Gottlieb says FDA approval for younger youngsters by Halloween potential

Aidan Mohl, 13, will be born on November 11th.

Christopher Aluka Berry | Reuters

Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CNBC on Wednesday that it is still possible for the Food and Drug Administration to grant approval Pfizer and BioNTechCovid-19 vaccine for young children by Halloween.

“I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that this could come out in October,” said Gottlieb, who sits on Pfizer’s board of directors and served as FDA commissioner in the Trump administration for two years.

Pfizer submitted an initial Covid Vaccine study data for children ages 5 to 11 with the FDA on Tuesday, and the company should file a formal application for emergency approval “shortly,” Gottlieb said in an interview Wednesday “Squawk Box.”

The Food and Drug Administration has a lot of experience with the Pfizer vaccine, noted Gottlieb, adding that the Covid vaccination is for young children the same two-dose regimen like adults, but given in smaller amounts. The agency has already approved the recordings for Americans aged 12 and over.

“You saw a lot of clinical data,” he said. “I’ve said for a long time that October is a possibility, but it’s an optimistic possibility. If it fails, it could fall by mid-November.”

Gottlieb’s comments come a day after the Wall Street Journal reported that regulatory clearance of the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5-11 may not come before November.

Last week, Pfizer released new data showing that in a clinical study in children ages 5-11 years old, a two-dose 10 micrograms dose – one third of the dose for adolescents and adults – is safe and elicits a “robust” immune response .

Pfizer was expected to apply for emergency approval to use the vaccine in young children by the end of this month, but now the company says it will apply “in the coming weeks”.

That could mean the footage might not be available until November, when the FDA spends as much time reviewing the data for this age group as it does for 12-15 year olds. Pfizer and BioNTech filed for expanded use of their syringe in adolescents on April 9th ​​and were approved by the FDA on May 10th.

A Pfizer spokesman declined to comment on an approval schedule, saying the company couldn’t speculate on exactly when the FDA would make a decision on whether or not to approve the vaccine’s use.

“We are still on track to formally apply for EEA very soon,” Jerica Pitts told CNBC.

Approval couldn’t come sooner as children are starting the new school year, the Delta variant spills across America, and many parents are anxious to get their younger children vaccinated. The stress has led to an increase in hospital admissions in the United States, including among young children that currently cannot be vaccinated.

Disclosure: Scott Gottlieb is a CNBC employee and a member of the board of directors of Pfizer, genetic testing startup Tempus, health technology company Aetion, and biotechnology company Illumina. He is also co-chair of the Healthy Sail Panel of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and Royal Caribbean.

48% of Younger Folks Say They Are Spending Extra Cash in 2021, Finds New Knowledge From Clutch | State Information

WASHINGTON, August 26, 2021 / PRNewswire / – Nearly half of people between 18 and 34 (48%) say their spending increased in 2021, according to a new survey from Clutch, the leading B2B rating and review platform.

Clutch surveyed Americans to see if they were spending more or less than they did in 2020. The data shows that consumers are generally spending more than they did a year ago and that middle-aged people are used to shopping online.

After a year of saving, young Americans are ready to open their wallets, which experts attribute to the improved economic environment and a reduction in COVID-related restrictions.

Some experts say that young people are particularly likely to spend more on travel expenses before some COVID restrictions are reintroduced.

“There is ongoing concern that we could face another lockdown in our area, especially as the weather turns cooler,” said Barker. “Millennials try to use this time to see as many new places as possible.”

Middle-aged people who spend more money online

Half of 35 to 54 year olds (50%) say their online spending increased in 2021. By comparison, only 43% of people between 18 and 34 and 37% of those aged 55 and over reported higher online spending that year.

Experts say the reduced in-person commerce during COVID-19 has made middle-aged consumers more comfortable shopping online.

“Before the pandemic, most middle-aged people did their shopping and grocery shopping in person,” said Cindy Corpis, CEO of SearchPeopleFree, a software development company. “But there has been a shift towards online shopping since the pandemic.”

Corpis believes the increase in online shopping by middle-aged consumers is a strong sign of the future of e-commerce.

