Conor Sheary scored twice Thursday. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Sabres dominate Penguins early, win Ralph Krueger’s debut as coach

PITTSBURGH – Throughout training camp, coach Ralph Krueger insisted his Sabres had embraced the new ideas he and his coaching staff brought to Buffalo.

Krueger wants the Sabres to play fast, stay connected and utilize their instincts. It might take sacrificing a little offense, but in the end, he believes they can reap rewards from the aggressive new approach.

Based on Thursday’s 3-1, season-opening win against the Penguins, Krueger’s message is getting through to the ... Read the full article

Marcus Johansson has impressed coach Ralph Krueger. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Marcus Johansson honored by earning letter

PITTSBURGH – Marcus Johansson rarely displays much emotion. In good times and bad, the Buffalo Sabres center usually keeps an even keel.

Still, Ralph Krueger could tell being named one of the Sabres’ two alternate captains earlier this week had special meaning to Johansson.

“His Swedish persona (was) able to kind of tuck it away in the talk with me, but I thought he was extremely honored,” Krueger said prior to Thursday’s 3-1, season-opening win ... Read the full article

Carter Hutton played a career-high 50 games last season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres goalie Carter Hutton to start opener; Evan Rodrigues to sit

PITTSBURGH – In almost equal preseason action, Buffalo Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark outplayed Carter Hutton, posting a goals-against average 64 points lower and a save percentage 49 points higher than his partner.

But Hutton, 33, handled the load last season, playing a career-high 50 games.

Sabres coach Ralph Krueger, who said everything was up for competition during training camp, probably wants to show Hutton respect on opening night against the Penguins.

The veteran will ... Read the full article

Ralph Krueger hasn't coached an NHL game since 2013. ©2019, Hickling Images

Communication skills help Ralph Krueger win over Sabres early

PITTSBURGH – Kyle Okposo figures they spent 10 minutes talking about hockey. For most of the evening, the three Buffalo Sabres veterans dining with their new coach, Ralph Krueger, discussed their backgrounds and families.

The sport that consumes so much of their lives didn’t come up much.

“We barely talked about hockey,” Okposo said of the get-together.

When the Sabres hired Krueger on May 15, he hadn’t coached in the NHL in six years. ... Read the full article

Jake McCabe joined the Sabres late in 2013-14. ©2019, Hickling Images

Marcus Johansson, Jake McCabe named Sabres’ alternate captains

BUFFALO – New Sabres coach Ralph Krueger announced today he has named center Marcus Johansson and defenseman Jake McCabe alternate captains for the 2019-20 season.

“We feel that that’s a strong group for the ice,” Krueger said following today’s practice inside KeyBank Center.

Johansson and McCabe replace defenseman Zach Bogosian and winger Kyle Okposo.... Read the full article

Victor Olofsson played six games with the Sabres last season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Maturity, commitment to defense helps Sabres’ Victor Olofsson earn roster spot

BUFFALO – Everyone can see Victor Olofsson’s dynamic ability to shoot the puck has helped him develop into an elite goal scorer.

The quick release. The accuracy and speed.

Few players can unleash the puck like the 24-year-old Sabres rookie.

“He’s a pure goal scorer,” Sabres captain Jack Eichel said following Tuesday’s practice inside KeyBank Center.

Olofsson’s lethal shot has helped him morph from an unknown seventh-round pick into a first-line NHL winger.

Still, a ... Read the full article

Chris Taylor knows the Sabres well. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres expect Chris Taylor to fit in well as interim assistant coach

BUFFALO – Having just spent most of training camp with the Sabres, coach Ralph Krueger expects Chris Taylor to transition to the NHL smoothly.

The Sabres promoted Taylor, the Rochester Americans’ head coach, on an interim basis today to replace assistant coach Don Granato, who’s hospitalized with pneumonia.

Granato, 52, will be taking a medical leave from the Sabres.

“The curve is in the right direction,” Krueger said of Granato’s health following today’s practice ... Read the full article

Chris Taylor has led Rochester to two playoff appearances. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres’ Don Granato hospitalized; Chris Taylor promoted on interim basis

BUFFALO – Assistant coach Don Granato has been hospitalized with severe pneumonia and will be taking a medical leave from the Sabres, the team announced this morning.

To replace him, the Sabres have promoted Rochester Americans head coach Chris Taylor on an interim basis.

Amerks assistant Gord Dineen, 57, will take over Taylor’s coaching duties. Sabres development coach Adam Mair will also assist Rochester early in the season.... Read the full article

John Gilmour is an AHL star. ©2019, China Wong, AHL

Strong training camp might’ve earned Sabres’ John Gilmour roster spot

BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman John Gilmour has never experienced anything like this. In his first three NHL training camps, he never pushed for a roster spot.

“It’s new for me,” Gilmour said following this morning’s practice, the final session of camp.

So Gilmour, of course, is a little nervous. He has to wait another day or two – 23-man NHL rosters must be finalized by 5 p.m. Tuesday – to find out if he cracked ... Read the full article

Johan Larsson has been one of the Sabres' mainstays. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Sabres’ Johan Larsson impressing coach Ralph Krueger

BUFFALO – Five coaches and three general managers later, Sabres forward Johan Larsson is still here.

Earlier in training camp, there was speculation Larsson’s long tenure with the Sabres could be ending.

The Sabres have boosted their depth. They have Ralph Krueger, another new coach.

But it sure sounds like Larsson, a mainstay throughout all the losing and upheaval, has possibly secured a roster spot to start his seventh season.... Read the full article