Sam Reinhart (23) skates in front of Colorado's Nazem Kadri on Tuesday. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres implode in ugly second period, fall to Avalanche: ‘Today was (crap)’

BUFFALO – This could spiral out of control in a hurry. There might be more ugly efforts like Tuesday’s uninspired 6-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche down the stretch.

The Sabres have displayed a disturbing penchant for melting down late in the season.

Players, coaches and even regimes change, yet the sorry results stay the same.

A week ago, the Sabres began a stretch in which they play five straight home games nine of 10 ... Read the full article

Brandon Montour's season started late. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Brandon Montour gaining trust, earning big minutes

BUFFALO – Having piled up points throughout his career, Sabres defenseman Brandon Montour understands he has earned a reputation.

“People that see me as a player, I think, over the years, they think it was just offense,” Montour said prior to Tuesday’s 6-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche inside KeyBank Center.

Montour, 25, has averaged nine goals and 34 points in his two full NHL seasons. He put up 12 goals and 57 points in ... Read the full article

Rasmus Dahlin missed Monday's practice. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres dealing with sickness, recall could be coming from Amerks

BUFFALO – In addition to what coach Ralph Krueger has termed some “light injuries,” the Sabres are dealing with some sickness going around the locker room.

So tonight’s lineup against the Colorado Avalanche isn’t set yet.

“I would love to be able to tell you the roster, but I have to be honest, we’re still assessing,” Krueger said this morning inside KeyBank Center.

Krueger said two defensemen are being assessed. Rasmus Dahlin, who had ... Read the full article

Jimmy Vesey has been a strong checker for the Sabres. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Jimmy Vesey focused on Sabres, not thinking about trade deadline

BUFFALO – The left winger beside top center Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart has become a revolving-door position since Victor Olofsson suffered a lower-body injury last month.

Rookie Rasmus Asplund started off subbing for Olofsson. Jimmy Vesey took a brief turn before Zemgus Girgensons enjoyed the longest run.

Last week, Evan Rodrigues and Jeff Skinner, Eichel’s partner most of last season, moved up for about a period.

Now, Vesey, 26, is back on the No. ... Read the full article

Sabres center Evan Rodrigues skates between Colorado's J.T. Compher (37) and Semyon Varlamov on Thursday. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres implode early, get blown out by Avalanche

BUFFALO – About 32 hours before the Sabres began Thursday’s ugly 6-1 loss, veteran winger Kyle Okposo saw some ominous signs of trouble during practice.

Throughout the short season, the Sabres had been dialed in and ready, according to Okposo. But fresh off two straight wins, he said they looked sloppy during Wednesday’s session.

“It was a lot like how we played the first period,” an agitated Okposo said after the Colorado Avalanche shellacked the ... Read the full article

Casey Mittelstadt knows he must evolve. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Casey Mittelstadt focusing on defensive side

BUFFALO – Sabres center Casey Mittelstadt has produced goals and points at every level of hockey. So right now, 10 games into his NHL career, the rookie said he isn’t worried about his offense.

“I’m sure the offense will come, it usually does,” Mittelstadt said prior to Thursday’s 6-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche inside KeyBank Center. “I’m pretty good with that.”

Mittelstadt, 19, has been an offensive stud wherever he plays. Last season, he ... Read the full article

Casey Mittelstadt has always been a scorer. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres rookie Casey Mittelstadt trying to evolve game

BUFFALO – Sabres center Casey Mittelstadt has produced goals and points at every level of hockey. So right now, nine games into his NHL career, the rookie said he isn’t worried about his offense.

“I’m sure the offense will come, it usually does,” Mittelstadt said this morning after the Sabres prepared for tonight’s tilt against the Colorado Avalanche inside KeyBank Center. “I’m pretty good with that.”

Mittelstadt, 19, has been an offensive stud wherever he ... Read the full article

A lower-body injury sidelined Johan Larsson. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Johan Larsson to make season debut, play wing

BUFFALO – In his brief time with the Sabres, center Casey Mittelstadt has never even practiced beside Johan Larsson, who will return from a lower-body injury tonight.

While the Sabres used the same lineup in two straight wins, coach Phil Housley wants to give Larsson, 26, a look. So the Swede, who usually plays center, will skate at left wing beside Mittelstadt and Tage Thompson tonight against the Colorado Avalanche inside KeyBank Center.

Larsson, ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel has a stronger supporting cast this season. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres’ depth has buoyed strong start

BUFFALO – Depth means coach Phil Housley can utilize his so-called fourth line for critical defensive zone faceoffs. It means the Sabres can replace former center Ryan O’Reilly’s minutes by committee. It means it can often be hard to distinguish between the first and fourth trios.

Right now, for the first time in years, the 2-1 Sabres possess depth up front and the ability to roll four lines.

“We’ve been rolling them pretty good,” center ... Read the full article

Ryan O'Reilly stepped up in Jack Eichel's absence. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres struggle in first game without Jack Eichel, lose to Avalanche

BUFFALO – The Sabres can soften Jack Eichel’s loss, of course, if some of their other top players – think Ryan O’Reilly and Rasmus Ristolainen – step up and seize additional opportunities in his absence.

If they don’t, what could happen without Eichel, their most dynamic presence and leading scorer? They won only 16 of their first 55 games with Eichel, who’s sidelined indefinitely after suffering a high right ankle sprain Saturday.... Read the full article