“When the highest income age group begins to migrate to online shopping, sales and profits for e-commerce stores will soon increase significantly,” said Corpis.

If you have any questions about the survey or comments on the findings, please contact Anna Peck at

Clutch is the leading rating and review platform for IT, marketing and business service providers. Over half a million service buyers and sellers use the Clutch platform every month, and the user base is growing at over 50% annually. Clutch was named one of the 500 Fastest Growing Companies in the US by Inc. Magazine and was listed as a Top 50 Startup by LinkedIn.

Younger Sonoma artist brings in new model

Art is hard, but some people can make it look easy. At least that’s what the presentation school student Charlie Wilhelm does. Charlie is now 13 years old and has always loved drawing, and during the time of the accommodation he used the newfound free time to develop his own drawing style.

Using a number, Charlie creates portraits of various people, including his mother Ann. His mother’s favorite number is 22, so for Christmas he drew a portrait of her from the number 22.

“If it’s dark in an area here, I’ll put several layers of the number there,” Charlie said. “If it’s the eye, like the pupil, I make numbers super small, or if it’s a wide or fairly large area that I’m trying to cover to pass the time, I make bigger numbers.”

The process of drawing can be slow, but the end result is wonderful. In addition to his parents, Charlie also draws famous athletes such as Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan.

“I think it’s the easiest to do with them. They already have a number and that’s something like what it represents. ”Charlie added.

Two months into the pandemic, he retired to his room for hours and returned with a great creation.

“I think it’s a great escape from other things. I can just do it for a while and I won’t really get bored. I think I hopefully want to keep doing this for a long time, ”said Charlie.

In addition to his numbered drafts, Charlie also spends time with ordinary sketches, the quality of which is anything but ordinary. Charlie, his father an architect and his mother a designer, made sketches for years, and talented ones at that.

“I think he’s always had a passion for it,” said Charlie’s mother Ann Wilhelm. “For birthdays or Christmas we gave him doodle notebooks and pens and charcoal pencils, and he started creating crazy, amazing masterpieces.”

Now that his work is growing, Charlie takes orders to fund a new mountain bike. On his behalf, Ann Wilhelm created an Instagram page for Charlie to show off his artwork. Despite his talent, Charlie was initially shy about his artwork.

“He’s starting to understand his talent; It’s cool, he gets great comments and people are following him on Instagram now and I think he likes that part, ”added Ann Wilhelm.

At the moment, Charlie and Ann Wilhelm see this as a hobby for Charlie, not as the be-all and end-all for him. But just because they don’t want to climb higher doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy the view from where they are.

“With people hiring him now, I told Charlie I think you need a signature now,” Anne joked at times. “Everyone says we’re watermarking all of these photos of me, but it’s just a hobby, obviously a talented person with a hobby.”

If you take orders now, you can find Charlie Wilhelm on Instagram at wilhelm_charlie or send an email to

NFL agent Andy Simms strikes on from Younger Cash, will get again to working his personal company

Andy Simms has spent most of his career as an NFL agent running his own agency.

The Hawken High School graduate and resident of Solon is doing just that again after he and four of his colleagues parted ways with Young Money and formed APAA Sports 1 of 1 agency.

Young Money, owned by renowned rapper Lil Wayne, acquired a majority stake in PlayersRep Sports Management in 2017. PlayersRep, which Simms co-founded with Wesley Spencer, had been in the business since 1999. Then Simms’ first client, former NFL defender Chike Okeafor, became about to graduate from Fall Western Reserve University’s law school.

In early 2018, after Simms and five other PlayersRep agents partnered with Young Money, Simms told Crain’s that “the ability to build our clients’ brands” was a primary reason for the move. However, the past few years have encouraged Simms that his group had to be in charge.

“There were things that were great, but there were things that we realized we could do better,” said Simms of his time at Young Money. “Ultimately, I knew that in order to build a company for the next 10 years we were looking ahead, building it our way, doing things the way we needed to, and being in control of all these aspects of our business, really is what we need back to. “

Six agents switched from PlayersRep to Young Money. Five – Simms, Spencer, Ken Sarnoff, Cody Recchion and Dave Lee – will continue to represent the 50 NFL players who move from Young Money to 1 of 1. Nicole Lynn, who was also part of the PlayersRep and Young Money teams, left Wayne’s company shortly before the NFL draft to join Klutch Sports as the agency’s new president of the agency’s football operations.

