©2012

Sabres positioned for unlikely run at postseason

BUFFALO – Go ahead, pick the dates the underachieving Sabres appeared finished and primed to play out the string for a lottery pick.

There are plenty, you know.

There was that embarrassing 5-0 dismantling Jan. 16 in Detroit, after which an emotional Ryan Miller said a trade wouldn’t help the Sabres. Two nights later, the Blackhawks throttled them 6-2 in Chicago, the third of five straight losses on a six game-trip.

On Feb. 16, the ... Read the full article

The Sabres selected Paul Gaustad 220nd overall in 2000. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres deal Gaustad, Kassian at trade deadline

BUFFALO – If it meant getting better in the future, Darcy Regier said the Sabres would take a minor step back at the NHL trade deadline. Sixty-two games into the season, the Stanley Cup talk for the 12th-place club has ceased. Monday was about utilizing assets and filling a glaring need for a scoring center.

Clearly, the general manager had a plan to fix his underachieving team, which was six points out of eighth place ... Read the full article

©2012

Are Sabres buying or selling at trade deadline?

BUFFALO – Sitting six points out of the final Eastern Conference playoff spot has put the 12th-place Sabres, a high-priced club built to win the Stanley Cup this season, in a precarious spot as today’s 3 p.m. NHL deadline approaches.

What the heck do they do? Are they buying or selling?

Right now, the Sabres are surging again, having won three straight last week. They’re 8-3-3 since their defense corps reached full ... Read the full article

Brad Boyes' acquisition at last year's trade deadline was significant. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ recent trade deadline history iffy

BUFFALO – With the NHL trade deadline hitting at 3 p.m. today, here’s the Sabres’ Eastern Conference standing and their activity post-lockout:

2006, third place, 83 points

General manager Darcy Regier made no additions, only trading No. 3 goalie Mika Noronen to Vancouver for a second-round pick. Some argued the inactivity bit the surprising Sabres, who lost four defensemen to injury during their run to the Eastern Conference final. They lost Game 7 with just ... Read the full article

Corey Tropp recently sat out a month recovering from a concussion. ©2012, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres rookie Tropp finally over concussion

BUFFALO – On Dec. 9 against Florida, Dmitry Kulikov’s wicked hit concussed gritty Sabres winger Corey Tropp, ending the rookie’s third recall early. Tropp wouldn’t fully recover for nearly two months.

When he had supposedly healed, the Sabres sent Tropp to Rochester on Jan. 2. But the 22-year-old responded poorly to his first three appearances, so the Americans shut him down until Feb. 8, giving him a full month between games.

“It was frustrating at ... Read the full article

Jason Pominville, who usually starts seasons slowly, compiled 14 points in October. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Pominville showcasing dynamic consistency

BUFFALO – Sixty games into the season, Jason Pominville hasn’t shown any signs of letting up. With five points in the last two contests, the Sabres captain already has 23 goals and 59 points, seven more than he had all of last season in 13 fewer appearances.

In a disappointing year for the Sabres, Pominville’s been the only constant presence, showcasing a remarkable consistency right from opening night, when a goal and two assists began ... Read the full article

Nathan Gerbe's goal scoring has dropped dramatically this season. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Gerbe developing into strong checker as offense vanishes

BUFFALO – Sabres sophomore Nathan Gerbe – the collegiate scoring machine, AHL star and NHL rookie that tallied at a 30-goal pace the second half of last season – has five scores this season, just one in the last 21 games.

Right now, the diminutive Gerbe’s not a scorer; he’s quickly morphed into a strong checker, playing a tenacious left wing on a line with Paul Gaustad and Patrick Kaleta that draws the opposition’s best.... Read the full article

©2012

Sabres’ power play struggling despite new additions

BUFFALO – Take the NHL’s No. 9 power play in 2010-11, and add Christian Ehrhoff, an elite point presence who possesses a lethal shot, and Brad Boyes, a forward proficient at pulling the trigger down low.

What do the Sabres have?

One of the league’s worst power plays.

Entering this afternoon’s tilt against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the First Niagara Center, the Sabres are four of the last 50 in 20 games since Jan. 3. ... Read the full article

Tyler Ennis has only four goals in 22 games this season. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ anemic offense could become team’s worst ever

“I’m sure that again we’ll finish the year around (240 goals).” – Buffalo Sabres coach Lindy Ruff, December 15, 2011

“I guarantee you it’ll come again. It always has.” – Ruff on his anemic offense, January 23

BUFFALO – Not long ago, Ruff could speak confidently because the post-lockout Sabres had always found ways to score. They annually overcame any struggles and ranked among the NHL’s slickest attacks, averaging 256 goals a year.

But the ... Read the full article

©2012

Insults helping transform Sabres’ Kaleta into all-around talent

BUFFALO – For six years, Patrick Kaleta’s heard calls and insults he’s merely a talentless agitator trying to thump bodies. The Sabres winger bristles at the scorn.

The 25-year-old’s earned a regular shift for several seasons. He scored 10 goals in 55 games two years ago, four of them winners. He kills penalties.

“I know a lot of people have said I’m just a mutt, a fourth-liner; I’m just going to go out and hit,” ... Read the full article