Corey Tropp recently sat out a month recovering from a concussion. ©2012, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres rookie Tropp finally over concussion

BUFFALO – On Dec. 9 against Florida, Dmitry Kulikov’s wicked hit concussed gritty Sabres winger Corey Tropp, ending the rookie’s third recall early. Tropp wouldn’t fully recover for nearly two months.

When he had supposedly healed, the Sabres sent Tropp to Rochester on Jan. 2. But the 22-year-old responded poorly to his first three appearances, so the Americans shut him down until Feb. 8, giving him a full month between games.

“It was frustrating at ... Read the full article

Nathan Gerbe's goal scoring has dropped dramatically this season. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Gerbe developing into strong checker as offense vanishes

BUFFALO – Sabres sophomore Nathan Gerbe – the collegiate scoring machine, AHL star and NHL rookie that tallied at a 30-goal pace the second half of last season – has five scores this season, just one in the last 21 games.

Right now, the diminutive Gerbe’s not a scorer; he’s quickly morphed into a strong checker, playing a tenacious left wing on a line with Paul Gaustad and Patrick Kaleta that draws the opposition’s best.... Read the full article

©2012

Sabres’ checking trio stymies potent Malkin line

BUFFALO – Rather than merely shadowing Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Evgeni Malkin and his wingers Sunday afternoon, Sabres center Paul Gaustad and his checking line planned to aggressively shut down one of the NHL’s best trios.

Gaustad, Nathan Gerbe and Patrick Kaleta – charged with stopping the NHL’s leading scorer, 30-goal man James Neal and Chris Kunitz – would dictate the play.

“We didn’t want to back off on them. If we backed off, it gives ... Read the full article

©2012

Habs coach Cunneyworth experiencing difficult acclimation to Montreal

BUFFALO – Jason Pominville grew up in Quebec and still makes his offseason home there. The bilingual Sabres captain knows the Montreal Canadiens market well. He understands “the circumstances of the public wanting a French-speaking coach.”

“But at the same time,” Pominville said Friday morning inside the First Niagara Center, “I don’t think you can pass up a guy that could be your best option even though he doesn’t speak the language.”

Randy Cunneyworth, the ... Read the full article

Injuries had pushed Mike Weber's ice time over 20 minutes some nights recently. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Weber playing better with less ice time

BUFFALO – Some players thrive with extra ice time. The constant action and extra pressure helps them find a groove.

Don’t count Sabres defenseman Mike Weber among them. The 24-year-old struggled when a slew of injuries pushed him over 20 minutes a night.

Weber played 19:58 or more in 12 of 13 games recently, including a career-high 26:58 on Jan. 14. He compiled a minus-4 rating one night and a minus-8 overall. The tough, stay-at-home ... Read the full article