BUFFALO – At some point in the next day or so, Sabres coach Dan Bylsma will grab center Jack Eichel for a moment and tell the rookie he has made the opening-night roster.
Not exactly surprising news, right?
“It won’t be a 15-minute meeting,” Bylsma joked this afternoon inside the First Niagara Center.
But until Eichel, 18, officially hears the news from Bylsma, he’s operating like he must earn his spot. He still sported ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – After his family, the most important thing in his life, Sabres winger Matt Moulson has two other loves.
“Scoring is my second love after winning,” Moulson said Sunday inside the First Niagara Center.
Moulson, 31, did little of either throughout a brutal 2014-15 season in which the Sabres won only 23 times and he scored a career-low 13 goals.
He struggled from the get-go beside some pedestrian centers, only occasionally showcasing the talents ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The Sabres’ top two lines, while they could still be rearranged, appear to be set. So is the fourth line.
So four days before opening night, only the third line, which currently comprises center Johan Larsson and Zemgus Girgensons, Jamie McGinn and Sam Reinhart, a center-turned-winger, has a spare.
Reinhart, given his age, 19, and rawness – he has played only nine NHL games and is learning a new position – could be ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – For almost 40 minutes Friday, much of the optimism the Sabres created early in the preseason vanished as the Columbus Blue Jackets’ junior varsity squad throttled a lineup filled with stars and regular talent.
The Blue Jackets scored on two of their first three shots and led 3-0 after the first period. When they went up 5-0 8:15 into the second period, the Sabres had five shots.
“It wasn’t at all how ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Josh Gorges almost revealed what had sidelined him for a week of training camp.
“Just a quick cleanup in my,” the Sabres defenseman said this morning before pausing briefly, “lower body.”
Yes, Gorges, who underwent microfracture surgery in February, has already undergone a minor procedure this season. He said he was injured nine days ago going into the corner against the Ottawa Senators.
While Gorges skated this morning and feels good, he ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – A season in which he morphed from arguably the NHL’s best backup goalie into one of its least reliable hasn’t shaken Sabres newcomer Chad Johnson’s confidence.
After all, Johnson, 29, landed another good gig prior to the March 2 trade deadline, getting dealt from the upstart New York Islanders to the rebuilding Sabres, who planned to play him regularly.
That was, of course, before Johnson suffered a season-ending ankle injury the morning of ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Finally, there’s some good news for the Sabres’ depleted defense corps: Brendan Guhle didn’t suffer a concussion Tuesday when Dion Phaneuf’s wicked open-ice hit forced him out of the Sabres’ 4-0 preseason win against Toronto.
While the rookie stayed off the ice today inside the First Niagara Center, coach Dan Bylsma said the 18-year-old should be fine. The Sabres also got one of their six injured defensemen, Jake McCabe, back today. McCabe (upper ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – In three NHL exhibition appearances, Sabres center Jack Eichel has generated two goals, five points and more excitement than any NHL rookie, even Connor McDavid, his counterpart in Edmonton.
To wit: Eichel, in his home preseason debut Tuesday, scored again in Sabres’ 4-0 shellacking of the Toronto Maple Leafs, his second short-handed breakaway goal.
The 18-year-old Eichel hit full speed in two strides leaving the Buffalo zone and quickly roared by Connor Brown ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Brendan Guhle is no longer the impressive rookie getting a long look before going back to junior. Suddenly, the Sabres defense prospect, the 51st overall pick in June, has a real chance to be on the opening-night roster in nine days.
“Definitely there’s an opportunity,” said Guhle, who will play his fourth preseason game tonight. “There’s some injuries now, whatnot. I’m not looking too far ahead of myself.”
Four notable defensemen – ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Dan Bylsma wanted to count them all first. So before the coach talked about the impressive center depth the Sabres have quickly assembled, he rattled off each one on the roster.
When Bylsma stopped, he had named eight: Ryan O’Reilly, No. 2 overall pick Jack Eichel, Zemgus Girgensons, Johan Larsson, David Legwand, Sam Reinhart and Tyler Ennis and Marcus Foligno, two wingers with experience down the middle.... Read the full article