Jake McCabe believes he can put up more points. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Jake McCabe feeling confident, building offensive game

BUFFALO – With just under seven minutes left in Thursday’s 4-3 win, Sabres defenseman Jake McCabe made eye contact with winger Conor Sheary and took off for the left circle.

As Sheary skated back to the right point, he dished the puck through traffic to a streaking McCabe, who corralled the pass and quickly fed winger Sam Reinhart for the tying goal against the Montreal Canadiens.

The aggressiveness McCabe, 25, showcased on that play ... Read the full article

Fans packed Clinton Arena on Tuesday. ©2018, Olean Times Herald

Clinton had hockey history long before Sabres arrived for Hockeyville

CLINTON – This village of about 1,900 has some hockey history, you know.

In the late 1950s and 1960s, long before Tuesday’s Kraft Hockeyville NHL preseason tilt between the Buffalo Sabres and Columbus Blue Jackets, the 2,000-seat Clinton Arena housed a pro team in the Eastern Hockey League called the Clinton Comets.

Eddie Giacomin, a Hall of Fame goalie, played for the Comets prior to his days starring for the New York Rangers.... Read the full article

The Sabres stretch earlier today inside Clinton Arena. ©2018, Olean Times Herald

Hockeyville in Clinton provides unique experience for Sabres

CLINTON – When center Casey Mittelstadt told some of his teammates skating this morning inside tiny Clinton Arena this felt like high school, he said they starting making fun of him.

But Mittelstadt, 19, is less than two years removed from playing high school hockey. Memories of skating in old rinks like the 65-year-old barn where the Sabres will face the Columbus Blue Jackets in tonight are fresh.... Read the full article

Brian Gionta retired Monday. ©2018, Hickling Images

Former Sabres captain Brian Gionta helped change hockey

BUFFALO – Twenty years ago, diminutive players like Brian Gionta – the ones teams list at, say, 5-foot-9 but are clearly much smaller – rarely received a chance in the NHL.

Sure, once in a while an undersized talent would break through. But for the most part, the league coveted size.

Then in the early 2000s, a few small forwards – Gionta, Daniel Briere and Martin St. Louis – started seizing their chances and morphing ... Read the full article

Johan Larsson is one of the longest-tenured Sabres. ©2018, Hickling Images

Poor season forced Sabres’ Johan Larsson to change

BUFFALO – Instead of talking about Johan Larsson’s rough season, Sabres coach Phil Housley chose to praise the Swedish center for the transformations he has made.

Larsson struggled mightily in 2017-18, enduring his worst NHL campaign. How bad was he? His wretched minus-30 was the fourth-worst rating among NHL forwards. He scored two of his career-low four goals into empty nets.

But Larsson, 26, accepted Housley and general manager Jason Botterill’s challenge to change ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel was an NHL All-Star in 2018. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres to play Hockeyville preseason game in Clinton

The NHL has chosen the Buffalo Sabres – a last-place team that will boast some notable talent next season – to play in the annual the Hockeyville preseason game, this time against the Columbus Blue Jackets Sept. 25 in Clinton.

The Central New York town won the right to host an exhibition contest and $150,000 in rink upgrades for Clinton Arena after compiling the most votes online.... Read the full article

Linus Ullmark makes a stop Thursday. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark savors rare NHL victory

BUFFALO – Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark experienced the thrill of earning an NHL victory long before making a career-high 44 saves in Thursday’s 3-1 triumph against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Ullmark won eight of his 20 appearances as a rookie two season ago, often showcasing the talents of a future No. 1 netminder.

But with Robin Lehner entrenched as the Sabres’ starter, Ullmark, 24, has spent two seasons developing in the AHL, where he ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel has been one of the NHL's hottest scorers. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres notes: Jack Eichel honored by All-Star Game selection

BUFFALO – Two years ago, the NHL revamped its traditional All-Star Game, transforming the stale affair into a slick three-on-three tournament featuring six divisional squads.

The league also added a $1 million incentive for the winning team, a prize center Jack Eichel, the Sabres’ lone All-Star, said “brings a little more energy to the event.”... Read the full article

Jack Eichel (15) battles Philadelphia's Robert Hagg on Dec. 22. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Jack Eichel honored by spot in NHL All-Star Game

BUFFALO – Two years ago, the NHL revamped its traditional All-Star Game, transforming the stale affair into a slick three-on-three tournament featuring six divisional squads.

The league also added a $1 million incentive for the winning team, a prize center Jack Eichel, the Sabres’ lone All-Star, said “brings a little more energy to the event.”... Read the full article

Linus Ullmark has played 21 NHL games. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark to start; Zach Bogosian out 4 to 6 weeks

BUFFALO – Why not try something different, right? The reeling Sabres have lost five straight games and 33 of their 43 outings this season.

Starting goalie Linus Ullmark tonight against the Columbus Blue Jackets is worth a try.

Sabres coach Phil Housley, who criticized his goaltending in Tuesday’s 7-4 loss to Winnipeg, said Ullmark will receive his first NHL nod since last season’s finale.

... Read the full article