Will Borgen just played his first two NHL games since 2018-19. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Will Borgen looks impressive in first game action in nearly year

BUFFALO – In his first shifts in nearly a year, Sabres defenseman Will Borgen said he was breathing heavy.

Nothing, of course, can replicate game action, and Borgen, 24, hadn’t experienced any since March 11 as a member of the Rochester Americans.

“Just not used to the speed, controlling my energy,” Borgen said of the early moments of Monday’s 3-1 loss to the New York Islanders at KeyBank Center.

But Borgen, who had spent the ... Read the full article

Tobias Rieder said he experienced a rough day or two with COVID-19. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Three Sabres return from COVID-19 absences, say they tested positive

BUFFALO – Three Sabres on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol-related absences list – winger Tobias Rieder and defensemen Jake McCabe and Brandon Montour all acknowledged they tested positive – skated with their teammates again this morning.

Now, will they play tonight against the New York Islanders at KeyBank Center?

“They remain day-to-day candidates and we’d like to consume, digest what happened here this morning,” said coach Ralph Krueger, whose Sabres haven’t played since Jan. 31.

Krueger ... Read the full article

Kyle Okposo believes the Sabres must “grow organically.” ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres thrilled to be back, believe they can grow from COVID adversity

BUFFALO – The COVID-19 protocols the NHL implemented this season have stymied off-ice activities.

Wanna grab a bite to eat or check out a museum on the road? Wanna stop over after practice and play Xbox? Forget about it. Socializing is kept to the bare minimum.

The Sabres added eight new faces this season, so enjoying a team dinner or group outing would’ve helped the players become familiar with each other.

“You can’t go get ... Read the full article

Casey Mittelstadt has played two games this season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Casey Mittelstadt impressing Sabres, could earn more game action

BUFFALO – Having spent the entire game skating on the fourth line, Casey Mittelstadt hardly seemed like a forward Sabres coach Ralph Krueger would utilize in the waning seconds of a one-goal game.

Mittelstadt, 22, was only making his second appearance this season in Sunday afternoon’s 5-3 loss to the New Jersey Devils. The Sabres had just elevated him from the taxi squad earlier in the day.

Krueger had two former 40-goal scorers – Jeff ... Read the full article

Rasmus Dahlin played one shift in Friday’s third period. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres need struggling Rasmus Dahlin to bounce back after benching

In Friday’s 4-3 shootout loss, Sabres coach Ralph Krueger benched Rasmus Dahlin, playing the struggling defenseman just one 73-second shift over the game’s final 32 minutes.

Dahlin, 20, looked lost around Buffalo’s net, allowing the Capitals to convert two easy chances he could’ve nullified. After Jakub Vrana scored 13:07 into the second period, a frustrated Dahlin smashed his stick into the ice.

His night was just about done. He only played one more ... Read the full article

The Sabres elevated Jonas Johansson from the taxi squad earlier this week. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ goaltending quickly becomes concern; Jonas Johansson ready to sub

BUFFALO – After allowing five goals on opening night, Sabres goalie Carter Hutton settled down, letting in just two over the next 100 minutes.

Fresh off a 10-month break, Hutton looked sharp and appeared poised to keep earning playing time. But Hutton left Tuesday’s 3-0 road loss to the Philadelphia Flyers early after getting hit in the head.

Hutton, 35, is day to day, coach Ralph Krueger said, and did not accompany the Sabres to ... Read the full article

Arttu Ruotsalainen could spent time in Buffalo on the taxi squad and in Rochester. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Implementing new taxi squad will be challenge for Sabres

In the COVID-19 world, the Sabres start each day by having a logistics meeting.

NHL teams can utilize a four- to-six man taxi squad this season, meaning in addition to figuring out the big league and AHL rosters, the Sabres have another group they must prepare to handle.

“This is so much a new world, trying to figure out exactly how we’re going to integrate the taxi squad,” Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said on a ... Read the full article

Dan Girardi played his final two seasons with Tampa Bay. ©2020, Dan Hickling, Hickling Images

Report: Sabres hire former defenseman Dan Girardi for player development role

The Buffalo Sabres have hired former NHL defenseman Dan Girardi, who played 927 games, for a player development role, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.

Girardi, 36, grew up in Welland, Ontario, with Matt Ellis, the Sabres’ new director of player development, and are close friends.

Despite going undrafted, Girardi, who began his career in the ECHL, played 13 seasons in the NHL. He spent 11 years with the New York Rangers before playing two ... Read the full article

J-J Peterka has played eight games with Salzburg. ©2020, GEPA, Red Bull

Sabres prospect J-J Peterka developing rapidly in Austria

It was just a small gathering at the rink. J-J Peterka’s family, agent and some personnel from EC Red Bull Salzburg gathered in the early-morning hours to watch the first round of the NHL Draft.

In NHL history, only five Germans had been first-round picks. But Germany has started producing elite talent, and this year, three forward prospects – Peterka, Tim Stutzle and Lukas Reichel – possessed the potential to be taken among the first ... Read the full article

Matteo Costantini is living with Hall of Famer Scott Niedermayer this season. ©2020, Jack Murray, Penticton Vees

Datsyuk-style game earning Sabres prospect Matteo Costantini notice

After completing their work at the rink Oct. 7, Matteo Costantini and four of his Penticton Vees teammates gathered in his billet family’s basement to watch the final rounds of the NHL Draft.

Having starred for the Buffalo Jr. Sabres and developed in the Academy of Hockey at LECOM Harborcenter, Costantini knew the Sabres were interested in him.

Sabres GM Kevyn Adams ran both organizations until last year. Matt Ellis, Buffalo’s new director of ... Read the full article