Best wishes to RJ

Archive:
Ennis

Boston's David Krejci is sandwiched between the Sabres' Tyler Myers (57) and Cody McCormick (8). ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – For about 18 minutes of Thursday’s 3-2 overtime loss to the Boston Bruins, it appeared the reeling Sabres would steal a win from a superior opponent.

Yes, the Bruins kept pumping shots on goalie Jhonas Enroth, but the Sabres limited their prime scoring chances. The Sabres’ anemic offense, meanwhile, scored two goals for only the fourth time this season, helping them take a rare lead.

Their first regulation win inside the First Niagara Center since Feb. 28 was within grasp.

Then, …

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Cody Hodgson has one goal this season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Make no mistake, Cody Hodgson, the Sabres’ leading scorer last season, is the new right winger on the fourth line beside center Sam Reinhart and Nick Deslauriers.

“Yeah, he’s on the fourth line,” Sabres coach Ted Nolan said curtly this afternoon.

Hodgson could be moved to the press box next.

“He’s pretty close there, too,” Nolan said.

Hodgson, like just about every Sabres forward, has struggled this season, compiling one goal, two points and a minus-7 rating in 10 contests.

The 24-year-old said …

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Drew Stafford has zero goals this season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – The Sabres, the lowest-scoring team in modern NHL history last season, have picked up where they left off in April.

Yes, it’s still early, but the Sabres have scored just seven goals in six games, a paltry 1.17 average. The only team averaging fewer goals a game, the Florida Panthers, beat the Sabres 1-0 on Friday.

Four Sabres have scored this season. Tyler Ennis, Marcus Foligno and Zemgus Girgensons all have two goals. Torrey Mitchell has one.

That’s it.

The power play …

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Anaheim's William Karlsson scores before the Sabres' Mike Weber can reach him Monday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Three straight losses. Two goal scorers. One hapless Sabres team barreling toward another lottery pick.

Five days into the new campaign, the Sabres, the NHL’s laughingstock last season, look just as bad as the wretched 2013-14 outfit that finished 30th overall.

Monday afternoon’s embarrassing 5-1 loss to the powerhouse Anaheim Ducks might rank as one of the ugliest home losses in team history.

The Western Conference power throttled the Sabres from the get-go, outshooting them 17-3 in the first period and …

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Cody Hodgson switched positions late last season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – A year ago, the thought of Cody Hodgson playing anywhere but center would have seemed absurd.

The Sabres had few viable options down the middle. Tyler Ennis was still bouncing between two forward spots. Zemgus Girgensons was just beginning his NHL career as a winger.

Besides, Hodgson had just signed a six-year, $25.5 million contract extension to be the No. 1 pivot.

But late in the season, following an evaluation period, the team’s new regime mapped out the future. Ennis had …

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Brian Gionta was an alternate captain during the preseason. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Since the Sabres signed Brian Gionta on July 1, the talk, understandably, has centered on the veteran winger’s leadership.

The 35-year-old captained the storied Montreal Canadiens for four seasons. The rebuilding Sabres need someone to wear the ‘C.’ Gionta’s the most qualified candidate.

Sabres coach Ted Nolan said Thursday a new captain would be named soon. The Greece native could be awarded the prestigious letter as soon as Monday.

But in Gionta, who’s entering his 13th NHL season, the Sabres might …

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Sam Reinhart (center) celebrates his first preseason goal with Marcus Foligno (82) and Tyson Strachan (24). ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Seven minutes, 10 seconds into the third period Wednesday, with the Sabres up four goals against the Washington Capitals, top prospect Sam Reinhart finally found some open ice.

Reinhart, by his own admission, had been pressing this preseason. The savvy 18-year-old couldn’t score or even create opportunities, and it gnawed at him. The hockey IQ fans have heard about so much rarely materialized.

But as Wednesday’s contest dragged on, the center got open in the right circle, grabbed a perfect …

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Mikhail Grigorenko skates this morning. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Two weeks into training camp, center Mikhail Grigorenko remains the Sabres’ biggest surprise. Two more impressive outings could earn the Russian prospect a roster spot.

“He’s been looking really good,” Sabres coach Ted Nolan said this morning inside the First Niagara Center. “He’s strong on the puck. He’s been making some really good plays. So the biggest thing right now is keep seeing him do it.”

Grigorenko has two more preseason opportunities, tonight against the Washington Capitals and Friday in …

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Patrick Kaleta impressed the Sabres this training camp. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Patrick Kaleta’s facial injury isn’t as bad the Sabres originally feared, and the winger could miss as little as a month, coach Ted Nolan said Tuesday.

“It’s still serious,” Nolan said inside the First Niagara Center. “It’s not going to be a three-month thing. It’s could be a less-than-month type of thing. So we’re thankful for that.”

Kaleta and forward Johan Larsson were injured early in Sunday’s 3-2 shootout exhibition loss in Toronto. Larsson, Nolan said, is out about 10 …

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Zac Dalpe signed with the Sabres on July 13. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Today, Sabres forward Zac Dalpe stands 6-foot-1 and weighs 195 pounds. The 24-year-old’s a former second-round pick who earned a hockey scholarship to Ohio State University.

But less than 10 years ago, Dalpe was a 5-foot-5, 110-pound teenager so desperate to get drafted into the Ontario Hockey League he hatched a plan at a weigh-in.

“I put these rocks in my pocket, and I weighed in at like 114,” Dalpe recalled Saturday inside the First Niagara Center. “I thought I …

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