Marketing and branding the athletes they represent – crucial elements that led to the young money deal – are still important areas that need improvement, Simms said.

“At 1 in 1, we were able to assemble a team with more in-house marketing options, more digital graphics, and more off-field opportunities to help players in so many different ways that we weren’t equipped to do.” do either as PlayersRep or as Young Money, “said Simms.

The great thing about the new agency is that all the athletes have moved with the five agents.

The group includes Jalen Hurts, a sophomore quarterback who could be the Philadelphia Eagles’ future in that position; Lane Johnson, three-time Pro Bowl tackle for the Eagles; the McCourty twins Devin and Jason; Pro Bowl tight end Darren Waller; outstanding wide receiver Tyler Boyd; Kansas City Chiefs Speedster Mecole Hardman; and Chiefs Defensive Lineman Jarran Reed.

“Business was good before Young Money, it was good when we were with Young Money, and now that we’ve moved on from Young Money, it’s getting even better,” said Simms. “The business of what we do as agents – how we look after the players, how we deal with the contracts, how we meet all of the needs of the players off the field – that’s just something we have to keep improving at, we’re coming Ahead.”

Younger ladies in Calera elevating cash to donate to Tallapoosa County Lady’s Ranch after lethal van crash

CALERA, Ala. (WBRC) – Two 8-year-olds in Calera sell lemonade to raise money for a donation to Tallapoosa County Girls Ranch.

Maggie Marling and Jamison Garzarek opened the lemonade stand just under a week ago and collected money cup for cup.

“I like to see the smiles on their faces,” said Jamison, “and knowing that they are loved and that we will take care of them.”

The girls collect money to help with the expenses afterwards fatal van accident on I-65 in Butler County count in June. 8 people on board died. The victims were 3 to 17 years old. Two other victims died in the wreck.

“We wanted to come up with a high number,” said Maggie, “like $ 200.”

But sales exceeded the target. The philanthropic duo is approaching $ 3,000.

“It’s probably hard for a child to imagine what happened – how tragic it is,” said George Marling. “But in their world, connecting and helping others is an important step.”

The girls plan to sell lemonade at the Main Street First Friday event in Calera on Friday at 5 p.m. They also accept donations through a Go Fund Account.

Copyright 2021 WBRC. All rights reserved.

CDC says there’s probably hyperlink between uncommon coronary heart irritation in younger individuals after Covid shot

The headquarters of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia.

Tami Chapel | Reuters

A CDC safety group said there was a “likely link” between rare heart inflammation in adolescents and young adults, mostly after they received their second Covid-19 vaccine, citing the latest available data.

There have been more than 1,200 cases of myocarditis or pericarditis, mostly in those under the age of 30 who Pfizer‘s or Modern ”s Covid vaccine, according to a series of slide presentations released Wednesday for a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Myocarditis is the inflammation of the heart muscle while pericarditis is the inflammation of the membrane that surrounds the heart.

“The clinical picture of myocarditis cases after vaccination was variable and most often appeared within a week of the second dose, with chest pain being the most common,” said Dr. Grace Lee, Chair of the Committee’s Security Group. CDC officials are collecting more data to fully understand the potential risks, how to deal with them and if there are any long-term issues, she said.

Zoom In Icon Arrows pointing outwards

The agency said 267 cases of myocarditis or pericarditis were reported after receiving one dose of the mRNA vaccines and 827 cases after two doses by June 11. There are 132 additional cases where the number of doses received is unknown, the CDC said.

The agency announced that around 300 million shots had been administered by June 11.

“This is still a rare occurrence,” said Dr. Tom Shimabukuro at the meeting. For both vaccines combined, there were 12.6 cases of heart inflammation per million doses. Cases were more common among Moderna vaccine recipients at 19.8 cases per million than eight cases per million at Pfizer, he said.

