Draft Day

Archive:
Crosby

Auston Matthews should visit Buffalo with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Nov. 3. ©2016, Margaret Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – After the Sabres open their season Oct. 13 at home against the Montreal Canadiens, they start a four-game road trip – longer than any swing they had last season – three days later against Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers.

That’s just one notable stretch of the 82-game 2016-17 schedule the NHL released Tuesday.

The Sabres, who went 19-17-5 on the road last season, better get comfortable playing away from the First Niagara Center early, as eight of their first …

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Jack Eichel and the Sabres open the season Oct. 13. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – After the Sabres open their season Oct. 13 at home against the Montreal Canadiens, they start a four-game road trip – longer than any swing they had last season – three days later against Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers.

That’s just one notable stretch of the 82-game 2016-17 schedule the NHL released this afternoon.

The Sabres, who went 19-17-5 on the road last season, better get comfortable playing away from the First Niagara Center early, as eight of their …

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Ryan O'Reilly has 18 goals. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – For almost three months, Ryan O’Reilly compiled the Sabres’ oddest stat line.

On Jan. 8 in Chicago, O’Reilly scored his 17th goal. At that point, halfway through the season, the NHL All-Star was on pace for a career-high 34 goals.

Then, O’Reilly suddenly went dry, enduring a marathon drought before finally scoring short-handed early in Tuesday’s 5-4 shootout loss in Pittsburgh.

In that odd 24-game run, which was interrupted when a broken foot sidelined him 11 games, O’Reilly accumulated a gaudy …

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Jake McCabe has established himself with the Sabres this season. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

PITTSBURGH – Buffalo Sabres defenseman Jake McCabe understands how valuable the late-season NHL experience rookies Hudson Fasching and Casey Nelson have been gaining will be for their development.

Two years ago, McCabe, 22, left the University of Wisconsin following his junior year. McCabe loved college and wanted to stay with the Badgers. Still, as a former second-round pick ready for pro hockey, he knew he needed to join the Sabres.

“It made too much sense for me to leave,” McCabe said Tuesday …

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Ryan O'Reilly (90) will play left wing tonight. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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PITTSBURGH – With Buffalo Sabres winger Evander Kane sidelined for tonight’s tilt against the Penguins, coach Dan Bylsma will shuffle his lines, moving No. 1 center Ryan O’Reilly to the left wing beside pivot Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart.

The Sabres’ new “super line” has 62 total goals this season. No one else in the lineup has more than 10.

Bylsma said forward Cal O’Reilly, a healthy scratch the last two games, will return. Zemgus Girgensons, Eichel’s winger recently will switch back …

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Jack Eichel zooms in on Minnesota goalie Devan Dubnyk on March 5. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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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 55 total games over eight months as a …

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Connor McDavid (97) downplayed hype before his first game in Buffalo. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Dan Bylsma, as he loves to do, kept accompanying his words with a sly grin. The so-called rivalry between phenoms Jack Eichel and Connor McDavid is a “made-up” scenario, the Sabres coach said Tuesday.

The Sabres’ 2-1 overtime loss to McDavid’s Edmonton Oilers was the first-ever NHL meeting between the “generational talents” drafted first and second overall last year. The rookies barely know each other.

How could they truly be rivals?

“The hype is produced,” Bylsma told a packed media room …

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Jack Eichel doesn't know Connor McDavid well. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
3

BUFFALO – The so-called rivalry between top draft picks Jack Eichel and Connor McDavid, well, that’s simply a “made-up scenario,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said.

Bylsma, as he’s known to do, said that with a sly grin. Like just about everyone else, he wants to see the youngsters dubbed generational talents face each other for the first time tonight when the Sabres host the Edmonton Oilers.

“The hype is produced,” Bylsma told a packed media room this morning. “They’re great players. We …

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Sabres goalie Robin Lehner tries to ward off Pittsburgh's Tom Kuhnhackl on Sunday afternoon with Mike Weber (6) nearby. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – For about 20 minutes, the Sabres responded to the loss of No. 1 center Ryan O’Reilly, their most versatile and important asset, by playing one of their best first periods in weeks.

But by the second period of Sunday afternoon’s 4-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, O’Reilly’s absence became very evident as the Sabres began chasing the game and fell behind.

“He’s your No. 1 guy, and that’s something … you can’t replace,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said after announcing …

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Justin Bailey has played five NHL games. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – At a few points in the first period of the Sabres’ 4-3 loss Sunday afternoon, rookie winger Justin Bailey’s first NHL goal felt imminent.

The 6-foot-3, 210-pound Bailey, thanks his size and speed, kept generating scoring chances around Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury in his fifth NHL game.

While the Williamsville native didn’t score in 11 minutes, 55 seconds of action, he finished the contest confident he’ll net that elusive first goal sooner than later.

“It’ll come,” Bailey said inside the …

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