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#Duffalo: Music, Heroes & A Plate Full of Schnitzel

Brian Duff catches you up on life on the ice, off the ice, on the road and in the community

by Brian Duff @duffersabres /


4-4-1: That is the Sabres record since the last #Duffalo was offered up three weeks ago in the wee hours of the morning in the Pacific time zone, on the heels of an overtime loss in Calgary.

In a trip that literally lacked sunshine, even this rainbow was awash with gray:

 Jujubes and unicorns were also hard to find.

But in more recent times, despite dropping two of the past three, the Sabres did manage to win four out of five, showing exactly what they're capable of.

And in the past six games, Jake McCabe's presence continues to grow. In fact, it was in the sixth game of his NHL career back in 2014 that McCabe gave us the first glimpse of what we're seeing more often now.

McCabe Hit

McCabe is averaging about 18 minutes per game these last half dozen. He's chipped in a couple of assists and is plus-4 over that time. And his fancy stats are the best in his D-group.

And the more we (Brad May and I) see him, the more we see an outstanding teammate for this Sabres club.

(For the record, Mayday and I also disagree with the tripping call he was assessed in Boston Monday night, but that's for another day.)

And if McCabe wasn't plying his trade in Buffalo these days, there's a pretty good chance he would have found himself amidst the millions in Chicago who celebrated the Cubs' first World Series win since 1908.

"Fantastic" was his response to my "How are you doing?" the morning after Game 7.

"It was pretty insane!" McCabe, a Wisconsin native, confessed. "Honestly, when they tied it up in the 8th I just thought, it's Cleveland's year. Cavs won it. I had that feeling going into it. I hate to say it but, you know, they stuck with it.

"I was watching with my girlfriend. She's from Chicago and even more of a Cubs fan. But I've been a Cubs fan pretty much my whole life and now living in Chicago this past summer, and how good they've been, it's hard not to be even more of a fan. And for it to be 108 years is...just insane."


Can't thank our co-workers enough for all their efforts that went into another powerful Hockey Fights Cancer Night.

Video: Hockey Fights Cancer 2016

As you know, this is a League-wide initiative, and we were honored to be a part of it in Ottawa on Saturday night.

This article by an old friend of mine Wayne Scanlan, should help you understand what this Senators team has had to - and continues to - face.

And this video is a must watch.

I wish you could have felt the ovation for 13-year-old Justin Leblanc when made his way out to center ice.

Josh Gorges certainly did.

As we were quietly making our way through the customs line at the Ottawa Airport after the game, Josh turned to me and said, "How incredible was that kid in the pregame tonight?" 

As parents, our conversation continued - all inspired by Justin, and those in the fight. It's a little chit-chat I'll never forget with a character player and person.


Philadelphia marked a return to the scene of my first beverage from a copper mug.


Had to bring "The 'Barber" to give him some historical perspective.


The Twin Cities summoned a return to the concert scene, and an Uber ride from St. Paul to Minneapolis brought us to a really cool club: Mill City Nights


Videographer Ben Woody and I had a blast at the Yellowcard farewell tour show. The violin always wins, and it did again on this night.   

And yes, I did scream my lungs out during "Only One."


And I bought the hoodie.


It was great night in Ottawa last weekend for a number of reasons. Not the least of which was MayDay's desire for schnitzel...I mean...sausage.

Brad and Marty Biron had our whole group howling with old-time hockey stories Friday night, all at a restaurant, Central Bierhaus, where my dear friend Jason Campbell works as a sous-chef.

I met Jason 18 years ago when I was working for an Ottawa radio station, and he was a 16 year old battling cancer. All he's done since is survive and give back.

As someone who lived those awful years in the oncology wing of the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), Jason knew what the kids didn't have, and what could boost their spirits. For 15 years, Jason worked tirelessly to organize his own annual golf tournament - with all the proceeds going to CHEO. But not in the form of a check. 

Jason would take the money, go to stores, and purchase everything the kids could have wanted - TV's, DVD players, video games, books, you name it. And then deliver it without fail to these brave young warriors.

If you hear me speak of cancer survivors as heroes, think of Jason. I certainly do.

Not a bad Sunday in Beantown. We managed to get tickets to the second of back-to-back sold-out shows for St. Paul and the Broken Bones, and what a cool Southern soul band they are.


With St. Louis on the horizon, this bluesy, soul-filled kinda night may happen again!


Our community and our country lost a hero recently. Thirty-year-old Andrew D. Byers - a Green Beret Army Captain and Clarence High School graduate - was killed in northern Afghanistan last week.

Our thoughts are with the Byers family, and all of those who knew him.

A private service for Byers will be held on Friday - Veterans Day - just a short time before our Military Appreciation Night at KeyBank Center. 

Please join us in paying tribute to those who have served and preserved our freedom. All Active Duty, Reserve, National Guard, Veteran and Retired Military personnel can find a special $25 ticket offer for the game here.


Thanksgiving is fast approaching. A time for family, and like the holiday implies - a time for giving. 

As the years have gone on, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become huge days for consumers. But a more recent trend has seen not-for-profits focus their efforts and fundraising on #GivingTuesday.

As many of you may know, for five years now, I've been a part of the Alix Rice Peace Park Foundation, with our goal of building a skatepark (at the Northtown Center in Amherst) in honor of Alix.

As part of our November 29th #GivingTuesday campaign, we're hoping that you or your family would be interested in purchasing a brick to help build the park, and ensure its viability in the community for a lifetime. Please view our online form, which can also be found at



For the period ending November 8 

1.   Our military men and women
2.   Our heroes battling, treating and beating cancer
3.   Our community and the values we share.

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