The Sabres sent Casey Mittelstadt to Rochester in December. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres should’ve sent Casey Mittelstadt to Amerks earlier: ‘He got rushed’

In the not-so-distant past, Buffalo Sabres prospect Casey Mittelstadt would’ve likely played two or three years of college hockey before turning pro. After leaving school, instead of being rushed to the NHL, he would’ve started an apprenticeship with the Rochester Americans.

But the NHL has changed dramatically in the last 10 years or so, morphing into a game dominated by young men. At the same time, the salary cap has whittled down teams’ depth.

Prized ... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner has donated 5,000 protective face shields. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Jack Eichel, Jeff Skinner make huge donations to COVID-19 response

Buffalo Sabres stars Jack Eichel and Jeff Skinner have joined owners Terry and Kim Pegula in making large donations to the local COVID-19 response.

Eichel announced Wednesday he has purchased 5,000 protective face shields from Bauer, whose hockey gear he has worn during his NHL career, that will be distributed to hospitals throughout Western New York.

Skinner, meanwhile, has donated $53,000 to the Western New York COVID-19 Community Response Fund, an organization formed by 18 ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel has been quarantining in Buffalo. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Jack Eichel says hockey has ‘kind of been put on the back burner’

Jack Eichel has spent the past two weeks hunkered down in his Buffalo home waiting out the COVID-19 pandemic. The Sabres captain usually fills his days by working out, watching television, listening to music, reading and playing video games.

When it becomes safe, Eichel, 23, would like to resume the schedule. The center has stayed in contact with Sabres general manager Jason Botterill, coach Ralph Krueger, teammates and trainers since the NHL suspended the ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel might not have a chance to score 40 goals and 90 points. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Coronavirus fears put NHL season, Sabres on hold indefinitely

Before the COVID-19 pandemic forced the NHL to suspend its season indefinitely on Thursday, the Buffalo Sabres generated a little optimism in their last outing.

In Monday’s 3-2 win over the Washington Capitals, star captain Jack Eichel and rookie Victor Olofsson both busted out of slumps as the Sabres ended their six-game losing streak. Newcomer Dominik Kahun looked impressive again, scoring the shootout-winning goal. Goalie Linus Ullmark dazzled in his first appearance in nearly six ... Read the full article

Dominik Kahun (95), Victor Olofsson (middle) Marcus Johansson (90) celebrate Olofsson's goal Monday. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Marcus Johansson meshing well with new linemates

BUFFALO – Marcus Johansson and Victor Olofsson started developing their chemistry in September, when they spent part of training camp as linemates.

But nearly six months passed before the Swedes shared any meaningful ice time during the regular season.

Olofsson, 24, earned a plum assignment at left wing beside top Sabres center Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart, and he thrived there nearly all season, morphing into one of the NHL’s top rookies.

Meanwhile, Johansson, ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart has an eight-game point drought. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Sam Reinhart emerging from career-worst slump

BUFFALO – Late in Monday’s 3-2 shootout win, Sabres winger Sam Reinhart grabbed the puck along the right boards and skated below the goal line before quickly threading it through a cluster of defenders.

A second later, Sabres defenseman Brandon Montour beat Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby from the edge of the left circle.

The play showcased some of Reinhart’s best talents – hockey sense, vision and adroit passing – and appeared to end his ... Read the full article

Dominik Kahun scores the shootout winner against Washington goalie Braden Holtby on Monday. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres win in shootout after late goal disallowed: ‘Soft, questionable call’

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Jeff Skinner tried to choose his words carefully when asked if he knows what constitutes goalie interference.

“I’m gonna get in trouble for that one,” Skinner said with a smirk after Monday’s 3-2 shootout win over the Washington Capitals ended the Sabres’ six-game losing streak. “I don’t know.”

Luckily, the questionable goalie interference call on Skinner that negated defenseman Brandon Montour’s goal with 2:48 left in regulation did not fluster the ... Read the full article

Wayne Simmonds hasn't experienced a win with the Sabres. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Wayne Simmonds doesn’t regret waiving no-trade clause

BUFFALO – Wayne Simmonds doesn’t regret waiving his no-trade clause to join the Sabres two weeks ago.

The Sabres, having crept within six points of a playoff spot, wanted the respected veteran winger to help their push. Meanwhile, Simmonds, an unrestricted free agent following the season, wanted a fresh opportunity after enduring a rough campaign.

So far, the deal – the Sabres sent the New Jersey Devils a conditional fifth-round pick – hasn’t paid many ... Read the full article

Jimm Vesey was scratched Saturday. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Struggling Sabres haven’t quit on rough season

BUFFALO – The Sabres’ season certainly turned quickly. Two weeks ago today, they stood six points out of a playoff spot and acquired forwards Dominik Kahun and Wayne Simmonds before the trade deadline.

Today, having lost six straight games in regulation, they’re 13 points out.

How bad is it getting? The Sabres haven’t dropped seven straight contests in regulation since their marathon 14-game losing streak halfway through the 2014-15 season. That, of course, was the ... Read the full article

Linus Ullmark has played 33 games this season. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Goalie Linus Ullmark Sabres’ best option this season and likely next one

BUFFALO – Expect Linus Ullmark to morph into a workhorse again over the final four weeks this season. If the goalie can stay healthy, he might start 12 or 13 of the reeling Sabres’ 14 remaining games.

Ullmark, who hasn’t played since suffering a lower-body injury Jan. 28, will likely start tonight against the Washington Capitals at KeyBank Center.

Before Ullmark missed 17 games – he backed up Carter Hutton on Saturday – he seized ... Read the full article