Jack Eichel (9) skates behind Toronto's John Tavares on Tuesday. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres star Jack Eichel busts out of goal-scoring slump

BUFFALO – In about 10 minutes Tuesday, captain Jack Eichel scored twice during a wild third period, giving the Sabres a short-lived lead and equaling his goal output from the previous 25 games.

Eichel, 22, has quietly enjoyed a terrific season, compiling 27 assists and 34 points in the first 29 contests.

At his current pace, the slick center would have 76 assists and 94 points over 82 games, the Sabres’ most prolific offensive ... Read the full article

Jason Pominville is the only Sabre left from the 2006-07 team. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres’ 10-game winning streak in 2006 still holds special memories

BUFFALO – Martin Biron said he remembers it like it happened yesterday. After the Sabres’ stunning run of 10 consecutive wins to open the 2006-07 season ended, coach Lindy Ruff walked in the dressing room, looked around and grabbed a marker.

“Everybody’s heads were down, everybody was mad, everybody was angry that we had lost a game, right?” the former goalie said of the 5-4 shootout loss to the Atlanta Thrashers on Oct. 28, 2006 ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel has a team-best 17 points. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Jack Eichel scoring points, not worried about goals

BUFFALO – It’s hard to quibble with Jack Eichel’s torrid start. In the last eight games, the slick Sabres captain has compiled a hefty 12 points. Right now, he’s pivoting perhaps the NHL’s best line between scorching wingers Jeff Skinner and Jason Pominville.

Through the first 15 contests, Eichel has scored a team-leading 17 points. At his current pace, he would have 93 points over a full season, the most since Daniel Briere had ... Read the full article

The team presented Jason Pominville a silve sabre before the game. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres honor Jason Pominville for 1,000th game, annihilate Senators

BUFFALO – Celebrations like the one the Sabres threw for Jason Pominville’s 1,000-game milestone often mean a long, distinguished career is entering its final stage.

These days, with 30 being considered old by NHL standards, very few players possess longevity like Pominville’s. Even fewer keep producing offense like they’re still in their mid-20s.

But right now, Pominville, a winger who has compiled 285 goals and 710 points over his NHL seasons, looks like he’s still ... Read the full article

Brian Gionta retired Monday. ©2018, Hickling Images

Former Sabres captain Brian Gionta helped change hockey

BUFFALO – Twenty years ago, diminutive players like Brian Gionta – the ones teams list at, say, 5-foot-9 but are clearly much smaller – rarely received a chance in the NHL.

Sure, once in a while an undersized talent would break through. But for the most part, the league coveted size.

Then in the early 2000s, a few small forwards – Gionta, Daniel Briere and Martin St. Louis – started seizing their chances and morphing ... Read the full article

Brian Gionta helped out the Sabres during their development camp in June. ©2018, Hickling Images

Former Sabres captain Brian Gionta helped change NHL with size

BUFFALO – Twenty years ago, diminutive players like Brian Gionta – the ones teams list at, say, 5-foot-9 but are clearly much smaller – rarely received a chance in the NHL.

Sure, once in a while an undersized talent would break through. But for the most part, the league coveted size.

Then in the early 2000s, a few small forwards – Gionta, Daniel Briere and Martin St. Louis – started seizing their chances and morphing ... Read the full article

Brian Gionta (left) receives a silver stick from Sabres general manager Tim Murray on Monday. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres captain Brian Gionta honored for 1,000th game

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Tyler Ennis said undersized NHL players – a “brotherhood,” he called them – share “an unspoken bond.”

Small players, of course, have the odds stacked against them. Only they can truly understand what they endured to make the league.

Fifteen or 20 years ago, it was even tougher for them to crack the NHL. That’s why Ennis, who’s listed at 5-foot-9, grew up idolizing diminutive stars, including 5-foot-7 Sabres captain Brian ... Read the full article

Tyler Ennis loved watching Brian Gionta growing up. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres captain Brian Gionta an inspiration to Tyler Ennis

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Tyler Ennis said undersized NHL players – a “brotherhood,” he called them – share “an unspoken bond.”

Small players, of course, have the odds stacked against them. Only they can truly understand what they endured to make the league.

Fifteen or 20 years ago, it was even tougher for them to crack the NHL. That’s why Ennis, who’s listed at 5-foot-9, grew up idolizing diminutive stars, including 5-foot-7 Sabres captain Brian ... Read the full article

Justin Bailey has become an elite AHL scorer. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres rookie Justin Bailey earning chances with top talents

BUFFALO – Sabres coach Dan Bylsma believes given Justin Bailey’s recent history, the talented rookie winger will start scoring at the NHL level.

Over the past year, the Williamsville native has morphed into a lethal AHL scorer, compiling 39 goals with the Rochester Americans, including 19 in 39 games this season.

Sooner or later, Bylsma thinks that scoring prowess will translate to the NHL. Bailey has one goal and two points in 14 games ... Read the full article

Daniel Briere retired in August. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Former Sabres star Daniel Briere enjoying retirement

BUFFALO – Among the long-retired NHL talent and beer leaguers skating in the Corporate Challenge tournament the Sabres recently hosted, an undersized, boyish-looking 38-year-old with some slick moves and soft hands stood out.

The scene, in fact, looked pretty odd: former co-captain Daniel Briere, on the same ice he had once starred for the Sabres, playing in what amounted to an alumni game with some locals.

Six months after retiring, Briere is enjoying ... Read the full article