Lindy Ruff postponed a scheduled off day Wednesday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Last-place Sabres trying to dig out of early-season hole

BUFFALO – Everything’s becoming ugly very quickly for the reeling Sabres, whose season is already on the brink of collapsing after losing three straight contests and seven of the last eight.

Three wins and seven points through 10 games have them mired in last place in the Northeast Division and 14th in the Eastern Conference following Tuesday’s 4-3 defeat in Ottawa, a game they nearly roared back and tied.

Incredibly, depending how some other ... Read the full article

Patrick Kaleta was taken to the hospital on a stretcher last week. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Kaleta nearing return following scary neck injury

BUFFALO – If Sabres agitator Patrick Kaleta has his way, he’ll return to the lineup tonight against the Montreal Canadiens

Forget that the winger left the First Niagara Center on a stretcher last Tuesday after injuring his neck and spent the night in the hospital. Forget that he’s only been through one non-contact practice. Forget that coach Lindy Ruff wasn’t sure if the 26-year-old has even been cleared to play yet.

“I’m available whenever ... Read the full article

Pressure will only mount on Lindy Ruff if the Sabres keep losing. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Reeling Sabres searching for answers on ‘off day’

BUFFALO – The stumblebum Sabres have lost three straight contests and seven of eight. Tens tilts into the 48-game schedule, they have only three wins and seven points. They’re last in the Northeast Division and 14th in the Eastern Conference after falling 4-3 on Tuesday in Ottawa following a late rally.

After missing the playoffs last season and starting this campaign so wretchedly, should the Sabres be concerned changes are coming among the player ... Read the full article

Mike Weber isn't practicing this afternoon ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ defense corps getting woefully thin

BUFFALO – Remember just a few weeks ago when the Sabres’ defense corps went nine deep? Heck, they even waived Adam Pardy, an NHL veteran.

Well, the Sabres are down to five defensemen this afternoon at practice inside the First Niagara Center.

Mike Weber’s the newest name missing. Stay tuned for an update. It could merely be a maintenance day. He joins Christian Ehrhoff (muscle strain), Robyn Regehr (lower body) and Andrej Sekera (bruised ... Read the full article

Jhonas Enroth hasn't won a game since Nov. 26, 2011. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Enroth has lots riding on second start

Fifteen months ago today, Jhonas Enroth, who will make his second start of the season tonight in Ottawa, was stealing the Buffalo Sabres’ starting goalie job from Ryan Miller.

On that night at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, the young backup received a surprise nod, keeping the former Vezina Trophy on the bench a second straight game.

Enroth sparkled again, making 25 saves in a 3-2 shootout win over the Senators.

The rookie’s dynamic play had ... Read the full article

Thomas Vanek scored his eighth goal Sunday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres star Vanek content with ice time he’s given

BUFFALO – It’s a fair question that won’t stop being asked until Sabres coach Lindy Ruff ups his minutes.

Why the heck is slick winger Thomas Vanek, the NHL’s most dynamic presence through two weeks with eight goals and a league-high 19 points, only playing 19:13 a game?

That time ranks 56th among NHL forwards. It’s second among Sabres forwards to linemate Jason Pominville’s 20:51 and sixth on the team.

“I’m happy with whatever ... Read the full article

Adam Pardy played five games in Rochester. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres recall defenseman Pardy

BUFFALO – This morning, five Sabres who played in Sunday’s 4-3 loss to Florida – Christian Ehrhoff, Marcus Foligno, Cody Hodgson, Steve Ott and Jason Pominville – didn’t skate during an optional workout inside the First Niagara Center.

“We got a couple guys that are nicked up that may be doubtful (for the Senators),” coach Lindy Ruff said after the Sabres prepared for Tuesday’s tilt in Ottawa.

Well, at least one probably won’t be playing ... Read the full article

Thomas Vanek's ice time ranks 56th among NHL forwards. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

The curious case of Vanek’s ice time

BUFFALO – It’s a fair question that won’t stop being asked until Sabres coach Lindy Ruff ups his minutes.

Why the heck is slick winger Thomas Vanek, the NHL’s most dynamic presence through two weeks with eight goals and a league-high 19 points, only playing 19:13 a game?

That time ranks 56th among NHL forwards. It’s second among Sabres forwards to linemate Jason Pominville’s 20:51 and sixth overall.

“I’m happy with whatever I get,” ... Read the full article

Cody Hodgson missed this morning's workout. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Banged-up Sabres could be down more players Tuesday

BUFFALO – Five Sabres who played Sunday – Christian Ehrhoff, Marcus Foligno, Cody Hodgson, Steve Ott and Jason Pominville – didn’t skate during this morning’s optional workout inside the First Niagara Center.

“We got a couple guys that are nicked up that may be doubtful tomorrow,” coach Lindy Ruff said after the Sabres prepared for Tuesday’s tilt in Ottawa.

Right now, forward Matt Ellis is the Sabres’ only extra player. A recall could be coming.... Read the full article

Ryan Miller stops Tomas Kopecky in front moments before Brian Campbell's game-winning goal Sunday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres blow lead to Panthers, waste Vanek’s 3-point effort

BUFFALO – Sabres star Thomas Vanek dazzled again Sunday, scoring another goal and three more points. That’s a whopping eight goals and 19 points through two weeks for the slick Austrian.

But arguably the greatest individual start in the franchise’s 42-year history is being wasted.

The Sabres have dropped six of seven games (1-5-1) after blowing a 3-1 second-period lead and falling to the hapless Florida Panthers 4-3 on Sunday afternoon before 18,831 fans inside ... Read the full article