TORONTO – Fresh off a 99-point regular season, the Rochester Americans looked poised to start a long playoff run deep into the spring.
The Buffalo Sabres’ top affiliate possessed a strong mix of prospects and veterans, terrific scoring balance and perhaps the AHL’s best depth.
It was hard to find a weakness on the Amerks, a team constructed to win the Calder Cup.
For an organization that hasn’t won anything on any level in a ... Read the full article
ROCHESTER – Since the Americans’ defense corps goes 11 deep, coach Chris Taylor has plenty of options at his disposal.
So among his five defense scratches for Sunday afternoon’s 3-2 overtime loss to the Toronto Marlies were NHL veteran Nathan Paetsch, a two-time Calder Cup champion; prospect Jack Dougherty, who compiled a plus-15 rating this season; and prospect Brandon Hickey, who earned a coveted spot on Team Canada’s 2016 World Junior Championship squad.
Meanwhile, rookie ... Read the full article
ROCHESTER – The numbers jump out at you. Through nine AHL appearances, Buffalo Sabres prospect Tage Thompson has already compiled seven goals and 10 points.
Sure, it’s a small sample size. But Thompson, 21, has often been a dynamic presence for the Americans since the Sabres sent him down March 28.
“We’re looking for him to be a big-time player for us,” Amerks coach Chris Taylor said following Saturday’s practice at Bill Gray’s Regional Iceplex ... Read the full article
ROCHESTER – For the opening 25 minutes of Friday’s first-round playoff opener, the Americans blitzed the Toronto Marlies, beating goalie Kasimir Kaskisuo four times.
Of course, the puck never actually went in the net. The Amerks rattled it off the post or crossbar four times. They missed empty nets, a breakaway and pumped 15 shots on goal in the first period.
So instead of seizing a commanding lead, the Amerks let the Marlies hang around ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Since the Sabres are off today, defenseman Zach Bogosian plans to enjoy some tranquility and go fishing, one of his passions away from the rink.
Bogosian, who loves bass fishing, said he finds a special peace in himself surrounded by the quietness on the water.
“I get away from everything, everyone,” Bogosian said prior to Saturday’s 3-2 preseason loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs inside KeyBank Center, his first game action since Jan. ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Coaches regularly jumble their preseason line combinations as they evaluate talent and move players in and out. What you see during exhibition games usually doesn’t stick together for the regular season.
Still, one intriguing trio the Sabres will utilize tonight could remain intact.
This morning inside KeyBank Center, coach Phil Housley assembled three first-round picks – center Casey Mittelstadt and Alexander Nylander and Tage Thompson – for the Sabres’ road tilt against the ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – After Matej Pekar hit Casey Mittelstadt in the head during Saturday’s three-on-three development camp tournament, the agitator sensed an opportunity.
“That’s my shot to kind of piss him off, get in his head and try to win the game for the team,” Pekar said after camp ended inside HarborCenter. “I guess it worked out.”
Pekar, the 94th overall pick a week ago, kept going after Mittelstadt, irking the Sabres’ top forward prospect. The ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Nine years ago, the Sabres, whose knack for unearthing mid- and late-round draft gems helped them morph into a Stanley Cup contender earlier in the decade, found another undervalued youngster.
When the Sabres selected Marcus Foligno in the fourth round, 104th overall, he was simply a talented kid with a familiar name.
But the son of former Sabres captain Mike Foligno would quickly develop into one of junior hockey’s top forward prospects.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – In his 11 NHL seasons, winger Matt Moulson has played for nine coaches, including four with the Sabres.
There have been Stanley Cup winners (Marc Crawford and Dan Bylsma), rookies (Scott Gordon, Ron Rolston and others) and old school veterans (Terry Murray and Ted Nolan).
Moulson, 33, has experienced the NHL coaching gamut. So when the three-time 30-goal scorer says new Sabres coach Phil Housley’s sessions “are some of the best practices I’ve ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The Rochester Americans open their training camp Monday, so a for a slew of Sabres, tonight’s preseason tilt against the Toronto Maple Leafs inside KeyBank Center is a final chance to impress coach Phil Housley and the team’s brass.
The Sabres will almost certainly assign some players to their AHL affiliate in the near future.
“If you want to separate yourself from other people on the team or the totem pole, you got ... Read the full article