Men under 30 make up the bulk of cases, the CDC said, and most cases appear to be mild. Of the 295 people who developed the disease and were discharged, 79% made a full recovery, according to the presentation. Nine people were hospitalized, according to the agency, two of them in the intensive care unit.

CDC officials said the benefits of the Covid vaccine still outweigh the risks.

Cases in younger people are increasing as older people are vaccinated at higher rates. The US vaccinated 177.6 million people with at least one dose, according to the CDC, that’s about 53% of the population. Only 13.6% of 18- to 24-year-olds in the United States received at least one dose of vaccine, compared with 26% of people ages 50 to 64, the data shows.

While hospitalization rates have decreased in older age groups, they have barely moved in adolescents and young adults, said Dr. Megan Wallace from the CDC.

“Teenagers and young adults make up a larger proportion of the total cases, 33% of the cases reported in May were people ages 12-29, compared with 28% last December,” she said. Since the pandemic began, 2,767 people aged 12 to 29 have died of Covid, she said, noting that 316 of these deaths had occurred since April 1.

The CDC is coordinating its investigation with the Food and Drug Administration, which last month the PfizerBioNTech Vaccine for adolescents aged 12 to 15 years. Symptoms, which include chest pain and shortness of breath, typically develop within a week of receiving the vaccination, with most developing within four days, the agency said.

This is a developing story. Please check again for updates.

CNBC’s Rich Mendez contributed to this article.

Correction: Most of the cases of people who had myocarditis occurred in people under the age of 30. In a previous version, the age was incorrectly stated. The number of cases per million doses administered was 12.6. In an earlier version, the number was incorrectly specified.

Biden says delta Covid variant is ‘significantly harmful’ for younger individuals

President Joe Biden speaks in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington on Friday, June 18, 2021, regarding the achievement of 300 million COVID-19 vaccinations.

Evan Vucci | AP

president Joe Biden on Friday doubled his government’s request to Americans to get vaccinated Covid-19 The warning against the highly transferable delta variant appears “particularly dangerous” for young people.

“The data is clear: if you are not vaccinated, there is a risk that you will become seriously ill or die or spread,” Biden said during a White House press conference.

Delta, the variant of Covid identified for the first time in India, “will make unvaccinated people even more vulnerable than it was a month ago,” he added. “It’s a more easily transmissible, potentially more deadly, and particularly dangerous variant for young people.”

Biden said that young people can best protect themselves by getting fully vaccinated.

“Please, please, when you have a shot, get the second shot as soon as you can,” he said.

The president’s remarks are his administration’s newest goal – to partially vaccinate 70% of U.S. adults by July 4th – is well on the way to missing as the vaccination rate slows down.

The chief scientist of the World Health Organization said on Friday that Delta to become the world’s dominant strain of the disease. This is due to its “significantly increased transferability,” said Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, WHO senior scientist, during a press conference.

Studies suggest that Delta is about 60% more transmissible than Alpha, the variant first identified in the UK that was more contagious than the original strain that emerged from Wuhan, China in late 2019.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, also said Friday that she expects Delta to become the predominant variant in the United States and urged people to get vaccinated. The variant now accounts for 10% of all new cases in the US, up from 6% last week, according to data from CDC.

“As worrying as this Delta strain is about its hypertransmittance, our vaccines are working,” Walensky told ABC’s Good Morning America. If you get vaccinated, “you will be protected against this Delta variant,” she added.

Health experts say the Delta strain is of particular concern for young people, many of whom do not yet need to be vaccinated. While scientists still don’t know if Delta is causing more serious symptoms, there are signs that it could cause different symptoms than other variants.

Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, said the Delta variant essentially replaced Alpha, the variant that swept Europe and later the US earlier this year. He said as the virus continues to mutate, the US will need a higher percentage of the vaccinated population.

“How much more information do we need to see this virus mutate and create viruses that are more contagious?” said Offit, also a member of the FDA’s Advisory Committee on Vaccines and Related Biological Products. “We have to vaccinate now. Let everyone vaccinate now.”

According to the CDC, as of Friday, more than 176 million Americans, or 53.1% of the population, had had at least one injection. More than 148 million Americans are fully vaccinated, according to the agency.

