BUFFALO – By now, after 99 games as Sabres coach, Phil Housley knows his group well enough he’s confident making line changes.
Three weeks ago, when Housley put wingers Jeff Skinner and Jason Pominville beside top center Jack Eichel, the Sabres went on a tear. The line quickly morphed into one of the NHL’s best.
“It’s definitely an experience with the group and how they play and … realizing when they are going, to ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Who would’ve thought the Sabres, the NHL’s laughingstock a year ago, would suddenly become such a resilient bunch?
Just 17 games into the season, coach Phil Housley has already developed trust among his players, helping the upstart Sabres build an identity and mature.
Take, for example, Saturday afternoon’s wild 4-3, come-from-behind shootout win against the Vancouver Canucks, a game in which the Sabres rallied from a two-goal deficit in the final 2:27 of ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Over the past three weeks, the Sabres have taken a different approach to winger Tage Thompson’s development.
Instead of sending the youngster to the AHL, they’ve kept him and scratched him seven out of the last nine games, including four straight.
But they don’t want Thompson, 21, to sit for too long, so they’ve occasionally been working him in.
In Thursday’s 6-5 overtime win in Montreal, coach Phil Housley thought the play ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Technically, Sabres winger Tage Thompson is a game-time decision for Saturday afternoon’s home tilt, coach Phil Housley said.
Still, it seems like Thompson, a healthy scratch the last four games, could return against the Vancouver Canucks. Thompson practiced at right wing beside center Johan Larsson and Patrik Berglund this afternoon. Meanwhile, Zemgus Girgensons, a regular on the fourth line, rotated in.
Thompson, 21, a scratch seven times this season, hasn’t played since ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Watching your teammates throttle an opponent and pile up goal can be a negative and positive experience, Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark said.
“It’s both boring and really fun,” Ullmark said after making 27 saves in Saturday afternoon’s 9-2 win against the Ottawa Senators. “We had some really good goals today and guys battling up front, so that’s a lot of fun for me when I’m seeing that. …
“I’m happy as long as ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark will start this afternoon’s tilt against the Ottawa Senators, his first nod at home this season.
In three appearances, Ullmark is 2-0-1 with a 2.00 goals against average, a .935 save percentage and one shutout. The Swede hasn’t played since making 32 saves in last Saturday’s 5-4 road loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets.
“I think he’s just been very comfortable in the net,” Sabres coach Phil Housley said ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Carter Hutton’s grip on the starting job isn’t exactly firm. Following a strong start, the Sabres goalie had cooled off a bit in recent outings before Tuesday’s stellar effort in a 2-1 overtime loss to the Calgary Flames.
While Hutton, 32, has handled the load early, playing nine of the first 12 games, he has competition from backup Linus Ullmark, who has looked impressive in limited action.
Hutton began Tuesday sporting an ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – If you’re counting, Sabres veteran Rasmus Ristolainen will become rookie Rasmus Dahlin’s third defense partner in just his 12th NHL appearance.
Dahlin, 18, started with Jake McCabe before moving beside Casey Nelson, acquitting himself well with both.
So why move Dahlin for tonight’s tilt against the Calgary Flames? Wouldn’t some stability benefit the first overall pick?
Sabres coach Phil Housley said he partnered Dahlin with Ristolainen to give the talented neophyte “more of ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – In the not-so-distant past, the Sabres would’ve wilted in a game like Thursday’s wild 4-3 comeback victory against the Montreal Canadiens.
The upstart Sabres fell behind by one goal three times, including just 77 seconds into the tilt and again early in the third period. Each time, however, they rallied, refusing to deviate from their game plan.
“You just stay calm, composed, collected and good things happen,” said winger Kyle Okposo, whose power-play ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Points-wise, this is the best start of Sam Reinhart’s career. In his first nine outings of a season, the Sabres winger had never hit the five-point mark.
Of course, Reinhart, 22, hasn’t exactly enjoyed a rollicking October. He has zero goals and five assists entering tonight’s tilt against the Montreal Canadiens at KeyBank Center.
Fresh off a 25-goal, 50-point campaign in which he scored 18 goals and 37 points over the final 38 ... Read the full article