Congratulations, Dominik

Archive:
Kaleta

Ted Nolan knows the Sabres are too soft. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – The Sabres have lost a franchise-record nine consecutive games and 31 of 45 this season. They rank 29th overall and dead last or close to the bottom in every major statistical category. They just lost 7-0 to a reeling Minnesota Wild team, their worst home defeat since 1977.

Of course, the Sabres were supposed to lose this season. But was the rebuilding club supposed to lose so badly this often? Opponents have outscored them 39-9 during their skid.

Very few …

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Dominik Hasek will have his No. 39 retired tonight. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – One story about Dominik Hasek’s famously intense practice habits has become part of hockey folklore.

“I heard about it,” said Red Wings star Henrik Zetterberg, the Hall of Fame goalie’s teammate after the Sabres traded him to Detroit in 2001. “I’m not sure if it’s true.”

Legend has it Hasek was once so upset following a particularly bad practice, he spent the night in the training room. Never went home. Just stayed at the rink.

“It wouldn’t surprise me at all,” …

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Michal Neuvirth will receive a rare start tonight. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – As injuries recently weakened his defense corps, Sabres coach Ted Nolan spread out the wealth a bit, breaking up Rasmus Ristolainen, 20, and Nikita Zadorov, 19, arguably his best tandem.

“Our defense corps was a little bit in disarray for a while, and those two were probably our two shining lights,” Nolan said this morning inside the First Niagara Center.

The struggling Sabres desperately need another strong defense pair, so with Ristolainen back from the flu, the youngsters will be …

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Rasmus Ristolainen has missed two games. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – While the top line remained intact, Sabres coach Ted Nolan rearranged his other three trios today, an attempt to jumpstart the struggling team.

The new lines, left to right: Brian Flynn beside Mikhail Grigorenko and Chris Stewart; Cody Hodgson with Cody McCormick and Drew Stafford; Nick Deslauriers beside Johan Larsson and Patrick Kaleta.

Injuries and illness have ravaged the Sabres recently. They haven’t had a second line with Marcus Foligno and Brian Gionta sidelined.

“If you looked at our last seven …

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Matt Moulson (left) and Tyler Ennis have been celebrating with their Sabres teammates regularly at home. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – It felt like the glory days of the First Niagara Center again, 2006 and 2007 or even the late 1990s. Sabres fans sensed something special was happening, an improbable comeback was in the works.

The crowd grew louder and louder Saturday as the Sabres roared back from a 3-0 third-period deficit against the New York Islanders in just 5:12. When Chris Stewart’s nifty goal tied it, the 19,070 fans erupted.

The building hadn’t been so loud or raucous in years.

“It …

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Patrick Kaleta left Monday's game but will play tonight. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Sabres winger Patrick Kaleta said he had no clue he punched himself in the head Monday during his ferocious fight with Ottawa’s Jared Cowen until someone informed him.

Kaleta’s cool with his unusual move, though.

“Hey, if that’s what it takes to win a fight, then that’s what happens,” he said Tuesday after the Sabres practiced in HarborCenter.

Naturally, friends have been sending Kaleta the video. What happened? How does a veteran who has fought regularly throughout his career send his …

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Patrick Kaleta fought for the first time this season Monday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Sabres winger Patrick Kaleta said he had no clue he punched himself in the head Monday during his ferocious fight with Ottawa’s Jared Cowen until someone informed him.

Kaleta’s cool with his unusual move, though.

“Hey, if that’s what it takes to win a fight, then that’s what happens,” he said today after the Sabres practiced in HarborCenter.

Naturally, friends have been sending Kaleta the video. What happened? How does a veteran who has fought regularly throughout his career send his …

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Patrick Kaleta has a history of injuries. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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With 16:01 left in the Sabres’ 5-2 loss Monday in Ottawa, oft-injured Buffalo winger Patrick Kaleta tumbled hard into the end boards with Senators defenseman Jared Cowen.

Kaleta had trouble getting up and couldn’t put any pressure on his right leg as he was helped off the ice.

It appeared the 28-year-old, who tore his right ACL last season and essentially broke his face three months ago, had suffered another major injury.

But Kaleta could play Wednesday when the Sabres host the Tampa …

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Joel Armia will likely make his NHL debut tonight. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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With injuries ravaging the Buffalo Sabres, the team recalled slick winger Joel Armia from the Rochester Americans today. The 21-year-old prospect will likely make his NHL debut tonight against the Detroit Red Wings.

The Finn, the 16th pick in 2011, has seven goals and 16 points in 21 AHL games this season. The Sabres wanted to recall Armia over the weekend but he had just returned from an upper-body injury. They didn’t want him to play three games in three nights.

The …

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Marcus Foligno (82) skates away from Calgary's Raphael Diaz on Dec. 11. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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The Buffalo Sabres are down 10 players to injuries and illness after losing center Marcus Foligno and captain Brian Gionta in Sunday’s 4-3 overtime loss in Boston.

Foligno apparently hurt his hand fighting the Bruins’ Matt Bartkowski after the defenseman leveled Gionta high during the first period. An upper-body injury will sideline Foligno for “a while,” Sabres coach Ted Nolan told reporters in Boston.

“One of those freak accidents that happen when you play,” Nolan said. “You’re throwing punches at helmets, so …

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