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Howard Simon's Blog - Archive
Race for 30th

This week in the race for 30th

For all intents and purposes, the race for 30th could come to an end this week.

Sabres and Coyotes numbers are ugly

Befitting teams that are 29th and 30th in the NHL standings, the Arizona Coyotes and Buffalo Sabres have put up some horrible numbers this season.


Bills building a better offense

For years the offense has been the bane of the Buffalo Bills existence.  Despite the big question mark at quarterback, the Bills offense will be better in 2015 due to big moves at other positions.

This week in the race for 30th

The Race for 30th is down to just 10 games in 20 days.  Buckle up Sabres fans.


Sabres, Oilers, Coyotes all doing their best to finish 30th

And down the stretch they come!!! The Buffalo Sabres, Edmonton Oilers and Arizona Coyotes are doing some serious losing as they fight tooth and nail for the 30th place finish.

UB hoopsters make school history

This is what University at Buffalo Athletics Director Danny White had in mind when he hired Bobby Hurley to coach the mens basketball team.  

How do Sabres stack up with Arizona and Edmonton?

Here we go! The trade deadline has passed and the rosters are set for the home stretch in the race for 30th. So how do the Buffalo Sabres, Arizona Coyotes and Edmonton Oilers stack up in terms of the roster and their remaining schedule?


This week in the race for 30th

To use a NASCAR analogy, the Buffalo Sabres, Arizona Coyotes and Edmonton Oilers are racing three wide going into the final laps in the race for 30th.


Raising Arizona? Its more like sinking Arizona in race for 30th.

I want you to mark down March 26th and March 30th on your calendar.  It looks like they'll be two of the biggest days in Buffalo sports history.  

My stress level is rising

Last week I did something I never thought I'd do.


This week in the race for 30th

The race for 30th has tightened as the NHL season moves into the final week of February.


Sabres prospect Reinhart having strong season in juniors

He may be out of sight but Sam Reinhart is certainly not out mind when it comes to the Buffalo Sabres.


This week in the race for 30th

The Buffalo Sabres have a season high six point lead in the race for 30th as this week begins.

The week that was in Buffalo sports

It was quite a week in Buffalo sports.  The Bills made a controversial signing and the Sabres pulled off one of the biggest trades in franchise history. 

This week in the race for 30th

Is the race for 30th down to just two teams? With two months left in the regular season, there's some separation at the bottom of the NHL standings.

Bobby Hurley has UB Bulls clicking

The University at Buffalo Mens basketball team picked a perfect time to go on a win streak.


JW: Party Crashers

Well, well, well...what do we have here?  Is that a crowd of the Stanley Cup Pretenders knocking on our door, trying to get into our basement party?  Chatter around the NHL seems to indicate that several teams are ready to power down on Mission McDavid.  What do you say we all get to know each other?

McEichel update

Here's the latest on race for 30th:


Seahawks explain their play call

Are you wondering why the Seattle Seahawks brain trust decided to pass the ball on second and goal from the Patriots one yard line?

Sabres hoping history repeats

For those of you who are still struggling with what the Sabres are doing(and I think its down to a very small number), here's a little historical perspective. 

Former Bills GM Bill Polian headed to Hall of Fame

Time for Bills fans to make another trip to Canton, Ohio for a Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony.  Bill Polian, the architect of the Bills four straight AFC Championship teams in the early 1990's, has been elected to the Hall of Fame a

Fomer Bills GM Polian headed to Hall of Fame

Time for Bills fans to make another trip to Canton, Ohio for a Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

Former Bills GM hoping for call from Hall of Fame

On Saturday, the architect of the Buffalo Bills four consecutive AFC Championship teams could receive the greatest individual honor in pro football. 

Sabres making Buffalo a hockey destination

Some big hockey events could be making their way to Buffalo in the next few years.  Click here to find out more.


The Race for 30th Place

While most hockey observers will spend the rest of the season focusing on the race for the 16 playoff spots, many of us will be intensely tracking the race for 30th.  

McDavid and Eichel are 1-2 in midterm rankings

NHL Central Scouting Director Dan Marr was a guest on WGR. Hear what he had to say about Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel.


Bills better off after crazy 16 day stretch

When Rex Ryan was officially introduced as the new Head Coach of the Buffalo Bills, it brought to an end a two week stretch that was among the craziest in franchise history. 

Bills new stadium study

A study commissioned by New York State has produced a short list of four locations for a possible new stadium for the Buffalo Bills. Here is a link to the 141 page study:

Bills filling out coaching staff

The Buffalo Bills have announced a number of hires for Rex Ryan's coaching staff.


Bills GM likes the Ryan/Roman combination

Bills General Manager Doug Whaley covered a wide range of topics during a segment on WGR on Thursday. Click here to find out more.

