Best wishes to RJ

Archive:
Colorado Avalanche

The Sabres' Mike Weber (6) fights Steve Downie on Saturday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – The buzz began building as Drew Stafford wound up at the left point. A second later, as the winger pumped a slap shot on Colorado goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere 14:09 into the game, the 18,422 fans inside the First Niagara Center roared, almost like the Sabres had scored.

It was, of course, a Bronx cheer – perhaps the loudest you’ll ever hear. The hapless Sabres finally had their first shot.

“That’s a low moment,” defenseman Henrik Tallinder said after the Sabres’ …

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Joe Sacco coached Colorado four seasons. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Joe Sacco wasn’t sure what he would feel watching the Colorado Avalanche, his old team, play the rebuilding Sabres on Saturday inside the First Niagara Center.

Ron Rolston’s top assistant coach spent eight seasons coaching in the Colorado organization, the last four as the Avs’ head coach.

“That’s a long time with one organization,” Sacco said prior to the Sabres’ 4-2 loss. “I have a lot of friends that are still there and a lot of good memories from there. …

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Mikhail Grigorenko has one NHL goal. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Colorado Avalanche coach Patrick Roy called talking about struggling Sabres prospect Mikhail Grigorenko “a touchy subject.”

“I haven’t seen too many games,” Roy, who had the 19-year-old two junior seasons, said this afternoon inside the First Niagara Center. “It would be very unfair by me to make some comments on it.”

But having coached Grigorenko 114 games with the Quebec Remparts, Roy might know the Russian better than anyone in North America.

So far, 32 games into his NHL career, Grigorenko …

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Zemgus Girgensons was hit in the face Tuesday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Since the Sabres had an optional skate this morning, you’ll have to wait until tonight to see their lineup against the upstart Colorado Avalanche.

This much is known: Cody McCormick, who blocked a shot in Thursday’s 3-0 loss to Vancouver, is out. The forward is day-to-day, Sabres coach Ron Rolston said.

Winger Zemgus Girgensons, who took a shot off his face Tuesday, will return after a one-game absence. The rookie has ditched the facial protection he had been sporting and …

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Nikita Zadorov, who danced Friday, will play an NHL game soon. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – One by one they danced, each Sabres rookie taking a turn at center ice as teammates laughed and cheered following Friday’s practice inside the First Niagara Center.

Johan Larsson showcased, well, all sorts of crazy moves, including some breakdancing. Zemgus Girgensons twerked like Miley Cyrus at the MTV Video Music Awards.

“Twerking on skates, that’ll be the first time,” Sabres winger Tyler Ennis said.

When you’re 1-7-1 and hours removed from a shutout home loss, positive energy must be created.

“Get a …

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©2012
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – The famous “Foligno Leap” reappeared for its highly anticipated single showing just 99 seconds into the Sabres’ shocking 5-4 shootout loss Wednesday to the Colorado Avalanche, when rookie Marcus Foligno drove hard to the net and connected on Tyler Ennis’ pass.

The 20-year-old winger then jumped into the air, fulfilling a promise he had made to honor his father, Sabres legend Mike Foligno, who celebrated in the same fashion during his long career.

A special night appeared to be underway …

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©2012
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Lindy Ruff said he “was surprised, disappointed” that the NHL banned Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers three games for ramming Montreal’s Scott Gomez into the boards from behind.

Both the coach and Myers knew the boarding penalty Monday, which concussed Gomez, would probably earn a suspension. But three games for a player with a clean record?

“I felt that as a first-time offender it was a little harsh,” Ruff said Wednesday prior to the Sabres’ 5-4 shootout loss to the Colorado …

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©2012
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Sixteen days and eight games later, rookie Cody Hodgson, a centerpiece of the NHL trade deadline’s most-talked about transaction, is pointless and skating with Brad Boyes and Corey Tropp on what could be considered the Sabres’ fourth line.

Meanwhile, defenseman Alexander Sulzer, a throw-in to the deal with Vancouver, just played a tick under 24 minutes, a season high.

The German, a spare part a week ago, has possibly cemented a spot for the season. He’s forming a strong duo …

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©2012
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Uh-oh. Starting tonight, the ninth-place Sabres will be missing star defenseman Tyler Myers for three straight games during their furious fight for the Eastern Conference’s final playoff spot.

Early Tuesday night, the NHL suspended Myers for ramming Scott Gomez’s head into the boards from behind Monday in the Sabres’ 3-2 overtime win against the Montreal Canadiens.

“At no point during Myers’ approach to the check does he see anything other than Gomez’s back,” NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan said in …

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