The Eichel Era

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Girgensons

Mark Pysyk has struggled this week. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – In the last three games, Sabres coach Dan Bylsma has used all eight defensemen on his roster, including Carlo Colaiacovo, who played Friday after sitting 15 straight games and 26 out of 27.

So, is Bylsma finally OK with having two spare defensemen?

“Am I warming to it?” Bylsma asked this afternoon. “No, I’m not warming to it. I don’t think I’ll ever warm to it.”

Why doesn’t he like having eight?

“Six is best, and to have eight, it won’t be …

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Jake McCabe had his suspension rescinded Friday. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Before Dan Bylsma answered a question about the suspect hit that likely concussed Sabres winger Dan Catenacci late in Thursday’s ugly 5-1 road loss in Philadelphia, the coach paused for a few moments.

Clearly, Bylsma, who said he hadn’t watched a replay, wanted to choose his words carefully.

Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas, who has a reputation for questionable hits and has been suspended by the NHL once, won’t have a disciplinary hearing. Meanwhile, Catenacci missed Friday’s exciting 6-4 win against …

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Dan Cantenacci will miss tonight's game. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Before Dan Bylsma answered a question about the suspect hit that likely concussed Sabres winger Dan Catenacci late in Thursday’s ugly 5-1 road loss in Philadelphia, the coach paused for a few moments.

Clearly, Bylsma, who said he hadn’t watched a replay, wanted to choose his words carefully.

Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas, who has a reputation for questionable hits and has been suspended by the NHL once, won’t have a disciplinary hearing, according to the Cherry Hilly Courier Post’s Dave …

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justin Bailey has been on a tear in Rochester. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – The Sabres recalled rookie winger Justin Bailey, a Williamsville native who grew up rooting for the team, from the Rochester Americans this afternoon.

The 6-foot-4, 206-pound Bailey, 20, could make his NHL debut in Thursday’s road game against the Philadelphia Flyers. Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said earlier today winger Zemgus Girgensons and center Johan Larsson, who both missed Tuesday’s 7-4 loss to Florida, were questionable for the Flyers. Neither player practiced today.

Bailey, the 52nd overall pick in 2013, has …

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Sabres rookie Jack Eichel (15) battles Anaheim's Kevin Bieska earlier this season. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Relax, everyone. Sabres rookie Jack Eichel only had a maintenance day from practice today, coach Dan Bylsma said. The 19-year-old will play Thursday in Philadelphia.

Bylsma said part of Eichel’s absence today inside HarborCenter was related to a shot block late in Tuesday’s 7-4 loss to Florida. Eichel also has a “couple bumps and bruises.”

In other injury news, center Johan Larsson and winger Zemgus Girgensons, who both sat out Tuesday, also missed practice. Bylsma said they’re being evaluated and …

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Sabres rookie Jack Eichel (15) rushes the puck Tuesday with Florida's Dmitry Kulikov in pursuit. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Following a dreadful first period Tuesday in which the Sabres imploded and fell behind 3-0 to the upstart Florida Panthers, some frustrated fans booed for one of the few times this season.

Not long ago, games like the Sabres’ wretched 7-4 loss inside the First Niagara Center – a contest hardly as close as the score might indicate – were gladly accepted by a fan base that valued a high draft pick over winning.

But these days, with coveted rookie …

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Johan Larsson (22) has been centering the third line. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Sabres center Johan Larsson “had a little bit of an issue in the morning skate” and is a game-time decision for tonight’s contest against the Florida Panthers, coach Dan Bylsma said.

What if Larsson, who has been recently been pivoting the third line well, can’t play? Well, the Sabres might recall a forward from the AHL, Bylsma said. They could also use seven defensemen, something Bylsma doesn’t like but has done about 30 times in his coaching career, he …

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Dan Catenacci has played three seasons in the AHL. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – In his first three AHL seasons, Sabres winger Dan Catenacci has developed what he believes is a strong relationship with his coaches. So the youngster was shocked when Randy Cunneyworth summoned him to his office Friday and the entire Rochester Americans’ staff began berating him.

What was the beef? Something Catenacci called a “nothing play” in the previous game.

“They started yelling at me,” he said Monday following practice inside the First Niagara Center.

An “angry” Cunneyworth eventually ordered Catenacci to …

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Marcus Foligno has missed one game. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Sabres winger Marcus Foligno, who said a deep-tissue bruise kept him out of Saturday’s 2-1 overtime loss in Boston, practiced today and could play Tuesday against Florida.

“We’ll see how tomorrow is,” Foligno said this afternoon inside the First Niagara Center. “Right now, it’s just a pain tolerance. That’s all I can really say. Nothing really major, but it was just a (lower-body) tweak.”

Foligno, who said he had a jammed into him late Thursday, briefly left today’s session before …

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Marcus Foligno (82) was injured Thursday. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Sabres winger Marcus Foligno suffered a lower-body injury during his last shift in Thursday’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Bruins and will likely miss Saturday’s rematch in Boston, coach Dan Bylsma said.

Foligno’s day-to-day, Bylsma said this afternoon following the Sabres’ optional practice inside HarborCenter.

“I don’t anticipate it will be week-to-week,” he said.

The Sabres will recall a forward from the Rochester Americans, Bylsma said. He wouldn’t reveal which one.

Update: The Sabres have made a surprising recall, summoning forward Dan …

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