States have offers Incentives from free beer to $ 1 million worth of lotteries to convince Americans to get a prick.

On Friday, Biden announced some of these incentives, including the fact that most pharmacies offer 24-hour service on select days in June.

Younger brothers increase cash at lemonade stand to lease meals truck for Brooklyn first responders

BROOKLYN, Ohio – A few little brothers in Brooklyn make a huge impact on their community.

Gideon and Josiah Trank, ages eight and seven, have raised hundreds of dollars for first responders with their lemonade stand in the front yard.

On Friday they used their earnings to rent the Cocky’s Bagels food truck for the Brooklyn Police and Fire Department. The truck parked in front of the police station between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. serving bagel sandwiches and other goodies while the brothers took orders behind the counter.

“We love our heroes,” said Gideon. “We’re doing this because they’re probably hungry.”

This love for first responders was instilled in them by their parents Machelle and Avery Trank.

“My wife and I really convey to them that they support our first responders because whether you like them or not, they are the first to come and they are there for our community to help us for whatever reason always you’re dealing with, ”said Avery Trank, the boys’ father.

The boys have proven this love over the years with their lemonade stand. Last year the boys raised more than $ 700 for the families of fallen Cleveland Police Detective James Skernivitz and Officer Nick Sabo.

“You want to help raise money for families and contribute as much as possible,” said Trank.

A few weeks ago they had the idea of ​​renting a food truck for their local first responders in Brooklyn.

So the Potions called Natalie Bata, the co-owner of Cocky’s Bagels in North Olmsted, and asked how much they would have to raise to make this happen.

“So obviously my heart was overflowing with joy and I’m like absolute,” said Bata. “Collect $ 300 and we’ll do the rest.”

Bata said the Cocky’s food truck usually costs between $ 800 and $ 1,000 to rent for events, but she was touched by Gideon and Josiah’s selflessness and kindness, so she wanted to help too.

“So that young children understand the beauty of the ministry and give something back to the community, and then understand what these cops and firefighters do every day, and that risks their lives and gives something back to their community,” said Bata. “So the fact that they understand the importance of this form of service is only – for an eight-year-old who feels and feels like this is giving back to the community and actually wanting to work on it.” Is pretty great . “

The boys raised $ 340 and on Friday night they helped the Cocky team serve the people who always serve the community.

Courtesy: Machelle Potion

“It makes you feel really good,” said Sergeant Paul Stein of the Brooklyn Police Department. “Machelle and Avery were very supportive and taught them what it is like to respect adults and cops and what is important in life, and to see that it is just amazing with a young person.”

Trank said it was humiliating to see his sons come up with fundraising ideas for first responders.

“We have to support our local first responders because they go through a lot, they really do it and we don’t see what’s behind the curtain,” said Trank. “So I urge everyone out there to support them, just wave them, say hello and ask them how their day is.”

Bata said the spots to rent the Cocky’s Bagels food truck for the summer are filling up quickly. If you are interested, you should email or call 440-454-0675.

Gideon and Josiah plan to reopen their lemonade stand sometime this summer.

RELATED STORY: Two boys sell snacks to raise money for the families of fallen Cleveland cops

Jade Jarvis is a reporter for News 5 Cleveland. Follow her up Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Download the News 5 Cleveland app Now there are more stories from us, as well as important news notifications, the latest weather forecast, traffic information and more. Download it to yours now Apple device here, and your Android device here.

You can also check out News 5 on Cleveland Year, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, YouTube TV, DIRECTV NOW, Hulu Live and more. We are there too Amazon Alexa Equipment. Find out more about our streaming options here.

HMS scholar amongst winners of annual Younger Writers Contest | Options/Leisure

HUNTINGTON – Since 1984, the West Virginia Young Writers Contest has celebrated student writing in the state as a result of the commitment to write in all subjects and to publish, display, and celebrate student writing.

That year, Huntington Middle School’s Claire Johnson won second place in seventh and eighth grades for her play “Zombies,” which is listed below.

Teachers and administrators in each county encourage students to submit letters for assessment first at school and then at the county level.

