Jason Botterill brought in four new players who have contributed to the Sabres' success. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Jason Botterill says coaches, players have contributed to Sabres’ hot start

BUFFALO – Seven wins in their first nine games have positioned the upstart Sabres among the NHL’s early-season elite.

Right now, having already earned 15 points, they’re tied for first overall and rank first in the Eastern Conference entering tonight’s game against the San Jose Sharks.

Few expected the Sabres, who earned just 16 points over their final 33 outings as they imploded last season, would turn things around so quickly.

The offseason additions – ... Read the full article

Rasmus Dahlin has had a strong offensive start this season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Rasmus Dahlin could enjoy greatest offensive season by Sabres defenseman

BUFFALO – Having already produced seven points through five games, Rasmus Dahlin could be in the early stages of the greatest offensive season ever enjoyed by a Sabres defenseman.

Dahlin, of course, will likely cool off. At his current pace entering this afternoon’s home game against the Dallas Stars, he would score 115 points over an 82-game campaign.

Only five NHL defensemen have ever recorded a 100-point season. The last one, Brian Leetch, hit the ... Read the full article

Victor Olofsson has roared out of the gate. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Victor Olofsson has chance to enjoy dynamic rookie season

BUFFALO – Winger Kyle Okposo still remembers the first time he and some other Sabres watched rookie Victor Olofsson shoot the puck.

It was training camp in 2018, and Olofsson had just arrived for his first North American season after leading the Swedish Hockey League in goals.

What Okposo and the others saw wowed them.

“We were just like, ‘Who is this kid who can shoot the puck like this?’” Okposo said Thursday inside KeyBank ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel (9) skates past Shea Weber on Wednesday. ©2019, Hickling Images

Dynamic power play helps Sabres beat Canadiens in overtime

BUFFALO – Officially, center Marcus Johansson’s winner 1:30 into overtime Wednesday doesn’t count as the Sabres’ ninth power-play goal this season.

Johansson secured the Sabres’ third win in four tries (3-0-1), an exciting 5-4 triumph over the Montreal Canadiens, five seconds after center Phillip Danault’s slashing penalty expired.

So, yes, on paper, Johansson’s one-timer from the right circle goes down as an even-strength score. But Danault hadn’t even gotten back into the play yet.

Make ... Read the full article

Conor Sheary scored twice Thursday. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Sabres dominate Penguins early, win Ralph Krueger’s debut as coach

PITTSBURGH – Throughout training camp, coach Ralph Krueger insisted his Sabres had embraced the new ideas he and his coaching staff brought to Buffalo.

Krueger wants the Sabres to play fast, stay connected and utilize their instincts. It might take sacrificing a little offense, but in the end, he believes they can reap rewards from the aggressive new approach.

Based on Thursday’s 3-1, season-opening win against the Penguins, Krueger’s message is getting through to the ... Read the full article

Carter Hutton played a career-high 50 games last season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres goalie Carter Hutton to start opener; Evan Rodrigues to sit

PITTSBURGH – In almost equal preseason action, Buffalo Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark outplayed Carter Hutton, posting a goals-against average 64 points lower and a save percentage 49 points higher than his partner.

But Hutton, 33, handled the load last season, playing a career-high 50 games.

Sabres coach Ralph Krueger, who said everything was up for competition during training camp, probably wants to show Hutton respect on opening night against the Penguins.

The veteran will ... Read the full article

Jake McCabe has battled shoulder problems in the past. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Jake McCabe to miss rest of preseason

BUFFALO – An upper-body injury will sideline Sabres defenseman Jake McCabe the rest of the preseason, the team announced this morning.

“It was in practice yesterday, just light upper body,” Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said inside KeyBank Center. “We’re expecting him to be good to go for the first league game.”

McCabe, 25, has battled shoulder problems in the past.

In addition to McCabe, four other Sabres defensemen – Zach Bogosian (hip), Matt Hunwick (neck), ... Read the full article

Marcus Johansson was traded to Boston last season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Marcus Johansson learned from short tenure with Bruins

BUFFALO – Counting 22 postseason appearances, forward Marcus Johansson played 32 games with the Bruins. The Swede arrived in Boston on Feb. 25 and was gone by July 6, when he signed a two-year, $9 million contract with the Sabres.

But Johansson’s short run with one of the NHL’s model franchises recharged his career.

After battling injuries, including two concussions, with the New Jersey Devils over a season and a half, Johansson played regularly throughout ... Read the full article

Dylan Cozens has shown some rapid growth during training camp. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Prospect Dylan Cozens earns another look from Sabres

BUFFALO – Before Sabres prospect Dylan Cozens’ impressive effort in Friday’s preseason loss, the coaching staff marked him down as a possibility to play again in tonight’s rematch against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

“There was a good chance he was going to play, but he confirmed it yesterday with what he showed us, and we need one more look here,” Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said this morning inside KeyBank Center.

Cozens, 18, was one ... Read the full article

Tage Thompson joined Rochester late last season. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

‘Full-time job’ eating helped Sabres’ Tage Thompson pack on muscle

TORONTO – In the offseason, Buffalo Sabres winger Tage Thompson started what he called a “full-time job.”

“I was eating a lot,” Thompson said prior to Friday’s 3-0 exhibition loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Yes, Thompson, 21, spent much of the spring and summer devouring food.

“I was probably eating five square meals a day with snacks in between,” Thompson said in Buffalo before the Sabres traveled to Scotiabank Arena.

Sound like fun? Well, ... Read the full article