Phil Housley won 25 games as a rookie coach. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: GM Jason Botterill supports coach Phil Housley

BUFFALO – It’s unlikely legendary coaches Toe Blake or Scotty Bowman could’ve done much with the Sabres this season. A dearth of talent helped them finish 31st overall.

Still, following such a miserable campaign, the question had to be asked: will Phil Housley be general manager Jason Botterill’s coach again next season?

“One-hundred percent Phil Housley will be our coach next year,” Botterill said Wednesday inside KeyBank Center. “I have certainly enjoyed working with Phil ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel hadn't scored a goal since Feb. 8. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Jack Eichel scores twice as Sabres end Maple Leafs’ home winning streak

TORONTO – By Jack Eichel’s standards, he hadn’t scored in an eternity.

Thanks to the Buffalo Sabres center’s short slump and a high ankle sprain that cost him 15 games, he went 46 days and six games without scoring before his nifty two-goal effort in Monday’s 3-2 come-from-behind victory.

“I hadn’t scored in a month and a half, it’s not a little bit,” Eichel said after the Sabres ended the Maple Leafs’ 13-game home winning ... Read the full article

Chad Johnson (31) watches the puck Tuesday. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Chad Johnson one of NHL’s hottest goalies

BUFFALO – When Chad Johnson hit free agency last summer, the goalie said he could’ve pursued opportunities to join teams much better than the Sabres.

Ultimately, Johnson said his heart led to him re-signing here as a backup following a season with his hometown Calgary Flames, tonight’s opponent at KeyBank Center.

Johnson, 31, said he trusted new Sabres general manager Jason Botterill and the organization.... Read the full article

Chad Johnson has two wins this season. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Chad Johnson confident after rare win

BUFFALO – As Sabres goalie Chad Johnson endured 10 consecutive winless starts over a brutal three-month stretch, Andrew Allen kept relaying the same message.

“Don’t change anything,” Johnson said the goalie coach told him. “It’s just you’ve been getting some bad bounces, been a part of some tough games.”

Johnson, who will start tonight’s home tilt against the Florida Panthers, played well enough to win some games during his skid. Still, he hardly dazzled.... Read the full article

Robin Lehner sported an old mask for a few minutes this morning. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Robin Lehner debuts different masks

BUFFALO – For a few moments this morning, Robin Lehner looked, well, a little scary. Instead of sporting his usual head protection at the beginning of practice, the Sabres goalie warmed up wearing a 1970s-style “Jason” mask and a winter hat.

Lehner took a few lights shots from goalie coach Andrew Allen, including one off the primitive mask.

“Old Buffalo mask, tried it on, I have a lot of respect for them,” Lehner said ... Read the full article

Chad Johnson has poor numbers this season. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Chad Johnson positive through rough stretch

BUFFALO – To Chad Johnson, his weak numbers are deceiving. Other than a poor 20-minute outing, the Sabres goalie believes he has played well this season.

Naturally, Johnson is frustrated. In 12 games, he is 1-5-3 with a ghastly 3.76 goals-against average and an .880 save percentage, his lone win coming Oct. 15.

Among goalies with 10 or more appearances this season, only Vegas Golden Knights rookie Maxime Lagace has a higher goals-against average and ... Read the full article

Chad Johnson has one win this season. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Chad Johnson feeling good about game

BUFFALO – To Chad Johnson, his weak numbers are deceiving. Other than a poor 20-minute outing, the Sabres goalie believes he has played well this season.

Naturally, Johnson is frustrated. In 12 games, he is 1-5-3 with a ghastly 3.76 goals-against average and an .880 save percentage, his lone win coming Oct. 15.

Among goalies with 10 or more appearances this season, only Vegas Golden Knights rookie Maxime Lagace has a higher goals-against average and ... Read the full article

Chad Johnson has played eight games this season. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Chad Johnson not worried about numbers

BUFFALO – In eight games this season, Sabres goalie Chad Johnson has accumulated some pretty weak numbers: 1-3-2 with a 3.55 goals-against average and an .885 save percentage.

Those statistics, even with scoring up six weeks into the season, won’t win many games.

Of course, the reeling Sabres, who rank last in the Eastern Conference, have allowed 3.5 goals a game as a team, the NHL’s third-worst total. Their porous defense consistently hangs the goalie ... Read the full article

Anders Nilsson earned a two-year contract from Vancouver. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Season with Sabres ignited goalie Anders Nilsson’s NHL career

BUFFALO – Goalie Anders Nilsson figured after a breakout season in which he emerged as one of the NHL’s top backups, the Sabres would be interested in re-signing him.

In his first start-to-finish NHL campaign, Nilsson performed strongly, going 10-10-4 with a 2.67 goals-against average and a sparkling .923 save percentage.

Nilsson, 27, morphed into a terrific option for the Sabres, pushing starter Robin Lehner while showcasing consistency throughout his 26 appearances.... Read the full article

Anders Nilsson spent one season with the Sabres. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Canucks goalie Anders Nilsson grateful for season with Sabres

BUFFALO – Goalie Anders Nilsson figured after a breakout season in which he emerged as one of the NHL’s top backups, the Sabres would be interested in re-signing him.

In his first start-to-finish NHL campaign, Nilsson performed strongly, going 10-10-4 with a 2.67 goals-against average and a sparkling .923 save percentage.

Nilsson, 27, morphed into a terrific option for the Sabres, pushing starter Robin Lehner while showcasing consistency throughout his 26 appearances.... Read the full article