Entries can be submitted on any topic and in any genre of prose: fiction, non-fiction, short stories, memoirs or essays.

Executives at Marshall University’s Central West Virginia Writing Project then judge entries based on ideas, organization, voice, choice of words, sentence flow, and conventions. The state winners were announced to the public on Friday, Young Writers Day, which took place practically in Microsoft teams.

First-placed county winners receive certificates and participate in workshops with published writers / moderators on West Virginia Young Writers Day. State winners in each of the six competition categories will receive checks for $ 100 for first place, $ 50 for second place, and $ 25 for third place.

“Zombies” by Claire Johnson

Alone a young girl rested and slept soundly. Not far from her bed was a broken clock, the screen broken and the plug unplugged. The girl lay for long hours and slept soundly, without the screaming of the little clock. In her little house everything was quiet, still without the voices and steps of her parents who had gone to work long before. The girl didn’t like it when her parents left; she felt alone.

Have a chat, your parents would say. But she knew what kind of entertainment her parents meant. The kind that started with a screen and ended in despair, detachment and a throbbing headache. She would much rather explore, read, and create. Boredom was a more watchful parent than those who fathered her – boredom at least taught her lessons and sparked her creativity. Why can’t you be like the other kids? her parents would ask. They are all very happy with their devices. But the little girl didn’t want to be like the other children. She didn’t want to be a zombie.

She stumbled down the stairs and rubbed the sleep from her eyes. Her house was perfect: every finish was pristine, not a single thing out of place, as if no one lived in the house at all – which she sometimes took to be true. She took her coat off the hanger and stepped outside into the crisp autumn air. She enjoyed the outdoors, much to her parents’ displeasure. They will chase Mud through the house, they would scold. I know you like to go outside, but why not just watch some nature documentary instead? The little girl did not understand her parents, nor did they understand them.

She looked at the trees that lined her meadow. She enjoyed the park, but it always hurt to see it. Every person who sits on the benches is fascinated by the virtual life into which they have plunged desperately. She would watch from a distance and notice small details. She was very good at it and noticed details. Her parents called it a nuisance, annoyed that she paid more attention to other people than to her screen. Your device teaches you things that are far more important than observation.

The little girl disagreed.

She walked along the stream and watched the ducks chase each other in circles, longing for the ignorant bliss that she was sure they felt. She walked down the street and entered a small cafe. The little girl always enjoyed the little café and drank her tea from mini tea cups. While she waited in line, she watched the people in front of her. The one in front appeared to have headphones on and moved its head in a bass beat that was so easy to hear for someone who listened closely. No one but the little girl seemed to be listening closely, too intrigued by her ex’s new girlfriend, or at least the girl who was sitting at a nearby table. She scrolled and scrolled, and her eyes narrowed every time her ex showed up in her feed. The little girl looked away. She knew when she was invading someone’s privacy.

Finally, when it was her turn, she went to the cash register. She just pointed at the menu, her finger barely reaching across the counter for the cashier to see. He nodded and turned his gaze back to the computer screen in front of him.

After a few moments, a young looking boy in an apron presented her mini teacup and the little girl took a seat in the back. She liked the back of the little cafe – it gave her a clear view of everyone in it. When she was done, she skipped the door she came in and gave a rare smile to a woman on her way. The woman was too busy with her screen to notice.

The little girl was walking the inner streets of the city, her least favorite place. The sidewalks were full of people, but somehow it was the place where she felt most lonely. Everyone was walking back and forth, their heads buried in their screens. The little girl was often tossed around by a distracted pedestrian who was too focused on his own virtual life to notice a lonely child. That was what bothered her the most, the reason why she was most tempted to pick up her screen and pretend to enjoy the desperation and headache it brought with it: the feeling of belonging, the feeling of acceptance in a society that would otherwise never accept it. These thoughts are way too great for someone your age, their parents would complain. The little girl agreed.

She wandered the city alone, tears marking the agony she felt – alone, calm, suffocated by the walking zombies that surrounded her. Slaves to their own devices.

