BUFFALO – Just a week ago, it appeared the Sabres would be forced to utilize a blue line by committee early on. Without a proven No. 1 defenseman to gobble up minutes, coach Dan Bylsma had to spread the ice time out evenly, right?
Well, just three games into the season, Rasmus Ristolainen, 20, has quickly emerged as the club’s ace defenseman.
“(He’s) playing in all situations for us, playing against other teams’ best ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Some quick updates from HarborCenter, where the Sabres practiced about an hour before catching a flight for their two-game Florida road trip:
– Captain Brian Gionta, out the first three games with a lower-body injury, skated this morning beside center Jack Eichel and Evander Kane. He’s questionable for Thursday’s tilt against the Florida Panthers.
Gionta practiced Sunday but sat out the Sabres’ 4-2 win Monday afternoon.
“It’s one of those things, if you’re ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The news on Robin Lehner, as expected, was bad. A high ankle sprain will sideline the starting goalie six to 10 weeks, Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said Sunday.
“It’s not a complete surprise to get the results and have that be the timeframe,” Bylsma said inside the First Niagara Center.
So Lehner, who has been wheeling around the rink on a cart with his No. 40 and a Sabres logo, could possibly ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The news on Robin Lehner, as expected, was bad. A high ankle sprain will sideline the starting goalie six to 10 weeks, Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said this afternoon.
Lehner injured his right ankle almost halfway through Thursday’s season opener, his Sabres debut.
“It’s not a complete surprise to get the results and have that be the timeframe,” Bylsma said following practice.
Check back for more later on Lehner, who has been wheeling ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The eye test shows the Sabres have already improved this season. The games are cleaner and more exciting. They often operate as a cohesive unit and carry the play.
Still, the Sabres, who added a new coaching staff and about 10 players during a wild offseason, are a work in progress.
A 4-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning before 17,739 fans Saturday afternoon inside the First Niagara Center dropped them to 0-2. ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – After some fourth-line duty in the season opener, Sabres coach Dan Bylsma rewarded Jamie McGinn with a plum assignment as the right winger beside rookie center Jack Eichel and Evander Kane early Saturday afternoon.
McGinn, however, didn’t last long on the second line.
Bylsma moved Marcus Foligno up beside Eichel early. Zemgus Girgensons, who practiced with Eichel on Friday, also received some time. So did Tyler Ennis and Sam Reinhart. Then McGinn went ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Considering Chad Johnson is the only healthy goalie on the roster, it can be assumed the backup will start this afternoon against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said.
“Let’s go with that,” Bylsma said sarcastically Friday.
Goaltending was arguably the Sabres’ biggest question mark before new starter Robin Lehner suffered a lower-body injury about halfway through the season opener Thursday.
Now, the Sabres might be forced to lean heavily on ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – For the first two periods of his NHL debut, Jack Eichel blended in among the other 10 skaters on the ice. The slick Sabres center looked like, well, a rookie playing against superior competition.
Then suddenly, like he somehow matured over a brief intermission, Eichel, 18, morphed into the best player on the ice late in the Sabres’ 3-1 opening-night loss to the Ottawa Senators on Thursday.
“You didn’t see him skate in ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Rookie Jack Eichel felt the anticipation building for his NHL debut long before the Sabres drafted him second overall 104 days ago. The center knows the excited Buffalo fans see him as the future of the franchise.
But to Eichel, 18, the new chapter the revamped Sabres will begin tonight against the Ottawa Senators, the so-called “Eichel Era,” is about much more than one player.
“We have a pretty young team,” Eichel said ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – When Sabres coach Dan Bylsma spoke to center Jack Eichel this morning, the two chatted about the phenom’s first NHL training camp and where his game was at a day before his debut.
Bylsma then informed Eichel, 18, he had made the Sabres, something the rookie had been waiting to hear.
“Then I asked him if he wanted to switch from 41 to 15,” Bylsma said inside the First Niagara Center. “Obviously, the ... Read the full article