it’s over

Archive:
Enroth

Anders Lindback went from a spare part to a strong starting goalie. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Many figured goalie Anders Lindback would play a few games, contribute to the Sabres’ push for the No. 1 draft pick and quietly leave following the season.

Lindback, after all, was just a body the Sabres received from the Dallas Stars when they dealt goalie Jhonas Enroth. They needed someone for practice and to dress for games, right?

Statistically, the 26-year-old Lindback was perhaps the NHL’s worst goalie upon his arrival Feb. 11. The tank brigade saw his awful .875 …

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Anders Lindback has a .934 save percentage with the Sabres. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Anders Lindback likes to take a big-picture approach, so the Sabres goalie will examine his entire season when it ends. The Swede’s six-game hot streak means little to him right now.

The 26-year-old, a spare part before the March 2 trade deadline, has quickly morphed into a stud in net, posting a 2.41 goals-against average and a .934 save percentage in seven appearances (six starts) with his new club.

Lindback dazzled in his only win, making 44 stops in Tuesday’s …

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Sabres goalie tries to Anders Lindback (35) tries to stop the puck Saturday in from of Nikita Zadorov (51). ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
3

BUFFALO – At this point, it’s a fair question to ask. Given the Sabres’ sorry state – they’re on a 0-5-1 run with AHL players filling out the NHL’s weakest roster following the trade deadline – can they win again this season?

A few more losses could cement 30th place and secure the rights to draft either Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel, the mega-prospects the Sabres covet so dearly.

The Sabres have 14 games left in their miserable campaign, starting with tonight’s …

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The Sabres could call on Matt Hackett often down the stretch. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – In less than a year, Sabres prospect Matt Hackett morphed from Ryan Miller’s possible heir apparent into an afterthought, the fifth goalie on the rebuilding team’s depth chart.

Hackett struggled last year in Rochester, posting career-worst numbers. Then the 25-year-old tore up his knee during a late-season recall, shelving him for nine months.

As Hackett rehabbed, Jhonas Enroth and Michal Neuvirth battled for the Sabres’ starting job. In Rochester, Nathan Lieuwen and Andrey Makarov tried to build off of strong …

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Sabres goalie Michal Neuvirth watches the puck Sunday with Nashville's Michael Santorello close by. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – If the Sabres tab Michal Neuvirth as their No. 1 goalie and re-sign the 26-year-old Czech in the coming months, remember his 37-save performance in Sunday’s 2-1 shootout loss to the Nashville Predators.

In his fifth straight start, Neuvirth dazzled again, keeping the Sabres in a contest in which they only five mustered five shots through 30 minutes and 17 in 65 minutes.

Neuvirth helped the NHL’s worst team nearly upset the league-leading Predators. Tyler Ennis scored his team-leading 15th …

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Andre Benoit has been scratched throughout this season. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
2

BUFFALO – In his first two NHL seasons, Sabres defenseman Andre Benoit enjoyed a regular role on strong playoff teams.

Benoit, 31, first earned notice two years ago as a late-bloomer in Ottawa. Last season in Colorado, he played more than 20 minutes a night, compiling 28 points.

This season, well, hasn’t been easy for Benoit, who made only his 39th appearance in Friday’s 3-1 loss to the New York Rangers inside the First Niagara Center. The rebuilding Sabres have scratched Benoit …

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Sabres goalie Michal Neuvirth stops Philadelphia's Chris VandeVelde on Sunday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – There was no easing Zach Bogosian into the lineup or letting him get acclimated to the Sabres’ systems. Coach Ted Nolan threw the aggressive defenseman headfirst into the fray, skating his newest addition a game-high 24 minutes, 49 seconds in Sunday’s 2-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers.

Bogosian responded, recording 11 hits, the Sabres’ highest total this season.

“That’s the way I like to play,” Bogosian said. “I felt good to get out there.”

Bogosian, a key piece in Wednesday’s blockbuster …

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Zach Bogosian grew up in Massena. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – The mood on the ice inside HarborCenter belied the Sabres’ sorry state. Players laughed and had fun throughout Saturday’s up-tempo practice, the end of another trying week for the rebuilding club.

For some, the session, the first with new Sabres defenseman Zach Bogosian, was therapeutic.

“We got a good group of guys,” Sabres coach Ted Nolan said. “They give us what they have every day. They’re trying to keep their spirits up as best we can. There’s problems outside the …

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Anders Lindback has played for four NHL teams. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – For the time being, goalie Anders Lindback will likely take a backseat to Michal Neuvirth. With Jhonas Enroth gone, the Sabres plan to evaluate Neuvirth to see if he’s worth re-signing.

But an opportunity could materialize for the 26-year-old Lindback, part of Wednesday’s Enroth trade with the Dallas Stars, if Neuvirth plays well and gets dished or he falters. The Sabres need goalies badly.

Sabres general manager Tim Murray loves big goalies, and the 6-foot-6, 215-pound Lindback is one of …

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Evander Kane battles the Sabres' Zemgus Girgensons with Winnipeg. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – What will happen now? The Sabres were the NHL’s worst team before they traded Tyler Myers, Jhonas Enroth and Drew Stafford. The final 27 games could be brutal without their best defenseman, starting goalie and No. 3 scorer.

Myers skated a team-high 25 minutes a game, zooming all over the ice. Despite the Sabres’ porous defense, Enroth tended some strong goal all season. Stafford had nine of the club’s 97 goals and 24 points.

Wednesday’s trades decimated the league’s weakest …

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