BUFFALO – It was in 2016, after Keith Aucoin returned home following a championship season overseas, when he called a friend in the scouting business and asked if he had heard of a young, undersized center turning heads in Germany.
The 20-year-old’s name? Dominik Kahun.
The scout knew nothing about Kahun, who had grabbed Aucoin’s attention during their first year as teammates with Red Bull Munich.
“I’m like, ‘Well, you guys might want to ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Marcus Johansson and Victor Olofsson started developing their chemistry in September, when they spent part of training camp as linemates.
But nearly six months passed before the Swedes shared any meaningful ice time during the regular season.
Olofsson, 24, earned a plum assignment at left wing beside top Sabres center Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart, and he thrived there nearly all season, morphing into one of the NHL’s top rookies.
Meanwhile, Johansson, ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sabres winger Jeff Skinner tried to choose his words carefully when asked if he knows what constitutes goalie interference.
“I’m gonna get in trouble for that one,” Skinner said with a smirk after Monday’s 3-2 shootout win over the Washington Capitals ended the Sabres’ six-game losing streak. “I don’t know.”
Luckily, the questionable goalie interference call on Skinner that negated defenseman Brandon Montour’s goal with 2:48 left in regulation did not fluster the ... 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 – 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 – For 67 games this season, Sabres coach Ralph Krueger refused to play center Jack Eichel and winger Jeff Skinner together for any notable stretch.
Other than some occasional shifts, Krueger kept the lethal duo separated before reuniting them for Friday’s practice inside Harborcenter.
Krueger has often explained he likes balancing the lines by placing a defensive presence on each one. So Skinner, who scored a career-high 40 goals playing beside Eichel last season, ... 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 – Having dropped all four games of their recent road trip, the Sabres sealed their fate long before Thursday’s 4-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
While the Sabres haven’t officially been eliminated from the playoffs, they will earn their eighth straight DNQ in the coming weeks.
Barely two weeks ago, the Sabres’ slick offense helped them roar back into the playoff race. They scored 23 goals over a six-game stretch, winning five times.
They ... 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 – Sabres newcomer Wayne Simmonds has a reached a critical point in his career. The 12-year veteran needs to play meaningful games. Staying another six weeks with the hapless New Jersey Devils wouldn’t have helped him much.
Simmonds, 31, has endured the worst season of his NHL career. Given his age and declining production – just eight goals in 61 games this season – he needs to demonstrate he still possesses the skills that ... Read the full article