Granato’s teaching type permitting younger Sabres gamers to flourish

March 17th is better known for St. Patrick’s Day, but for Buffalo ice hockey fans, March 17th marks the end of one of the year’s up and down coaching terms Buffalo sabers History. Most Sabers fans saw Ralph Kreuger’s shooting as a relief after his docile and relaxed coaching style resulted in a team that seemed downright unconventional and incompetent.

Last off-season, this team had so many people who – once again – believed the team might be tied to the playoffs. It seemed like the team had made a real attempt to fight for one of the top 4 spots in the division. Unfortunately, after a terrible start to the season, the Sabers had more of a contender for their first overall victory than a playoff spot. Then, on St. Patrick’s Day, Ralph Kreuger was fired and Don Granato was appointed interim coach.

In the first six games after Granato was appointed interim coach, the results were the same as when Kreuger was still head coach. Sabers fans saw Don Granato’s first win as the Sabers head coach, with some less than stellar results for the team soon after. However, what became apparent to even the most casual of fans was the fact that the team now looked more competitive than they had all season before Kreuger was fired. Although there had been some one-sided results, we saw a team that at least partially resembled a fast-paced, aggressively coordinated ice hockey team.

Even during those first six games of Granato’s tenure with the Sabers, the team still allowed more goals than one would have hoped. But after the first few games, the team’s defensive style seemed to be moving in the right direction. The players are no longer afraid to attack the puck carrier in the neutral / defensive zone and now try to surprise their opponents. The snack to giveaway ratio rose dramatically when Granato took over as interim coach, and the overall aggressive and more offensive defensive game continued to improve.

The teams are no longer harassing the Sabers at the head of the net, and the players have worked together to block the fast lanes to break open and intercept the passes. In the offensive end and the neutral zone, Buffalo players swarm harder to put pressure on the puck bearers and primary pass options. That allowed Casey Mittelstadt, Days Thompson, and Arttu Ruotsalainen to achieve their success in the last few weeks. Don Granato made the most of this young group of Sabers called up for a late-season friendly and the results and the overall game were impressive.

It seems obvious that Ralph Kreuger preached a more structured defensive game while in Buffalo. There’s nothing wrong with this approach as many traditional old school coaches prefer this as the main focus of a team. However, the tactic in implementing his system was to be more passive, not incurring unnecessary penalties, and letting the opponent make the first mistake.

While this system makes sense in theory, the ebb and flow of hockey games today do not allow this system to work the way Kreuger envisioned. Hockey teams are aggressively faster and more aggressive today than ever before. By letting your team play passive hockey, you allow the aggressive opponent to use the passive game of defense against them – essentially handcuffed.

During Kruger’s tenure, an opponent was often seen taking the puck into the offensive zone while the Sabers defenders continued to give the opposition ground instead of challenging at or around the blue line. When this happens and the Sabers defense returns so quickly from the offensive, the zone opens up from the diamond markings along the circles to the blue line that only beckons to an opposing player like a “Kucherov” or a “Pastrnak”, to enter and shoot through screens.

At this point, when things like that kept popping up night after night, it wasn’t so much what the opposition did to beat this Sabers team, it was the Sabers who beat themselves, how they embraced the system from the point of view of the System approached. However, it was Ralph Krueger’s credit that this passive defense approach was a major reason the Sabers had imposed so few penalties throughout the season.

It has been said that Don Granato allows his players to play the way they can – unlike Krueger, who contented himself with getting Rasmus Dahlin to stay behind and stay home more and get Jeff Skinner to grind and begin most of his shifts in the defensive zone rather than being put offensively in more favorable situations Granato is respected by his players, also because he expects them to play responsibly.

The Sabers will miss the playoffs again but it’s hard not to see the silver lining at the end of this season. Don Granato’s ability to inspire and motivate and his instinct to know when a player should be who he is rather than trying to make him his ideal hockey player like the old school “Ralph Kreuger-like” coaches do League tries to do.

The Sabers face many important decisions about this ice hockey team and what the future holds for them during the off-season. I hope that Kevyn Adams embodies Granato’s hands-off coaching style in the best possible way and gives Don the opportunity to keep moving in a positive direction with this ice hockey team.