Best wishes to RJ

Brian Gionta returned to today's game shortly after taking a scary hit. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

So, umm, there were no penalties called on the play below.

Even Sabres winger Torrey Mitchell, who jumped the San Jose Sharks’ Tommy Wingels after he knocked captain Brian Gionta head-first into the boards early in today’s game, escaped unscathed.

How can that scary hit go unpenalized? Would something have been called if Wingels hit a star player?

Luckily, Gionta got up and returned to the game later in the period.

Check out the video of the hit:

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Connor McDavid had four points Wednesday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Six months ago, Steve Poland paid $110 for a discounted gold Sabres alternate jersey at the team store and had 17-year-old junior superstar Connor McDavid’s last name and No. 97 stitched on it.

“I bought it as a joke for this forthcoming season,” Poland said Wednesday prior to watching McDavid and the Erie Otters inside the First Niagara Center.

Poland, like a lot of rabid fans, wants the Sabres to lose all season so they have a 20 percent chance …

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Connor McDavid stretches Tuesday in Buffalo. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Hockey phenom Connor McDavid mostly avoids the kind words that are being written about him.

“I’ve been trying to do that as much as I can, because it can either get in your head that you’re too good, or bad press can also get in your head and do negative things for you,” the slick Erie Otters center said Tuesday. “I just try to stay away from reading about yourself.”

Some words, however, the 17-year-old can’t avoid. For example, whenever …

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Drew Stafford has zero goals this season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – The Sabres, the lowest-scoring team in modern NHL history last season, have picked up where they left off in April.

Yes, it’s still early, but the Sabres have scored just seven goals in six games, a paltry 1.17 average. The only team averaging fewer goals a game, the Florida Panthers, beat the Sabres 1-0 on Friday.

Four Sabres have scored this season. Tyler Ennis, Marcus Foligno and Zemgus Girgensons all have two goals. Torrey Mitchell has one.

That’s it.

The power play …

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Dominik Hasek will become the franchise's seventh retired number. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – The Sabres will retire legend Dominik Hasek’s No. 39 prior to the Jan. 13, 2015 game against the Detroit Red Wings, the team announced Monday.

Hasek, one of the greatest goalies in NHL history, will become the franchise’s seventh retired number.

The opponent holds some significance. Hasek played four seasons in Detroit, winning two Stanley Cups. The Sabres traded Hasek to Detroit in 2001.

The Czech will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Nov. 17. The Sabres inducted …

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Dominik Hasek will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame next month. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – The Sabres will retire legend Dominik Hasek’s No. 39 prior to the Jan. 13, 2015 game against the Detroit Red Wings, the team announced this afternoon.

Hasek, one of the greatest goalies in NHL history, will become the franchise’s seventh retired number.

The Czech will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Nov. 17. The Sabres inducted him into their Hall of Fame on March 29.

The opponent holds some significance. Hasek played four seasons in Detroit, winning two …

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Ted Nolan noticed Sam Reinhart had more jump today. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Top prospect Sam Reinhart, a healthy scratch last game, will play on the Sabres’ upcoming three-game California trip, coach Ted Nolan said this morning.

Nolan wouldn’t say if the center will dress Wednesday in Anaheim.

He believes sitting the 18-year-old for Saturday’s 4-0 loss to Boston helped him.

“Today is another good day,” Nolan said inside the First Niagara Center. “I thought maybe having that day off he had a little bit more jump in practice. He was a little bit …

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Nikita Zadorov (51) has been scratched all six games this season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
7

BUFFALO – The complicated situation involving Sabres defenseman Nikita Zadorov, a healthy scratch all six games this season, could be resolved in the next 48 hours, the Russian’s agent said Sunday night.

The Sabres have essentially been stashing the 19-year-old prospect on their roster.

Here’s the issue: Zadorov, as a European, can’t be sent back to the London Knights, his junior team, because he doesn’t have a release from the Russian club that owns his rights. The Sabres don’t believe Zadorov’s ready …

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The Sabres' Josh Gorges (4) tries to locate the puck in front of Boston's Milan Lucic and teammate Jhonas Enroth on Saturday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Six games looks like a large enough sample size to judge the 2014-15 Sabres. The current edition is terrible, perhaps every bit as bad as last year’s hapless squad that finished dead last in the NHL.

Saturday’s ugly 4-0 loss to the Boston Bruins before 18,685 fans inside the First Niagara Center dropped them to 1-5 this season.

The feeble Florida Panthers beat the Sabres 1-0 on Friday, so they finished a two-game weekend home stand with zero goals, the …

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Sam Reinhart has zero points in five games. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
2

BUFFALO – In less than a week, top Sabres prospect Sam Reinhart went from centering some high-scoring wingers to playing fourth-line minutes between grinders.

So it wasn’t shocking the Sabres scratched the struggling 18-year-old for Saturday’s 4-0 loss to the Boston Bruins inside the First Niagara Center.

Reinhart has zero goals, two shots and a minus-1 rating in his first five NHL games.

“Why do you sit out anybody?” Sabres coach Ted Nolan said. “It’s one of those things. He’s a young player …

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