Rex Ryan Day One: My favorite answers

When we spoke with members of the New York city media to find out more about Rex Ryan, they all told us the same thing.  He will win the press conferences.  It doesn't amount to anything in terms of how the Bills will play and that ultimatel

Bills looking at OL coaching candidates

Fixing the offensive line is likely on the Bills off season list of things to do. Getting a new offensive line coach is apparently part of the repair plan.

Bills lose Schwartz

Jim Schwartz is one and done as Buffalo Bills Defensive Coordinator.

Sabres' Hasek was one of a kind

When you work in our business, you learn not to get carried away by the athletes you meet while covering games.  Getting a chance to watch and later interview some of the greatest players of their sport comes with the job.  Don't get me wron

Bravo Bills!

To quote former New York Jets linebacker Bart Scott, "can't wait".  That's how I feel about the Bills decision hire Rex Ryan as their next Head Coach.  

Bills get Rex Ryan as new Head Coach

From Broadway to Off Broadway? Rex Ryan is reportedly making the move from New York to Buffalo, agreeing to become the next Head Coach of the Buffalo Bills. 

Sabres are who we thought they were

If you're wondering what has happened to the Buffalo Sabres over the last few weeks, the answer can be found in a famous comment from former NFL Coach Dennis Green, who once said "they are what we thought they were."


Bills 2015 opponents set

With the Bills finishing second in the AFC East, the final pieces were put into place for the 2015 schedule. 

Bills finale makes no difference

Sorry Bills fans,  but that game meant absolutely nothing to me.  

Bills new owner faces big decisions

When the Bills 2014 season comes to an end in New England on Sunday, another new chapter in franchise history will begin.  


One week after an exhilarating victory over the Green Bay Packers and on a day when the out of town scoreboard played out perfectly, the Bills once again ripped the hearts out of their fans.  So what did we learn?

AFC Playoffs: What you need to know

Here is everything you need to know for this weekend as far as the Bills, playoff standings, tiebreaker rules and who to root for.

AFC playoff standings


Division Leaders

[y] Patriots

[y] Broncos

[y] Colts



Bills pull off a shocker


JW: All-22 Review - Playmaker Wanted

The Bills loss in Denver was the latest to highlight the fact that the Bills are lacking an elite play maker at quarterback.  From the 3rd-and-1 slide, to deep shots that they don't take, the Bills offense is crying out for a quarterback that will step up and make a play.  Check this week's All-22 to see what's missing, and also to debunk the NFL conspiracy theorists.

Sabres' Hodgson having season to forget

On a Buffalo Sabres team that struggles to produce on offense, Cody Hodgson's nightmarish season is making matters worse.

Bills back to square one at quarterback...again!

The Bills can now officially add "get a quarterback" to their list of things to do this off season.

AFC Playoff Race Primer

Here's some handy information to help you out on Sunday.  First, the current AFC standings and then the remaining schedules for the Bills and the rest of the teams fighting for a playoff spot as well as the combined won-loss record of those teams

What has gotten into the Sabres?

What in the name of winning hockey is going on with the Sabres?  How do you explain a team that was 3-13-2, winning 5 of its last 6 games?


Darry Talley's struggles hit Bills fans hard

If you were a fan of the Buffalo Bills in the late 1980's and into the 1990's, reading the story about the struggles of Darryl Talley hit you hard.  REALLY hard. 

Bills game turns on 3 straight plays

In the first half, the Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns were putting their respective fan bases to sleep. But three consecutive plays in the third quarter sent the Ralph Wilson Stadium crowd into a frenzy and the Bills on to victory.

Bills offense needs to come alive

The Buffalo Bills offense has hit the skids at a most inopportune time.  Their inability to get into the end zone is the main reason why the Bills dropped back to back critical games and went from playoff contention to a team looking for a miracle. 

JW: All-22 Review - Bills/Chiefs

The Bills loss to the Chiefs will likely be remembered for fumbles and fourth downs.  This week's All-22 review from Jeremy White will showcase the Bills success in the run game, why the Bills should #PayJerryHughesMoney, and the misfires from Kyle Orton that played into the heartbreak.

Not again! Come on Bills!

You'd think we'd be able to handle games like this since we've had so much experience with them but they get more sickening every time the Bills find a creative way to lose a crucial contest.  

Bills top story lines

There are a number of interesting story lines that have emerged through the first half of the Buffalo Bills 2014 season but there's no question which story is at the top of the list.  

Bills get an important win

Sure there were some exasperating moments but I feel much better after the Bills win over the New York Jets than I did after the last second victory over Minnesota one week earlier. 

All-22 Review Bills/Vikings - Watching Watkins

In the span of one week, Bills WR Sammy Watkins went from forgotten man, to focal point.  Unleashed upon the Vikings secondary, Watkins set highs in targets, receptions, touchdowns, and yards.  Watching Watkins proves to be a lot of fun in this week's All-22 Review.  

