH AGREES TO TERMS ON MULTI-YEAR DEAL
  56. ^ SABRES LOCK UP GRAGNANI FOR ANOTHER YEAR
  57. ^ SEVENTH (HOCKEY) HEAVEN
  58. ^ Sabres sign Matt MacKenzie
  59. ^ SABRES SIGN PROSPECT KEVIN SUNDHER
  60. ^ SABRES INK GAUTHIER-LEDUC TO ENTRY LEVEL CONTRACT
  61. ^ a b "SABRES AGREE TO TERMS WITH CATENACCI AND KNAPP". Sabres.com. NHL.com. Retrieved April 4, 2012.