BUFFALO – Points-wise, this is the best start of Sam Reinhart’s career. In his first nine outings of a season, the Sabres winger had never hit the five-point mark.
Of course, Reinhart, 22, hasn’t exactly enjoyed a rollicking October. He has zero goals and five assists entering tonight’s tilt against the Montreal Canadiens at KeyBank Center.
Fresh off a 25-goal, 50-point campaign in which he scored 18 goals and 37 points over the final 38 ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sabres center Casey Mittelstadt has produced goals and points at every level of hockey. So right now, 10 games into his NHL career, the rookie said he isn’t worried about his offense.
“I’m sure the offense will come, it usually does,” Mittelstadt said prior to Thursday’s 6-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche inside KeyBank Center. “I’m pretty good with that.”
Mittelstadt, 19, has been an offensive stud wherever he plays. Last season, he ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – In his brief time with the Sabres, center Casey Mittelstadt has never even practiced beside Johan Larsson, who will return from a lower-body injury tonight.
While the Sabres used the same lineup in two straight wins, coach Phil Housley wants to give Larsson, 26, a look. So the Swede, who usually plays center, will skate at left wing beside Mittelstadt and Tage Thompson tonight against the Colorado Avalanche inside KeyBank Center.
Larsson, ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Depth means coach Phil Housley can utilize his so-called fourth line for critical defensive zone faceoffs. It means the Sabres can replace former center Ryan O’Reilly’s minutes by committee. It means it can often be hard to distinguish between the first and fourth trios.
Right now, for the first time in years, the 2-1 Sabres possess depth up front and the ability to roll four lines.
“We’ve been rolling them pretty good,” center ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – In past seasons, the line comprised of center Evan Rodrigues and wingers Zemgus Girgensons and Jason Pominville would’ve been the Sabres’ third or even second combination.
But for the first time in years, the Sabres have legitimate NHL depth, so the trio is actually their fourth line.
Well, in terms of ice time, it’s the fourth line.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – In his 90-game NHL career, Remi Elie has compiled seven goals and 21 points. The Dallas Stars utilized him as a checker, a role he will continue tonight as a fourth-line winger in his Sabres debut.
But in Elie, 23, Phil Housley sees a youngster who possesses the talents to morph into a scorer. Since the Sabres claimed him on waivers Tuesday, the coach has been praising the former second-round pick.
“I just ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Coach Phil Housley’s firm voice cut through the din of Friday’s practice every few minutes.
“He was definitely vocal,” winger Kyle Okposo said after the Sabres prepared for tonight’s home tilt against the New York Rangers. “I think we got the message.”
Actually, Housley relayed multiple messages Friday morning, hours after an embarrassing 4-0 loss left him seething. He delivered his first before practice.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Fresh off Thursday’s ugly 4-0 season-opening loss, coach Phil Housley relayed a straightforward message to the Sabres.
“I walked in this morning to the group and said … ‘The sun came up,’” Housley said following practice inside KeyBank Center.
The setback to the Boston Bruins, of course, was just one of 82 games. But given the Sabres’ sorry history in recent seasons, the loss triggered some anger in fans, who booed the home ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sabres winger Tage Thompson knows everything he just earned – one of 23 coveted roster spots and a place on a scoring line – can vanish in a hurry.
As a rookie a year ago, Thompson cracked St. Louis’ opening-night lineup just months after leaving college. The former first-round pick lasted four games before the Blues demoted him to the San Antonio Rampage.
“You never want to feel comfortable,” Thompson said prior to ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The first glimpse of the new-look Sabres comes tonight, 180 days after they ended perhaps the worst season in franchise history.
Seven new faces will dress against the Boston Bruins, including first overall pick Rasmus Dahlin and winger Jeff Skinner, a two-time 30-goal scorer. The optimism surrounding the Sabres is well-deserved.
They’re a much different team than the dreadful one that finished in 31st place six months ago.
“They’re excited,” Sabres coach ... Read the full article