Bills get miraculous win

I was coming to grips with the 2014 Bills season essentially coming to an end in week seven.  Then Kyle Orton and the Bills offense produced a miracle ending.   

JW: All-22 Review - Bills/Patriots

The New England Patriots made a point of exploiting the Bills inabiilty to defend Rob Gronkowski.  The Buffalo Bills largely ignored their budding superstar wideout.  How huge was Gronk?  How much was Watkins ignored?  It's all part of this week's All-22 Review with Jeremy White.

It wasn't Pegula Day, it was Groundhog Day for the Bills

That darn Lucy. She did it to us again.  

JW: All-22 Review - Bills/Lions

The Buffalo Bills opened the Kyle Orton era with a road win, as he passed the 300 yard mark in his first start with the team.  Orton's game got better as the game progressed, while the Bills front four was fantastic from start to finish.  Jeremy White takes a look at Orton's efficiency, the defensive dominance, and CJ Spiller's struggles in this week's All-22

Bills get up from canvas with huge win

The roller coaster ride of emotions for Bills nation continues.  Sky high after a 2-0 start, then down in the dumps after back to back losses, Bills fans are once again experiencing a natural high after a great win in Detroit.

JW: All-22 Review - Kyle Orton

The Bills have turned things over to Kyle Orton for Sunday's game in Detroit.  Orton didn't play at any point during the preseason, and didn't work with the team in training camp either.  However, he's not too far removed from a solid performance in a meaningful game.  Jeremy White checks out Orton's last start in a bonus All-22 Review.

JW: All-22 Review Bills/Texans

EJ Manuel's performance against the Houston Texans has brought about a change at quarterback.  In this week's review of the All-22, Jeremy White looks into Manuel's struggles, the chaos wrought by JJ Watt, and what Kyle Orton has ahead of him.  

Manuel is setting fire to my plan

EJ Manuel is making life very difficult.  Unfortunately he isn't making it difficult on the opposition, something NFL quarterbacks are supposed to do.  The Bills second year QB is making the Bills fan base squirm. 

JW: All-22 Review Bills/Chargers

The development of a young quarterback will, quite often, feature ups and downs early on, and EJ Manuel's performance in the Bills loss to San Diego was most certainly a down.  This week's All-22 review from Jeremy White highlights just how many things went wrong for the Bills, and how the Chargers so effectively attacked EJ Manuel.

Bills offense flatlines in loss to Chargers

You know its not a good day for the Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium when you can only remember one time where a crowd of about 68 thousand people seemed really loud.

All-22 Review - Bills/Dolphins

At 2-0 the Bills are talking an awful lot about team balance.  In beating the Miami Dolphins, and more specifically neutralizing Cameron Wake, we're able to get a feel for what that means.  Wake was kept quiet, and Jeremy White shows how the Bills were able to do it in this week's All-22 Review.

Bills pay tribute to Ralph Wilson with a win he would have loved

On a day when the Bills honored the late Ralph Wilson, the best tribute of all for the only owner the franchise had known, was  a win over the team Wilson loved to see his club beat, the Miami Dolphins.

Its a great day to be a Bills fan

In 25 years of working in Buffalo/Western New York media, there was never a moment for me like this morning.  

Bills opening day victory provides much needed pick me up

It is only one win but did we ever need that!

What did we learn from UB in season opening win?

So what did we learn from game one of the University at Buffalo 2014 footballs season?  I learned a number of things, although the first item I already knew before the game even started. Joe Licata is good.  

Bills GM pinpoints growth in Manuel

When Buffalo Bills General Manager Doug Whaley made a bold draft day move to go get Sammy Watkins, many said his decision to give up a first round pick in the 2015 draft was basically doubling down on EJ Manuel.   

Role for Bills WR Robert Woods not diminished

Three games into the pre-season, there's some good news and bad news for the Bills first string offense.  The good news is the offense is moving the ball.  The bad news is the offense isn't moving the ball across the goal line.
Watch Sammy Watkins fake a Steelers defensive back out of his uniform.

Bills' Chandler says Watkins is "real deal"

In an effort to bolster the offense, the Bills brought in some new running backs and wide receivers in the off season.  But they stayed with a familiar face atop the tight end portion of the depth chart.


UB football looking to build off 2013 success

After an 8 win campaign and second ever bowl appearance in 2013, the UB Bulls are looking to continue that success.  Click here to see what Jeff Quinn has to say about the upcoming season.

You'll love the new look Ralph Wilson Stadium

If the Buffalo Bills are going to stay in Western New York beyond the current lease, I honestly believe they will need a new stadium. In the meantime, you are going to love the new look Ralph Wilson Stadium. 

