Seth Griffith has been a scratch the last two games. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres return from road trip banged up

BUFFALO – Up top in the press box, with a view of the entire ice surface, hockey can look pretty simple.

“It’s obviously a lot easier watching games than it is being on the ice,” said Sabres winger Seth Griffith, a healthy scratch the last two games. “You see stuff that you wouldn’t normally see necessarily on the ice.”

Thanks to a glut of injuries, Griffith, the team’s biggest surprise during training camp, should ... Read the full article

The Sabres named Jack Eichel an alternate captain Thursday. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres want to spread leadership around

BUFFALO – Sabres general manager Jason Botterill wasn’t kidding when he said he believes leadership is a collaborative effort.

Thursday morning, hours before their season opener, the Sabres named four alternate captains: defenseman Zach Bogosian and forwards Jack Eichel, Ryan O’Reilly and Kyle Okposo.

Botterill said Wednesday the Sabres wouldn’t begin the season with a captain.... Read the full article

Matt Tennyson has spent most of the last two seasons in the NHL. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Strong preseason helps Sabres’ Matt Tennyson earn gig

BUFFALO – When the Sabres signed Matt Tennyson to a two-year contract as free agency opened, it was assumed the defenseman would see NHL action this season.

After all, Tennyson, 27, spent most of the last two seasons with the Carolina Hurricanes and San Jose Sharks, playing 74 NHL games and only 14 AHL contests. Still, few figured Tennyson would crack the Sabres’ opening-night lineup.... Read the full article

Jake McCabe was injured Sept. 22. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Jake McCabe ready to play

BUFFALO – After Jake McCabe practiced for the first time in 11 days this morning, the Sabres defenseman pronounced himself ready to play in Thursday’s season opener.

While Phil Housley had said McCabe was week-to-week with an upper-body injury, the coach sounded optimistic in recent days he would be ready for the regular season. McCabe was hurt late in an exhibition loss Sept. 22 in Toronto.... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolainen plays big minutes. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres hope to have healthy defense corps for opener

BUFFALO – Right now, the revamped Sabres blue line that has received so much attention for its puck-moving abilities is missing some key pieces.

Just three days before the season opener, Zach Bogosian and Jake McCabe are sidelined. The Sabres still have nine defensemen in training camp, a number that might shrink in the coming days.

So, could the Sabres potentially have the defense corps they envisioned all summer together for Thursday’s tilt against the ... Read the full article

Seth Griffith scored early in his debut. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Seth Griffith close to roster spot

BUFFALO – Among the 38 players the Sabres have used through five preseason games, very few have stood out.

Of course, center Jack Eichel has performed strongly, compiling one goal and four points in three appearances. Meanwhile, veteran winger Jason Pominville scored twice in his debut.

But those Sabres are expected to make notable contributions. What about the bubble players, the AHL guy looking to crack the big club out of training camp?... Read the full article

Jack Eichel will face Sidney Crosby tonight in Pittsburgh. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres to face loaded Penguins lineup

BUFFALO – It’s no secret NHL teams field stronger preseason lineups at home, especially toward the end. So Sabres coach Phil Housley knew the Pittsburgh Penguins would dress better players tonight than the first time the teams met eight days ago.

“It’s getting toward the end, right?” Housley said this morning after the Sabres skated inside HarborCenter. “They’re trying to get their guys geared up. But at the same time, it puts us in a ... Read the full article

Taylor Fedun earned his most NHL duty last season. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Depth defensemen fighting to stay with Sabres out of training camp

BUFFALO – Shortly after enjoying the longest stint of his NHL career, defenseman Taylor Fedun re-signed with the Sabres early in the summer, inking a two-year deal.

What made the contract significant wasn’t just the length – many depth players don’t earn multi-year deals – but the fact a new regime offered it.

Fedun, 29, provided valuable depth last season, playing 27 NHL games, 12 more than the previous three seasons combined. In the AHL, ... Read the full article

Auston Matthews scored 40 goals as a rookie last season. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres won’t see Leafs for months after weekend set

BUFFALO – How’s this for a scheduling quirk? After this weekend’s home-and-home preseason set with the Maple Leafs – the Sabres play tonight in Toronto – the fierce rivals don’t meet again until March 5.

“It’s crazy,” Sabres coach Phil Housley said this morning inside KeyBank Center. “When I looked at the schedule, here’s one of the rivals in our division, we’re not going to see them until March. Hopefully, they’re going to be real ... Read the full article

Jason Pominville returned to the Sabres on June 30. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Jason Pominville ready for first game back

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Jason Pominville, of course, knew center Jack Eichel possessed lethal speed.

“From zero to 60 pretty quick,” Pominville said after the Sabres prepared for tonight’s preseason tilt against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Penn State.

But in his first days back with the Sabres, Pominville has also seen the other ways Eichel’s dynamic talents allow him to dictate the play.... Read the full article