BUFFALO – By the end of the season, after five months of regular duty, Sabres defenseman Mark Pysyk morphed into a spare part.
Down the stretch, the Sabres utilized a blue line comprised entirely of youngsters – Casey Fitzgerald, at just 25, was the oldest defenseman – so Pysyk, Will Butcher and Colin Miller rarely played.
The Sabres scratched Pysyk 13 times over a 22-game stretch, including eight straight contests, before he returned for last ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sabres center Tage Thompson acknowledged that, yes, the Stanley Cup that Ryan O’Reilly won in 2019, his first season in St. Louis, is always in the back of his mind.
“But at the same time, it doesn’t change my objective,” Thompson said prior to Thursday’s 6-2 loss to the Blues, his former team, at KeyBank Center. “My objective is to come here and help our team win and help any way I can ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Mattias Samuelsson, who briefly left Tuesday’s 5-2 win after blocking a shot, is questionable for tonight’s game against the St. Louis Blues with a lower-body injury, coach Don Granato said.
“Mattias is hour to hour, day to day,” Granato said this morning inside KeyBank Center. “He could potentially still (play). We can’t rule him out for tonight, but it’s day to day if he’s not in there tonight.”
Update: Samuelsson ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Winger Alex Tuch figures the Sabres set some sort of record in Tuesday’s 5-2 road win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.
“It’s got to be the youngest D corps to ever step on the ice tonight, I feel like,” Tuch said after defenseman Owen Power, 19, made his NHL debut in Scotiabank Arena. “The oldest guy’s Casey Fitzgerald at 25.”
Incredibly, the average age of the Sabres’ defense in Tuesday’s contest ... Read the full article
TORONTO – Prior to Owen Power’s arrival, Buffalo Sabres defensemen Rasmus Dahlin and Henri Jokiharju both let it be known they’d love to play with the rookie, the first overall pick in 2021.
The problem? Well, Dahlin and Jokiharju were partners at the time.
“Owen’s not here and they’re already talking about, ‘When Owen gets here, I want to play with him! And I want to play with him!’” Sabres coach Don Granato said ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Now that the Sabres have signed defenseman Owen Power to his entry-level contract, their attention can turn to two other top college prospects, goalie Erik Portillo and defenseman Ryan Johnson.
Kevyn Adams said he has already chatted with Portillo, 21, and Johnson, 20, both of whom suffered season-ending losses Thursday at the Frozen Four.
“You want to be respectful because these guys have put their heart and soul into something and trying to ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Each win the Sabres earn these days feels like the kind of game they would’ve lost earlier this season.
Take, for example, Wednesday’s 4-3 shootout victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins, a game in which they blew three leads, including one late in the third period before center Tage Thompson and winger Alex Tuch scored shootout goals.
In the recent past, they probably would’ve wilted down the stretch, especially against the NHL’s best road ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – In Thursday’s game against the Vegas Golden Knights, five of the six defensemen the Sabres utilized were 25 or younger.
The graybeard of the group, Robert Hagg, 27, has played all of 282 NHL games.
The rest of the blue line consisted of neophytes. Only one other defenseman, Rasmus Dahlin, 21, has played more than 200 big league contests.
The Sabres dressed two rookies – Casey Fitzgerald, 25, and Mattias Samuelsson, who turns ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Henri Jokiharju will return tonight from a lower-body injury that has sidelined him the last six games, coach Don Granato said.
To make room, Granato said the Sabres will scratch defenseman Mark Pysyk against the Vegas Golden Knights.
When the Sabres had a surfeit of defensemen last month, they began rotating one in and out each game. Right now, however, Granato wants the team’s young defenders keep playing.
... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Barring injury, winger John Hayden will establish a new career high in games played later this month. After bouncing around the NHL, often as a spare forward, the Yale product has earned regular duty throughout most his first season with the Sabres.
Hayden, 27, has thrived under Don Granato, a coach he knows well from their days together at the U.S. National Team Development Program and later with the Chicago Blackhawks.
“Donny’s made ... Read the full article