BUFFALO – Way back on opening night, Oct. 5, the Sabres caused KeyBank Center to buzz with excitement for one of the few times in recent memory.
The Sabres’ new regime of coach Phil Housley, a Hall of Fame defenseman and Buffalo legend, and general manager Jason Botterill, who helped construct three Stanley Cup winners in Pittsburgh, had energized the fan base and offered hope.
Perhaps the Sabres wouldn’t make the playoffs in 2017-18, but ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Casey Nelson believes the opportunity offers a “second chance.” In a few days, after the Sabres complete their disastrous season, about eight players will return to the AHL and begin the Rochester Americans’ first playoff series in four years.
“We all want nothing more than to win a championship,” the defenseman said Thursday inside KeyBank Center after the Sabres prepared for tonight’s tilt against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the start of a two-game, ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – By the end of Phil Housley’s run with the Nashville Predators, Bridgestone Arena had morphed into perhaps the NHL’s noisiest rink.
A thrilling run to the Stanley Cup final can do that.
So in addition to facing the league’s best team in Housley’s return to Nashville tonight, the last-place Sabres must also deal with a raucous crowd.
“Saturday night in Nashville – any night – but mostly Saturday night, it’s really a tough ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Early in goalie Adam Wilcox’s childhood, the NHL hadn’t returned to Minnesota yet. So the South St. Paul resident began cheering for legendary goalie Dominik Hasek and, ironically, his newest team.
“Minnesota didn’t have a team, so I always rooted for Hasek and the Sabres,” the loquacious Wilcox said today after the Sabres recalled him from the AHL.
Wilcox, 25, spent time in the NHL last season, dressing as a backup five times ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – A year ago, Sabres winger Scott Wilson compiled eight goals and 26 points in 78 games often skating short minutes on one of the Pittsburgh Penguins’ bottom lines.
The numbers, of course, don’t exactly wow you. But in a low-scoring era, most fourth-liners don’t push 10 goals or 30 points.
So what could the speedy Wilson do if, say, he earned more ice time on a scoring line?
In recent weeks, Sabres coach ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – These final weeks of another forgettable Sabres season are about playing for pride and experimenting. So even when things go well, coach Phil Housley might try something new.
For example, over the last two games, the line of Justin Bailey, Nick Baptiste and Evan Rodrigues showcased its chemistry and speed. But tonight against the Arizona Coyotes, Bailey will skate at left wing beside top center Jack Eichel and Kyle Okposo.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – In parts of three AHL seasons together, Sabres forwards Justin Bailey, Nick Baptiste and Evan Rodrigues never skated together as linemates.
Bailey and Baptiste both played right wing with the Rochester Americans. Meanwhile, Rodrigues, a center these days, mostly skated as a winger.
So while the three prospects became close friends, they never showcased their talents together on the ice until Saturday afternoon.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – On a Sabres team filled with, well, not exactly the fastest players, winger Nick Baptiste’s speed stands out.
Slick skating has helped the 6-foot-1, 205-pound Baptiste finally earn regular NHL action three years into his pro career. But the former third-round pick has played 12 straight games because he has evolved and started figuring what can make him successful.... Read the full article
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
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