Bills RB Dixon not just here for special teams

You might wonder why Anthony Dixon opted to sign with the Buffalo Bills last March in free agency.  After all, he left a San Francisco 49ers team that had been to a Super Bowl and 2 other NFC Championship games over the last three seasons.  

Bills need to give Manuel more work

It was not a good 2014 debut for EJ Manuel in Canton last night.  What made it worse was the decision to treat Manuel like a quarterback who didn't need the work. 

HOF weekend all about emotion and pride

As I was watching the Pro Football Hall of Fame gold jacket dinner last night, I could hear Chad Pennington's voice in my head. 

Bills' Manuel studied tape of 5 NFL QB's in off season

EJ Manuel paid a visit to the WGR morning show during Bills training camp coverage on Thursday.  Click here to find out which NFL quarterbacks he studied closely during the off season.

Report: Toronto group can't match Pegula bid for Bills

Could plans for the Jon Bon Jovi/Toronto group to buy the Buffalo Bills be dead in the water? That would seem to be the case according to a report in the Toronto Sun.  

Bills' Fred Jackson expects big season from ground game

In his 9th training camp as a member of the Buffalo Bills, Fred Jackson has seen a lot over the last eight summers at St. John Fisher College. He's not panicking over a slow start by the offense less than two weeks into camp.

Bills OC looking for quicker trigger from Manuel

Bills Offensive Coordinator Nathaniel Hackett must smile every time he looks down at the roster.  Hackett doesn't lack for weapons as he prepares to guide the Bills offense for a second season. 

Bills center optimistic about QB and OL

A mystery illness has the best player in the group on the sideline.  There will be at least one new starter, quite likely two and an outside shot at three.  Welcome, Bills offensive line, to the first week of training camp.  

Bidders will be "pleasantly surprised" by Bills' financials

When the process of bidding on the Buffalo Bills gets down to the nitty gritty, one sports business expert predicts there'll be roughly a dozen parties with serious interest and a "very healthy bidding".

5 key questions about the 2014 Bills

With the opening of training camp just days away, Howard Simon has the five most important questions concerning the 2014 Buffalo Bills.

JW - Poor Asset Management with Ehrhoff

The Buffalo Sabres buyout of Christian Ehrhoff has come as a shock to many fans, and with good reason.  It would appear that the Sabres just gave away one of their most valuable assets because of a fear of a doomsday scenario that might never come, and might never matter.

Packers Prez: "Everybody wants to see it work in Buffalo"

When it comes time for NFL owners to vote on the sale of the Buffalo Bills, how much will history and market size matter in determining the next owner?

Those questions were posed to Green Bay Packers President and Western New York native Mark Murphy during an interview on WGR Thursday.

Murphy, who will cast the Packers vote when it comes to deciding the Bills new owner, said money will

Bills special teams need bounce back year

As we approach the opening of training camp, what do the Bills special teams have to do better in 2014?  Click here to find out.

Bills defense has two big holes to fill in 2014

The defense should be the strongest part of the 2014 Buffalo Bills but that doesn't mean there aren't key questions facing the unit as training camp approaches.  

Bills don't need billion dollar stadium

One of the more famous lines from the movie "Field of Dreams" is "if you build it, he will come".  When it comes to the future of the Buffalo Bills, we can ask "if we build it, will they stay?"

Lt. Governor: 90-100% certain Bills will stay in WNY

As the sale of the Bills moves towards a conclusion, possibly by mid July, New York State's second in command is very optimistic about the future of the franchise in Western New York.


Rangers berth in Cup Finals helps ease my guilt

It has been so long since a team I root for reached the ultimate series in its league's playoffs, I forgot how cool it is. 

Thurman Thomas optimistic about future of Bills in WNY

Thurman Thomas is optimistic when it comes to the long term future of the Buffalo Bills.  Click here and listen to what Thomas told WGR were the reasons for his optimism.


JW: View from the top

You say that this season of Sabres hockey has robbed you of your sanity.  You’ve likely felt rage, sadness, despair, and worst of all…indifference.  In exchange for your “suffering” you’re going to get one of the best 18-year-old hockey players in the world.  Jeremy White has a primer on this year's crop.

JW: What's one more loss?

Tuesday night the NHL will reveal the winner of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft Lottery, and we know the Buffalo Sabres are in position to pick either #1 or #2.  How much of a drop off is there in that one spot? We've already seen 51 losses this season, 61 if you count overtime and shootouts.  How bad is one more?

JW: What's one more loss?

Tuesday night the NHL will reveal the winner of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft Lottery, and we know the Buffalo Sabres are in position to pick either #1 or #2.  How much of a drop off is there in that one spot? We've already seen 51 losses this season, 61 if you count overtime and shootouts.  How bad is one more?
With the gap down to 4 points and Toronto at FNC tomorrow, what do you think?
  Don't sweat it. We'll get this.
  This will be one of the biggest Buffalo heartbreakers ever.
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