Best wishes to RJ

Boston's David Krejci is sandwiched between the Sabres' Tyler Myers (57) and Cody McCormick (8). ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – For about 18 minutes of Thursday’s 3-2 overtime loss to the Boston Bruins, it appeared the reeling Sabres would steal a win from a superior opponent.

Yes, the Bruins kept pumping shots on goalie Jhonas Enroth, but the Sabres limited their prime scoring chances. The Sabres’ anemic offense, meanwhile, scored two goals for only the fourth time this season, helping them take a rare lead.

Their first regulation win inside the First Niagara Center since Feb. 28 was within grasp.

Then, …

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Mikhail Grigorenko has four goals this season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Sabres prospect Mikhail Grigorenko needed some time to adjust. Getting demoted to the AHL wasn’t easy. The 20-year-center impressed during the NHL training camp, igniting speculation he could earn a roster spot.

But the rebuilding Sabres wanted the slick Russian to develop in Rochester, where he could receive loads of ice time, so they assigned him to the Americans on Oct. 6.

“It was probably tough a few days,” Grigorenko said Wednesday about acclimating to the AHL again. “It’s a …

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Sam Reinhart has one assist in eight games. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Expect a decision on rookie Sam Reinhart’s future soon, possibly as soon as Friday. The Sabres center will play his ninth game tonight. His contract kicks in if he makes a 10th appearance.

Sabres coach Ted Nolan and general manager Tim Murray discussed the 18-year-old’s future this morning and plan to talk again following tonight’s contest against the Boston Bruins.

“I’m quite sure we batted around every idea there was for the situation,” Nolan said this morning inside the First …

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Brian Gionta has zero goals this season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – The anger was evident throughout the Sabres’ tense 90-minute practice Wednesday inside the First Niagara Center.

At one point, coach Ted Nolan, whose reeling 2-8 team was demolished 4-0 in Toronto hours earlier, yelled, “Wake the (expletive) up!” Players exchanged words and shouted in frustration. Captain Brian Gionta banged his stick on the glass and demolished it on the bench.

Nolan said the “10-game grace period” he gives his team each season has ended.

“You give them a little bit of …

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Cody Hodgson has one goal this season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Make no mistake, Cody Hodgson, the Sabres’ leading scorer last season, is the new right winger on the fourth line beside center Sam Reinhart and Nick Deslauriers.

“Yeah, he’s on the fourth line,” Sabres coach Ted Nolan said curtly this afternoon.

Hodgson could be moved to the press box next.

“He’s pretty close there, too,” Nolan said.

Hodgson, like just about every Sabres forward, has struggled this season, compiling one goal, two points and a minus-7 rating in 10 contests.

The 24-year-old said …

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Ted Nolan has lost his patience. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
8

BUFFALO – The anger was visible today throughout the Sabres’ tense 90-minute practice inside the First Niagara Center.

At one point, coach Ted Nolan, whose 2-8 team was demolished 4-0 in Toronto on Tuesday, yelled, “Wake the (expletive) up!” Players exchanged words and yelled out in frustration. Captain Brian Gionta banged his stick on the glass and demolished it on the bench.

Nolan said he gives his teams a “10-game grace period” to start to a season.

“You give them a little bit …

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Michal Neuvirth kept the Sabres in Tuesday's game. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

TORONTO – It turns out that nice win three days earlier was an anomaly. The hapless Buffalo Sabres reverted back into a laughingstock in Tuesday’s embarrassing 4-0 loss to the Maple Leafs, getting thoroughly dominated throughout their eighth loss in 10 tries this season.

How ugly was Buffalo’s effort?

The Sabres, three weeks into their 44th season, sprinkled a franchise-low 10 shots on Leafs goalie Jonathan Bernier. The Leafs, meanwhile, pumped 37 shots on Sabres netminder Michal Neuvirth.

“I don’t know who we …

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Chris Stewart began his NHL career in 2008-09. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

TORONTO – Incredibly, Tuesday’s 4-0 loss to the Maple Leafs, Chris Stewart’s 392nd NHL game, was his first appearance in his hometown.

Toronto was the only city the 26-year-old Buffalo Sabres winger hadn’t played in.

How did that happen?

Stewart played in the Western Conference with Colorado and St. Louis before the Sabres acquired him in March.

“My first year I got healthy scratched here, and then the lockout year we didn’t play the East, and then the one time I got traded to …

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Tonight will be Chris Stewart's 392nd NHL game. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

TORONTO – Incredibly, tonight’s tilt against the Maple Leafs, Chris Stewart’s 392nd NHL game, will be his first appearance in his hometown.

Toronto’s the only city the 26-year-old Buffalo Sabres winger hasn’t played in.

How did that happen?

Stewart played in the Western Conference with Colorado and St. Louis before the Sabres acquired him in March.

“My first year I got healthy scratched here, and then the lockout year we didn’t play the East, and then the one time I got traded to St. …

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Josh Gorges (4) leads the NHL in blocked shots. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

TORONTO – Take away the character, take away the tenacity, and Buffalo Sabres veteran Josh Gorges becomes a run-of-the-mill defenseman.

The undrafted Gorges has built an unlikely 10-year NHL career by showcasing passion – on and off the ice.

“I have to play with my heart,” Gorges, whose Sabres play the Maple Leafs tonight, said Monday. “I have to play everything I got every shift.”

The 30-year-old believes he couldn’t do either of those wearing the blue-and-white of the hated Toronto Maple Leafs.

Four …

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