Best wishes to RJ

Archive:
Crosby

Rasmus Ristolainen practices Monday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – When you’re struggling and searching for anything to ignite the team, you experiment. So with nothing to lose, Sabres coach Ted Nolan paired Rasmus Ristolainen, 20, and rookie Nikita Zadorov, 19, together last game.

The defensemen became the Sabres’ top tandem in Saturday’s ugly 6-1 loss to Pittsburgh, each skating more than 20 minutes, more than Tyler Myers. Zadorov wasn’t on the ice for any goals against.

“If you look at both of them, one’s more on the defensive side …

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Sidney Crosby dissects the Sabres on Saturday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – This one lasted one shift. Eighty-one seconds into the Pittsburgh Penguins’ 6-1 annihilation of the Sabres, Kris Letang converted Sidney Crosby’s slick pass, the first of the superstar’s five assists Saturday.

Game over.

The Penguins utterly destroyed the hapless Sabres before a capacity crowd of 19,070 fans inside the First Niagara Center.

The potent Penguins scored again before the Sabres recorded their first shot 13:21 into the lopsided contest. They led 3-0 after the first period, 6-1 after the second and …

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Mike Weber fights Steve Downie on Saturday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Following an embarrassing 5-0 loss eight days ago in Pittsburgh, defenseman Mike Weber passionately called for more anger and intensity from the reeling Sabres.

The gritty Weber sat out the next night, the first of three straight healthy scratches. The 26-year-old, an emotional presence, hadn’t missed a game since Dec. 10.

The Pittsburgh native played again in Saturday’s 6-1 loss to the Penguins inside the First Niagara Center.

“It was extremely tough,” Weber said Saturday morning about sitting out. “So I …

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Tyler Ennis touched an official Friday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – After time expired Friday in the Sabres’ 3-2 loss to Edmonton, center Tyler Ennis skated over to linesman Derek Nansen and tapped the official with his stick.

Nansen immediately gave Ennis a game misconduct.

Why did the normally mild-mannered Ennis touch an official?

“I was a little frustrated,” he said this morning inside the First Niagara Center. “I just went to go talk to the linesman and tap him on the bum lightly. But I got his hand a little bit …

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Christian Ehrhoff signed with Pittsburgh in July. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

PITTSBURGH – Penguins defenseman Christian Ehrhoff figured since the Buffalo Sabres asked him to submit a no-trade list last season, the rebuilding team would deal him during the summer.

“That was kind of my expectation,” Ehrhoff said Saturday prior to the Penguins’ 5-0 win inside the Consol Energy Center, “but it didn’t end up that way.”

On June 29, the Sabres used their second compliance buyout to eat the final seven seasons of Ehrhoff’s 10-year contract. The German was shocked.

The 32-year-old joined …

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Connor McDavid had four points Wednesday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Six months ago, Steve Poland paid $110 for a discounted gold Sabres alternate jersey at the team store and had 17-year-old junior superstar Connor McDavid’s last name and No. 97 stitched on it.

“I bought it as a joke for this forthcoming season,” Poland said Wednesday prior to watching McDavid and the Erie Otters inside the First Niagara Center.

Poland, like a lot of rabid fans, wants the Sabres to lose all season so they have a 20 percent chance …

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Connor McDavid stretches Tuesday in Buffalo. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Hockey phenom Connor McDavid mostly avoids the kind words that are being written about him.

“I’ve been trying to do that as much as I can, because it can either get in your head that you’re too good, or bad press can also get in your head and do negative things for you,” the slick Erie Otters center said Tuesday. “I just try to stay away from reading about yourself.”

Some words, however, the 17-year-old can’t avoid. For example, whenever …

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Ted Nolan doesn't use many advanced numbers. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
6

BUFFALO – The analytics explosion hitting the NHL hasn’t been felt around the Sabres. Their coach, Ted Nolan, is an old-school guy. He doesn’t need advance stats to evaluate a player.

“The information I use is with my eyes and my soul and my heart,” Nolan said this afternoon inside the First Niagara Center. “If I see someone who’s competing and I know he’s competing, that’s good enough for me. I don’t need a machine telling me how hard he worked. …

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Connor McDavid visited Buffalo on Thursday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – The sight was enough to make any Sabres fan dream and drool: 17-year-old phenom Connor McDavid inside the First Niagara Center, talking about playing here someday.

For good measure, he was even photographed with a Sabres banner behind him.

If you ask the junior superstar, he’ll acknowledge that, yes, he can envision himself wearing blue and gold come 2015.

“It’s a great organization,” the slick center said Thursday after touring the rink, where his Erie Otters will face the Niagara IceDogs …

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Connor McDavid is coveted by NHL teams. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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The draft lottery changes the NHL unveiled today might not hurt the Buffalo Sabres, owners of three 2015 first-round picks, next year. The league’s worst team can’t fall below the second pick.

The odds of nabbing that No. 1 pick, however, have fallen from 25 percent to 20, according to the league.

Still, the Sabres, a team many have pegged to finish last, will get Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel, the consensus top two prospects, if they finish 30th overall again.

From the …

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