Evan Rodrigues impressed late last season. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Speed could help Sabres’ Evan Rodrigues secure roster spot

BUFFALO – A 28-game run in which Evan Rodrigues emerged as the Sabres’ biggest late-season surprise hardly made the young center feel comfortable in the NHL.

“If you kind of relax and take it easy a little bit, there’s a guy right behind you wanting to take your spot,” Rodrigues said after recording two assists in Monday’s 3-2 preseason overtime loss to the Carolina Hurricanes.... Read the full article

Phil Housley wants the Sabres to get after it tonight. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Phil Housley excited, nervous for coaching debut

BUFFALO – Come about 7 p.m., just before the Sabres’ preseason opener against the Carolina Hurricanes, rookie coach Phil Housley will start feeling some butterflies.

“I’d be lying to you if I say when the game comes I’m (not) going to be nervous,” Housley said this morning inside KeyBank Center. “Being a head coach for the first time behind the bench, it’s quite exciting for me.”... Read the full article

Seth Griffith has been a dynamic AHL player. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

AHL star Seth Griffith focused on sticking with Sabres

BUFFALO – A season ago, as Seth Griffith bounced around the Atlantic Division, getting waived and claimed three times in a three-month span, the Sabres winger lived a nomadic life out of a suitcase.

Griffith, a stud AHL scorer with 58 games of NHL experience, never settled down, spending time in Boston, Toronto (twice) and Florida.

So after a long day at the rink or a road trip, Griffith couldn’t simply go home and unwind.... Read the full article

Zach Bogosian fights Carolina's Jordan Staal in the second period Thursday. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Jack Eichel briefly benched, Sabres lose to Hurricanes

BUFFALO – Jack Eichel was seething. Ten minutes after Thursday’s ugly 3-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, the second-year Sabres star hadn’t calmed down.

Not only had the Sabres just lost their third straight game, coach Dan Bylsma yanked Eichel, the face of the franchise, off the team’s power play for Matt Moulson just minutes into the game.

Eichel, 20, didn’t want to discuss the brief benching, which ended when the Sabres enjoyed a late ... Read the full article

Marcus Foligno has been utilizing his big frame. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres notes: Marcus Foligno showcasing toughness

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Marcus Foligno has a simple explanation why he fixed his hair at a bizarre time – during a heavyweight scrap against Shawn Thornton, the NHL’s dean of fighters – in Tuesday’s 4-3 shootout loss to the Florida Panthers.

“Just try to get readjusted and get ready for round two,” a smiling Foligno said Thursday prior to the Sabres’ 3-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes inside KeyBank Center.

The bout was a ... Read the full article

Dan Bylsma's Sabres have been starting game slowly. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres must start ’emotionally attached’ against Hurricanes tonight

BUFFALO – For the past few weeks, the Sabres have rarely broken a disturbing trend of starting slowly and falling behind.

Some nights, they’ve roared back to win. Other nights, however, their penchant for stumbling out of the gate bites them.

In Tuesday’s 4-3 shootout loss in Florida, the Sabres trailed 2-0 before zooming back to take a late 3-2 lead.

What must the Sabres change early tonight against the Carolina Hurricanes?

“We need to ... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolainen has been logging big minutes. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Torrid stretch puts Sabres’ Rasmus Ristolainen in elite company

BUFFALO – The significance of defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen’s recent exploits shouldn’t be overshadowed by the Sabres’ disappointing season.

In the near future, if Ristolainen becomes an NHL All-Star or garners serious Norris Trophy consideration, remember the torrid run he is enjoying entering tonight’s tilt against the Carolina Hurricanes at KeyBank Center.

Ristolainen has three goals, two overtime winners and 14 points while averaging a whopping 27 minutes, 41 seconds of ice time over the last ... Read the full article

Taylor Fedun played eight games with the Sabres. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres send Taylor Fedun to Amerks

BUFFALO – The Sabres sent defenseman Taylor Fedun back to the Rochester Americans today.

Fedun, 28, played eight games, recording four assists, all in his first three appearances. The Princeton product hasn’t played since hurting his shoulder Dec. 3. He started practicing again earlier this week.

The Amerks host the St. John’s IceCaps tonight. Fedun has two goals and 12 points in 14 games for the AHL club this season.

Update: Defenseman Zach Bogosian will ... Read the full article

Ryan O'Reilly plays big minutes for the Sabres. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres want to rely on star Ryan O’Reilly less this season

BUFFALO – Dan Bylsma has a problem. It’s a good one, mind you. Most coaches would love to have it.

In Sabres center Ryan O’Reilly, he possesses one of the NHL’s most talented and versatile forwards, one he can throw on the ice in every conceivable situation.

A season ago, O’Reilly’s first with the Sabres, he skated 21 minutes, 44 seconds a game, most among NHL forwards. He deserved every second, quickly becoming the ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel zooms in on Minnesota goalie Devan Dubnyk on March 5. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres rookie Jack Eichel in Calder hunt

BUFFALO – Thanks to a scheduling quirk three months ago, the Sabres enjoyed a six-day Christmas break, a rare opportunity to recharge during the rigorous six-month, 82-game season.

At that point, 33 games into his career, Sabres center Jack Eichel had nine goals and 16 points, terrific numbers for a 19-year-old. Still, those statistics ranked nowhere near the NHL’s elite.

Eichel used the time to go home to Boston and relax. Having played only ... Read the full article