seven games left

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Foligno

Marcus Foligno was playing some of his best hockey ever in December. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Given the Sabres’ sorry state these days, it’s almost difficult to remember now. But for a brief stretch earlier this season, they morphed into a young team on the rise, winning a string of exciting games in dramatic fashion.

The rebuilding club triumphed 10 times in 13 games – they have only 20 victories in 75 outings all season – during a rollicking run in November and December, roaring back night after night.

The Sabres were never out of any …

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Mikhail Grigorenko has one goal this season. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Sabres center Mikhail Grigorenko appreciates coach Ted Nolan’s honesty and tough love. The 20-year-old Russian sees it as a sign of support.

“I know everyone wants me to succeed in this organization,” Grigorenko said Thursday prior to the Sabres’ 4-3 overtime loss to the Arizona Coyotes inside the First Niagara Center. “Everyone has their ways. Teddy, he thinks being hard on me is only going to help me.”

Nolan ripped Grigorenko following his last demotion to Rochester earlier this month, …

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Mikhail Grigorenko's has played 13 NHL games this season. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
4

BUFFALO – Don’t count on seeing Mikhail Grigorenko with the Sabres again this season. Heck, the enigmatic Russian center could be finished here less than three years after getting drafted 12th overall.

Grigorenko’s latest recall lasted one game, Friday’s 3-2 loss in Ottawa. The 20-year-old skated a couple of shifts on the second line before getting demoted to the fourth line. He was sent back down the next morning.

“I didn’t like his play,” Sabres coach Ted Nolan said bluntly Monday following …

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Mikhail Grigorenko's recall lasted one game. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Don’t count on seeing Mikhail Grigorenko with the Sabres again this season. Heck, the enigmatic Russian center could be finished here less than three years after getting drafted 12th overall.

Grigorenko’s latest recall lasted one game, Friday’s 3-2 loss in Ottawa. The 20-year-old skated a couple of shifts on the second line before getting demoted to the fourth line. He was sent back down the next morning.

“I didn’t like his play,” Sabres coach Ted Nolan said bluntly this afternoon …

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Mikhail Grigorenko has spent most of this season in Rochester. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – For once, center Mikhail Grigorenko can relax a little bit. Eighteen games are left in the Sabres’ trying season. The NHL’s weakest lineup needs reinforcements.

Sabres coach Ted Nolan wouldn’t commit to Grigorenko staying for the rest of the year. But the Russian should get a long look after getting recalled from Rochester again Thursday.

This could be Grigorenko’s best opportunity since his rookie season two years ago.

Grigorenko, the 12th pick in 2012, was excited when he spotted a white …

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Mikhail Grigorenko recently returned from a knee injury. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – For once, center Mikhail Grigorenko can relax a little bit. Eighteen games are left in the Sabres’ trying season. The NHL’s weakest lineup needs reinforcements.

Grigorenko, the 12th pick in 2012, should get a long look after getting recalled from Rochester again this morning.

The Russian was excited when he saw a white practice jersey hanging in his locker today. That meant he would be centering the second line beside Marcus Foligno and captain Brian Gionta.

“I think it’s a really …

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Zemgus Girgensons blocked a shot Tuesday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
3

BUFFALO – Top Sabres center Zemgus Girgensons, who blocked a shot with his right ankle Tuesday, will play again this season, coach Ted Nolan said this morning.

Nolan hinted Girgensons could be finished after James Wisniewski’s shot hit the Latvian halfway through the 4-2 win in Columbus.

“It’s bad but not as bad as we thought,” Nolan said inside the First Niagara Center.

Nolan wouldn’t say if Girgensons’ ankle was broken.

“It could be, but it still could be healed in two weeks,” he …

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Chris Stewart (80) balances the puck on his blade in front of Ottawa's Erik Karlsson on Tuesday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – The Sabres have played 165 periods this trying season. Most, given their 15-36-3 record and 30th overall standing, have been poor or even awful.

In the opening period of Tuesday’s 2-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators, the Sabres, fresh of a pathetic 10-shot outing, performed terribly again, getting outscored 1-0 and outshot 14-8.

Early on, some fans in the announced sellout crowd of 19,070 inside the First Niagara Center responded to each Sabres shot with a mild Bronx cheer.

“I just …

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Cody McCormick blocked a shot Jan. 3. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – On Jan. 3 in New York, gritty Sabres forward Cody McCormick blocked a shot, something he has done 126 times in his career.

This time, however, the pain felt different. It lingered.

Something was wrong.

“I had pain in my calf after for no real reason,” McCormick told the Times Herald during the first intermission of Sunday’s 3-2 loss to the New York Islanders inside First Niagara Center.

McCormick didn’t know it then, but he had developed blood clots that would spread …

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Sabres goalie Michal Neuvirth upends the New York Islanders' Matt Martin on Sunday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Even by Sabres standards, it was ugly. Almost 32 minutes into Sunday’s 3-2 loss, the New York Islanders led by three goals. The Sabres, meanwhile, had five shots total and zero in the second period to that point.

Then, like so many other times this season, they got going. After Sabres coach Ted Nolan called a timeout, Marcus Foligno buried Nikita Zadorov’s rebound.

Just like that, the Sabres had two shots in about two seconds.

Drew Stafford scored a couple of …

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