Evan Rodrigues missed five games. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres notes: Evan Rodrigues returns feeling confident

BUFFALO – Before Evan Rodrigues suffered an upper-body injury Feb. 28, the Sabres forward was playing perhaps the best hockey of his three-year career.

Less than a month after sitting out as a healthy scratch, he seemed to be putting everything together, showcasing speed, tenacity and the shot mentality Sabres coach Phil Housley constantly stresses.

In his last appearance prior to returning for Thursday’s 5-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, Rodrigues scored and pumped ... Read the full article

Brendan Guhle will play his 10th NHL game tonight. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu, Olean Times Herald

Sabres rookie Brendan Guhle adjusting to NHL game

BUFFALO – When the Sabres faced the Toronto Maple Leafs here 10 days ago, defenseman Brendan Guhle started his first NHL game in seven weeks poorly.

“He had a little bit of a rough start in a big game, in a big atmosphere,” Sabres coach Phil Housley said this morning inside KeyBank Center. “But as the game wore on, I thought he got more comfortable. I think he’s getting more comfortable as he’s playing his ... Read the full article

Jonathan Marchessault has compiled 65 points in 65 games. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres notes: Golden Knights’ Jonathan Marchessault quietly productive

BUFFALO – After earning only four NHL appearances over his first four pro seasons, Vegas Golden Knights winger Jonathan Marchessault decided he would give himself one more year to crack the big league.

“If I didn’t make it, I was going to go to Europe, because I was getting great offers in Europe,” Marchessault said Friday inside KeyBank Center. “A lot of people do a decent living over there, do a great career.”... Read the full article

Justin Bailey recently started scoring again in Rochester. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Justin Bailey thrilled to be recalled from Amerks

BUFFALO – Finally, after a 21-game goalless stretch in the AHL, Sabres winger Justin Bailey recently started performing like his old self.

Prior to getting summoned Friday, the Williamsville native had four goals and five points in the last five games with the Rochester Americans.

A high ankle sprain he suffered during his last recall helped derail Bailey’s promising season. He struggled to recover from one of hockey’s trickiest injuries, looking nothing like the youngster ... Read the full article

Brendan Guhle was also recalled in January. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres want Brendan Guhle to utilize speed during recall

BUFFALO – For a chunk of the season, Sabres defensemen Brendan Guhle and Casey Nelson formed a strong AHL tandem, showcasing their speed and slick puck-moving skills together.

Then the Sabres recalled Guhle, 20, in early January for two games. A week later, the Sabres summoned Nelson, 25, and he quickly earned a regular spot.

So the two haven’t played together for about two months. Tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs, Guhle, who was brought ... Read the full article

Phil Housley joined Nashville as an assistant coach in 2013. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Barry Trotz believes Phil Housley has plan for Sabres

BUFFALO – Barry Trotz was working late Sunday, so the Washington Capitals coach sent a trainer to see if Phil Housley, a former assistant, was still in his office inside KeyBank Center.

Housley was there, so Trotz and his old friend caught up for a little while.

Trotz, a mentor to Housley, is the NHL’s dean of coaches, having continuously led a team since 1998-99, when he took over the expansion Nashville Predators.... Read the full article

Evan Rodrigues moved up to the top line Thursday. ©2018, Michline Veluvolu, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Evan Rodrigues back beside college linemate Jack Eichel

BUFFALO – Three years ago, Jack Eichel and Evan Rodrigues formed perhaps college hockey’s best duo, piling up points during Boston University’s run to the national championship game.

Eichel won the Hobey Baker Award as a freshman. Meanwhile, Rodrigues enjoyed a monster senior season, compiling 61 points in 41 games.

“We kind of knew where each other were all over the ice,” Rodrigues said Thursday prior to scoring his first goal in 22 games. “We ... Read the full article

Jake McCabe (left) muscles past Boston's Noel Acciari on Dec. 19. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Thumb surgery to sideline Sabres’ Jake McCabe weeks

BUFFALO – With Jake McCabe out three to four weeks after undergoing thumb surgery today and Rasmus Ristolainen struggling, the Sabres’ defense corps will look much different tonight against the New York Islanders.

Casey Nelson, a recent recall quickly earning coach Phil Housley’s trust, will play with Marco Scandella, Ristolainen’s partner much of the season on the No. 1 pair. Ristolainen, meanwhile, will move back and skate with Nathan Beaulieu.... Read the full article

Ryan Miller joined Anaheim this season. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres notes: Ryan Miller enjoying life with Ducks

BUFFALO – Ryan Miller’s decision to sign with the Anaheim Ducks centered, in part, on his desire to be closer to his family.

The former Sabres goalie and his wife, Noureen DeWulf, an actress, have lived in the Los Angeles area with their 3-year-old son, Bodhi, for years. Naturally, coming home has eased some of the pressures that accompany the hectic NHL life.

Still, the Ducks often go on long road trips. They finished a ... Read the full article

Victor Antipin has played 29 NHL games. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Victor Antipin to be scratched against Ducks

BUFFALO – At this point, 53 games into a lost season, why not keep playing defenseman Victor Antipin? Plenty of Sabres won’t be back next year. Why not use the final 29 contests to evaluate the Russian rookie? He might have a future here.

Like any newcomer, Antipin, a KHL All-Star last season, has struggled. Still, he has showcased glimpses of becoming the slick puck-mover the Sabres envisioned when they signed him to a ... Read the full article