BUFFALO – When center Johan Larsson suffered two season-ending dislocations New Year’s Eve, the Sabres quietly experienced a critical blow to their playoff hopes.
BUFFALO – Jack Eichel looked like he would’ve rather been anywhere else. The Sabres center was restless throughout his six-minute chat with the media Monday, mostly giving terse statements and looking around as he stood at a podium.
Eichel, 20, isn’t handling the Sabres’ last-place finish in the Atlantic Division – they also ended 2016-17 an embarrassing 15th in the 16-team Eastern Conference – very well.
“It’s tough,” a seething Eichel said inside KeyBank Center ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The play will be seared in Sabres rookie C.J. Smith’s memory the rest of his life.
Halfway through Smith’s NHL debut, Sunday afternoon’s 4-2 loss to the New York Islanders, the speedy winger grabbed Evander Kane’s pass just outside the blue line and zoomed into the zone on a two-on-one.
Smith then dished a backhand saucer pass to Kane, who beat goalie Jaroslav Halak for his team-leading 27th goal. Just 10:08 into his ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – In the days leading to Brian Gionta’s 1,000th NHL game, the Sabres were a little nervous, even “walking on eggshells,” coach Dan Bylsma said.
No one wanted to talk about their captain’s milestone.
“Didn’t want to jinx it, so to speak,” Bylsma said after Gionta fittingly scored the winning goal in Monday’s 4-2 win against the Florida Panthers.
But the Sabres loosened up, and following an emotional pregame ceremony honoring Gionta’s achievement, ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – William Carrier couldn’t resist. So before answering a question Thursday, the excited Sabres rookie greeted a crowd of reporters with a short opening statement.
“I’m back, everyone,” a smiling Carrier said inside HarborCenter.
All three are on track to play Saturday at home ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen will have a hearing with NHL Player Safety on Thursday afternoon for knocking Pittsburgh’s Jake Guentzel out of Tuesday’s 3-1 loss with a concussion.
Ristolainen, who has never been suspended, could receive a short ban for the hit.
The Finn was given a five-minute major penalty for interference and ejected 8:46 into the contest when he leveled Guentzel as the rookie waited for a pass that was intercepted just ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen had a split-second decision to make as Pittsburgh superstar Sidney Crosby dished the puck up to Jake Guentzel near their blue line early in Tuesday’s 3-1 loss to the Penguins.
Ristolainen could lay back and play it safe, or he could assume the short pass would be completed and step up and throttle Guentzel.
The Finn went for the hit, but the pass was intercepted by teammate Zemgus Girgensons. ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Back in August, a crew in Rasmus Ristolainen’s native Finland filmed the Sabres defenseman utilizing some slick shootout moves – in the video, he dekes right before deftly backhanding the puck in with just his left hand – during a practice session.
At the end of the clip posted on Youtube.com, Ristolainen says in Finnish he would showcase the same moves if he received an opportunity in an NHL shootout.
This season, the ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Right now, thanks to his torrid goal-scoring run in the AHL and some injuries with the big club, Sabres winger Justin Bailey has the best opportunity of his young career to stick in the NHL for good.
For the last five weeks, the speedy Bailey, 21, has enjoyed regular duty, playing 19 straight games. Some contests the Williamsville native has skated on a top line.
“It’s a really big one,” Sabres coach Dan ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – On a team featuring 11 veterans earning more than $3 million, Evan Rodrigues, a rookie 15 games into his NHL career, was arguably the Sabres’ best player during two wretched road losses last weekend.
Let that sink in.
“It’s a little disappointing Rodrigues is one of our best players,” Sabres general manager Tim Murray said Wednesday. “It’s great for him. But I’m not sure that’s what should’ve happened in those two games.”... Read the full article