Best wishes to RJ

Archive:
February, 2013 Monthly archive

Marcus Foligno has one goal this season. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

If the Buffalo Sabres had some better options, Marcus Foligno could’ve been benched weeks ago.

Instead, the 21-year-old power forward, a healthy scratch tonight against the Florida Panthers, kept struggling right beside the rest of the Sabres’ anemic offense.

It’s often cliché to talk about the “sophomore jinx,” but Foligno’s certainly experiencing an epic slump during his first full NHL season.

Twenty contests into the 48-game campaign, Foligno has just one goal and eight points. He hasn’t scored since Jan. 29, a 15-game …

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Ron Rolston spent time developing his coaching skills in the NCAA. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Back in 1996, Mark Morris wanted to add Ron Rolston to his Clarkson staff badly. The Sabres’ interim coach had just won two national championships as an assistant with Lake Superior State. Morris thought Rolston’s expertise could help his program could get over the hump.

So he hired a 29-year-old Rolston and another Lake Superior assistant, Jim Roque.

“I think the attraction for me was they were working with Jeff Jackson at the time, and they were winning national titles,” …

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Ron Rolston won his first NHL game Tuesday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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Buffalo Sabres fans are understandably a pessimistic bunch these days. No one can blame them, either. Coach Lindy Ruff was just fired. Their $65 million team is parked in 15th place, a wretched 7-12-1 this season.

So here’s some good news.

Tuesday’s big 2-1 win in Tampa Bay over the Lightning, Ron Rolston’s first as the Sabres’ interim coach, moved the club to within four points of a playoff spot. They stymied the Lightning’s potent offense, winning their first road game since …

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Cory Conacher played for the Syracuse Crunch earlier this season. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Count interim Sabres coach Ron Rolston among those impressed by slick Tampa Bay Lightning rookie Cory Conacher, a Canisius College product.

Rolston watched the 5-foot-8 forward play for the Syracuse Crunch several times earlier this season while coaching the Rochester Americans. Conacher, in Rolston’s mind, showcases a style similar to diminutive Lightning star Martin St. Louis, one of the most prolific scorers in recent history.

“He’s very dynamic, much like St. Louis,” Rolston said Monday inside the First Niagara Center …

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Ron Rolston took over for Lindy Ruff on Wednesday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Rebuilding the bottom-feeding, 15th-place Sabres back into a strong hockey club could be a long and arduous process following Lindy Ruff’s dismissal as coach last week.

The team’s in shambles, having lost four straight games and six of the last seven. There’s little to like about the Sabres and no quick fix.

They possess no identity.

“I know patience isn’t big with anybody,” interim coach Ron Rolston said Monday inside the First Niagara Center after the Sabres prepared for tonight’s tilt …

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Adam Pardy played for the Sabres on Feb. 5. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – The Sabres’ injury and on-ice woes could help defenseman Adam Pardy, an NHL regular before numbers kicked him back to the minors this season, carve out a spot on the blue line.

With Jordan Leopold (hand) and Alexander Sulzer (lower body) sidelined, the Sabres on Monday summoned Pardy from Rochester for the second time this season.

He should play tonight in Tampa Bay against the Lightning, the start of a two-game Florida trip.

If Pardy impresses, the Sabres might have a …

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An undisclosed injury will shelve Alexander Sulzer (52) Tuesday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Right now, the belief among the reeling, 15th-place Sabres is low. With very few positives to build on during their four-game losing streak, the Sabres are simply hoping to win games, interim coach Ron Rolston said this morning.

“There’s two things,” Rolston said following practice inside the First Niagara Center. “You go into hockey games and some teams hope they’re going to win, and some teams know they’re going to win in this league that night. The better teams …

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Thomas Vanek is sitting out practice this morning. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
2

BUFFALO – Leading scorer Thomas Vanek and defenseman Alexander Sulzer, who left Saturday’s 4-0 loss to the New York Islanders, are missing from Sabres practice this morning inside the First Niagara Center.

With Sulzer (lower body) and defenseman Jordan Leopold (hand) sidelined, the Sabres have recalled Adam Pardy from Rochester. He’s practicing.

Stay tuned for updates. Vanek’s known for getting beat up and resting occasionally. Tough guy John Scott is practicing in Vanek’s place beside Cody Hodgson and Jason Pominville. Relax, Sabres …

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Lindy Ruff (left) spoke with Jason Pominville often. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Give it a week or so, even just a few days. Plenty of NHL teams are struggling right now. Coaches will get axed. You can bet Lindy Ruff’s name will be connected to most vacancies.

Ruff, fired by the Sabres on Wednesday after 15 seasons, wants to coach again, saying Friday, “I got to keep going. I love the game.”

The 53-year-old will get offers soon. Of course, he might want to wait. He’ll be able to enjoy that option.

Sure, …

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Ryan Miller was angry following the Sabres' fourth straight loss. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Nothing has changed. The Sabres are still a mess, perhaps the NHL’s worst team. Since firing Lindy Ruff on Wednesday and naming Ron Rolston interim coach, they’ve lost both games and scored one goal.

The disenchanted crowd inside the First Niagara Center booed and moaned Saturday throughout an ugly 4-0 loss to the New York Islanders, just like they did during Tuesday’s 2-1 defeat to Winnipeg, Ruff’s final game as coach.

The few thousand fans left inside the First Niagara …

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