Jack Eichel has been quarantining in Buffalo. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Jack Eichel says hockey has ‘kind of been put on the back burner’

Jack Eichel has spent the past two weeks hunkered down in his Buffalo home waiting out the COVID-19 pandemic. The Sabres captain usually fills his days by working out, watching television, listening to music, reading and playing video games.

When it becomes safe, Eichel, 23, would like to resume the schedule. The center has stayed in contact with Sabres general manager Jason Botterill, coach Ralph Krueger, teammates and trainers since the NHL suspended the ... Read the full article

Dominik Kahun looked impressive in his first six outings with the Sabres. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres might possess special talent in newcomer Dominik Kahun

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

Ralph Krueger said the day the NHL suspended the season "was a blur." ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres coach Ralph Krueger ready if NHL season resumes

The Buffalo Sabres occasionally enjoy a team dinner together, and they happened to be gathered for one in Montreal when word began spreading an NBA player had tested positive for coronavirus.

“Everything kind of started unraveling from there,” Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said on a conference call Monday. “We weren’t sure where that would take us.”

Still, the Sabres began the next day, March 12, like they would play their scheduled game against the Canadiens ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel might not have a chance to score 40 goals and 90 points. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Coronavirus fears put NHL season, Sabres on hold indefinitely

Before the COVID-19 pandemic forced the NHL to suspend its season indefinitely on Thursday, the Buffalo Sabres generated a little optimism in their last outing.

In Monday’s 3-2 win over the Washington Capitals, star captain Jack Eichel and rookie Victor Olofsson both busted out of slumps as the Sabres ended their six-game losing streak. Newcomer Dominik Kahun looked impressive again, scoring the shootout-winning goal. Goalie Linus Ullmark dazzled in his first appearance in nearly six ... Read the full article

Dominik Kahun (95), Victor Olofsson (middle) Marcus Johansson (90) celebrate Olofsson's goal Monday. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Marcus Johansson meshing well with new linemates

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

Ralph Krueger grew up listening to Canadiens games on the radio. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

First game in Montreal as Sabres coach will be special for Ralph Krueger

BUFFALO – Growing up in Manitoba in the 1960s, you had your choice of two NHL teams to root for, according to Sabres coach Ralph Krueger.

“You were either a Maple Leaf fan or you were a Canadiens fan,” Krueger, 60, said after the Sabres prepared for Thursday’s game against the Canadiens, his first in Montreal as an NHL head coach.

Krueger said his sister, who’s 10 years older than him, listened to every Montreal ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart has an eight-game point drought. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Sam Reinhart emerging from career-worst slump

BUFFALO – Late in Monday’s 3-2 shootout win, Sabres winger Sam Reinhart grabbed the puck along the right boards and skated below the goal line before quickly threading it through a cluster of defenders.

A second later, Sabres defenseman Brandon Montour beat Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby from the edge of the left circle.

The play showcased some of Reinhart’s best talents – hockey sense, vision and adroit passing – and appeared to end his ... Read the full article

Wayne Simmonds hasn't experienced a win with the Sabres. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Wayne Simmonds doesn’t regret waiving no-trade clause

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

Jimm Vesey was scratched Saturday. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Struggling Sabres haven’t quit on rough season

BUFFALO – The Sabres’ season certainly turned quickly. Two weeks ago today, they stood six points out of a playoff spot and acquired forwards Dominik Kahun and Wayne Simmonds before the trade deadline.

Today, having lost six straight games in regulation, they’re 13 points out.

How bad is it getting? The Sabres haven’t dropped seven straight contests in regulation since their marathon 14-game losing streak halfway through the 2014-15 season. That, of course, was the ... Read the full article

Linus Ullmark has played 33 games this season. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Goalie Linus Ullmark Sabres’ best option this season and likely next one

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