Johan Larsson looked looser early last season. The Sabres center, affectionately nicknamed “Angry Larry,” even occasionally smiled, a rarity throughout his turbulent seven-year career in Buffalo.
Naturally, as the season progressed, the Sabres’ annual implosion sapped some of his happiness.
Still, Larsson, 28, enjoyed perhaps his best NHL campaign. The tenacious Swede entrenched himself between Zemgus Girgensons and Kyle Okposo early in 2019-20, helping the trio morph into one of the league’s best checking ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Wayne Simmonds doesn’t regret waiving his no-trade clause to join the Sabres two weeks ago.
The Sabres, having crept within six points of a playoff spot, wanted the respected veteran winger to help their push. Meanwhile, Simmonds, an unrestricted free agent following the season, wanted a fresh opportunity after enduring a rough campaign.
So far, the deal – the Sabres sent the New Jersey Devils a conditional fifth-round pick – hasn’t paid many ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The Sabres’ season certainly turned quickly. Two weeks ago today, they stood six points out of a playoff spot and acquired forwards Dominik Kahun and Wayne Simmonds before the trade deadline.
Today, having lost six straight games in regulation, they’re 13 points out.
How bad is it getting? The Sabres haven’t dropped seven straight contests in regulation since their marathon 14-game losing streak halfway through the 2014-15 season. That, of course, was the ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Expect Linus Ullmark to morph into a workhorse again over the final four weeks this season. If the goalie can stay healthy, he might start 12 or 13 of the reeling Sabres’ 14 remaining games.
Ullmark, who hasn’t played since suffering a lower-body injury Jan. 28, will likely start tonight against the Washington Capitals at KeyBank Center.
Before Ullmark missed 17 games – he backed up Carter Hutton on Saturday – he seized ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – With goalie Linus Ullmark ready to back up Carter Hutton tonight against the Philadelphia Flyers, the Sabres sent rookie Jonas Johansson back to the Rochester Americans on Friday.
A lower-body injury has sidelined Ullmark, 26, the last 17 games. He started practicing again Monday.
“It’s just the next step,” Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said of Ullmark dressing for a game. “We’re being patient in this process and making sure that he’s game ready, ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Face it, the Sabres are playing for pride. Their four-game losing streak has kicked them out of the playoff chase.
So expect them to evaluate and even experiment a bit over the final 16 games, starting tonight against the Pittsburgh Penguins at KeyBank Center.
That means rookie goalie Jonas Johansson will start tonight, his second nod in three games.
Under normal circumstances, goalie Carter Hutton would likely face the Penguins. The veteran has ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – In a little less than two seasons with the Sabres, Conor Sheary rarely played beside top center Jack Eichel. Instead, the winger often shuffled between the second and third lines as he struggled to score goals.
But in the four games since the Sabres traded him back to the Pittsburgh Penguins with forward Evan Rodrigues on Feb. 24, Sheary has received a plum assignment, skating beside superstar Sidney Crosby.
Sheary has gone from ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Forget about Jimmy Vesey’s slow start. Since the Sabres winger registered his first goal Nov. 25, he has scored nine times in 37 games.
Over a full season, that’s a 20-goal pace. Vesey, 26, has saved his best hockey for the past few weeks, performing more like the player the Sabres likely envisioned when they traded the New York Rangers a third-round pick for him.
The Harvard product has also evolved into ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – After playing 10 straight games, Sabres forward Evan Rodrigues will likely be scratched this afternoon against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Sabres winger Michael Frolik has recovered from a nasty bout with the flu and is set to return, meaning one forward must sit out.
Based on Friday’s practice lines, Rodrigues will be a healthy scratch for the first time since Jan. 28.
Rodrigues, 26, sat out regularly over the first two months, often serving ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sabres forwards Jack Eichel, Michael Frolik and Kyle Okposo will likely play in Saturday afternoon’s road game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
“At the moment, everybody’s available,” Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said after the three players practiced this morning inside KeyBank Center.
Eichel and Okposo had maintenance days Thursday. The flu, meanwhile, sidelined Frolik the last two games.... Read the full article