eight games left

Archive:
Kaleta

Mikhail Grigorenko has one goal this season. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Sabres center Mikhail Grigorenko appreciates coach Ted Nolan’s honesty and tough love. The 20-year-old Russian sees it as a sign of support.

“I know everyone wants me to succeed in this organization,” Grigorenko said Thursday prior to the Sabres’ 4-3 overtime loss to the Arizona Coyotes inside the First Niagara Center. “Everyone has their ways. Teddy, he thinks being hard on me is only going to help me.”

Nolan ripped Grigorenko following his last demotion to Rochester earlier this month, …

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Matt Hackett has played three games this season. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Naturally, starting Matt Hackett, a goalie with a weak .893 save percentage, over Anders Lindback, who has a gaudy .926 save percentage, for tonight’s McEichel showdown against the Arizona Coyotes might raise a few eyebrows.

But Sabres coach Ted Nolan has plenty of reasons to start Hackett, who made 40 saves in Saturday’s 3-0 loss in Nashville. The 25-year-old will become an unrestricted free agent if he doesn’t play five more games.

“Hackett’s in a contract situation, so we have …

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Matt Hackett has started three games this season. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Almost a year later, Matt Hackett hasn’t fully recovered from his torn right ACL. The goalie still experiences soreness after games, so the Sabres want him to rest.

The 25-year-old performed strongly in Saturday’s 3-0 loss in Nashville, making 40 saves. But Sabres coach Ted Nolan started Anders Lindback on Monday in Dallas.

Hackett will likely start tonight’s contest against the Arizona Coyotes, his fourth nod this season.

“He fought through a long recovery period,” Nolan said Wednesday inside the First …

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Ted Nolan can't grasp wanting to finish last. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Oh, Ted Nolan knows. The coach likely understands the Sabres’ rabid fan base will root against them throughout Thursday’s highly anticipated tilt against the Arizona Coyotes. A loss would almost guarantee the Sabres either Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel in June.

Nolan can’t say much, however.

“I can’t control what other people think and what other people do,” Nolan said this afternoon inside the First Niagara Center. “The only thing I know is what I feel. I’m not speaking for …

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Patrick Kaleta debuted with the Sabres in 2006-07. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – The novelty hasn’t worn off after nine seasons. Patrick Kaleta still loves playing for the Sabres, still speaks passionately about representing his hometown club.

The Angola native lives his childhood dream every day.

But Kaleta knows his long Sabres career could be over soon. The oft-injured winger’s three-year contract, a deal under which he has played only 72 games, is expiring. The rebuilding team’s new regime isn’t tied to the aggressive agitator.

The Sabres might pass on re-signing a 28-year-old with …

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Ted Nolan knows Buffalo understands the value of hard work. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – The scene could be bizarre Thursday for the “Game of Weak” showdown between the Sabres and the Arizona Coyotes, the NHL’s two worst teams.

Would Sabres fans really cheer for the Coyotes, who have a five-point lead, inside the First Niagara Center? Would they boo a Sabres goal?

After all, another Sabres loss would essentially secure them 30th place, meaning they are guaranteed either Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel, the two mega-prospects teams covet, in June.

Sabres coach Ted Nolan expects …

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Ted Nolan's team hasn't quit on the season. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – The scene could be bizarre for Thursday’s highly anticipated McEichel sweepstakes showdown between the Sabres and the Arizona Coyotes, the NHL’s two worst teams.

Would Sabres fans really cheer for the Coyotes, who have a three-point lead, inside the First Niagara Center? Would they boo a Sabres goal?

Sabres coach Ted Nolan expects the city’s blue-collar fans will appreciate his team’s effort.

“I don’t think you have to say anything to this city,” Nolan said this afternoon. “This city knows what …

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Patrick Kaleta should return next week. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – If Patrick Kaleta keeps progressing, the Sabres winger will likely miss three more games and return from his knee injury next Thursday against Arizona.

“It’s just how it reacts to battle drills and divots and all that sort of stuff,” Kaleta said Thursday after his first full practice. “I have more mobility in my knee now, so it’s building up the strength and getting the movements down. Once you start doing things that you’re not used to doing, it …

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Patrick Kaleta has missed 15 games. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Some quick updates from practice today inside the First Niagara Center:

– Sabres winger Patrick Kaleta (knee, 15 games) went through a full practice for the first time since undergoing surgery last month. Kaleta will likely miss the next three games and return next week.

“It’s just how it reacts to battle drills and divots and all that sort of stuff,” Kaleta said. “I have more mobility in my knee now, so it’s building up the strength and getting the …

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Nick Deslauriers has fought seven times this year. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Off the ice, rookie Nick Deslauriers usually has a smile etched on his face. The affable Sabres winger can often be found joking and laughing with his teammates in the dressing room.

“He’s always got something to say, always joking around with the boys,” defenseman Mike Weber said Saturday prior to the Sabres’ 2-0 loss to the New York Rangers inside the First Niagara Center.

But on the ice, the 6-foot-1, 209-pound Deslauriers possesses a fearsome edge. Just 85 games …

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