BUFFALO – If the Sabres eventually morph into a playoff team, remember the significance of the five-game road trip they just completed, especially the back-to-back wins they closed with in Los Angeles and Anaheim.
The Sabres went 3-2-0 on the 10-day trip, starting with a 3-0 victory over the Arizona Coyotes before suffering consecutive losses.
While they fell behind 2-0 in Thursday’s 5-1 setback to the San Jose Sharks, they got back in the game, ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – When the Sabres dismissed Kevyn Adams in 2013 following a short run as an assistant coach, he said he kept asking himself the same question.
“How do I make the biggest difference over this next chapter of my career?” Adams would say.
Not surprisingly, Adams had options to stay in hockey. Adams, whose playing days ended in 2008, earned loads of respect carving out an 11-year NHL career, mostly as a fourth-liner with ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – When Alex Tuch mentioned the number of fans who would be watching him play Saturday afternoon, no one was sure if the Syracuse native was joking.
“Maybe a little bit more than 400,” the Vegas Golden Knights rookie winger said Friday.
Cheering sections for local players and even some from further locales are common at KeyBank Center. Following games, family and friends often congregate around the Zamboni entrance and wait for their hero ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Before Brian Gionta caught his afternoon flight to Germany to represent Team USA at the Deutschland Cup, the former Sabres captain wanted one last on-ice workout.
Since Gionta couldn’t make it to Rochester, where he has been practicing with the AHL Americans, he called Matt Ellis, his friend and former Sabres teammate.
So for an hour Monday inside HarborCenter, Ellis and Nick Tuzzolino, two coaches at the Academy of Hockey, put Gionta, ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – As last season unfolded, popular former Sabres forward Matt Ellis sensed the inevitable end to his long and unlikely career.
At times, Ellis, 35, said he felt like a spare part with the Rochester Americans, a victim of age and a changing game. AHL veteran rules often forced him to sit out as a healthy scratch. The adversity, he believes, tested his character and how badly he wanted to keep playing.
“There ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sabres prospect Nick Baptiste understands coming off consecutive 40-goal junior seasons, his rookie campaign with the Rochester Americans looks a bit underwhelming.
“Whenever you go from 40 goals to 13, it’s obviously a pretty steep decline,” Baptiste said Friday after rookie camp opened inside HarborCenter. “But it’s a different league. It’s pro hockey. You’re playing against 30-year-old men versus 18-year-old boys. It’s a lot different.”
For two years, Baptiste, 21, was quietly one ... Read the full article
ROCHESTER – In the midst of a nine-game AHL winless stretch in which Buffalo Sabres prospect Linus Ullmark allowed 37 goals, the rookie goalie received a much-needed confidence boost.
When a bruised finger prevented goalie Chad Johnson from playing April 9, the Sabres recalled the struggling Swede from the Americans hours before their season finale against the New York Islanders.
In his first NHL start since Jan. 12, Ullmark helped the Sabres win 4-3 in ... Read the full article
ROCHESTER – Physically, Matt Ellis said, he hasn’t felt this good in four or five years. At 34 years old, having just finished his 14th pro season, the popular former Buffalo Sabres forward believes he could keep playing.
“I definitely feel like I got lots left in the tank,” Ellis said Thursday inside the Blue Cross War Memorial.
Still, Ellis understands he could be nearing retirement. This season, his first out of the NHL ... Read the full article
ROCHESTER – It rarely happens. In fact, it might have been a first. Five days after posting a 30-save shutout, the Americans scratched a healthy Andrey Makarov for their next game, Friday’s 5-0 loss to Albany.
Top Buffalo Sabres goalie prospect Linus Ullmark started the home finale. Nathan Lieuwen, just back from his three-week NHL stint, backed up the Swede.
The loquacious Makarov, 22, watched from the stands wearing a suit.
Two years ago, ... Read the full article
ROCHESTER – Before Americans winger Justin Bailey started his first pro season, he set a significant goal for himself. The Williamsville native wanted to score 20 times, a tough number for anyone, let alone a rookie, to reach in this low-scoring era.
“I think it’s something that in the beginning I strived to accomplish,” Bailey said Thursday inside the Blue Cross War Memorial after the AHL club prepared for tonight’s home finale against the Albany ... Read the full article