BUFFALO – Forget about goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen’s last six outings, Rochester Americans coach Seth Appert said.
Yes, Luukkonen, 22, has looked sloppy at times since the Amerks’ COVID-19 pause ended late last month, compiling a 2-3-1 record and an awful .863 save percentage.
But a lot of players struggle after being forced to sit idle. Luukkonen did not play for three weeks.
Appert believes Luukkonen’s early-season exploits and the strong habits he has developed illustrate ... Read the full article
In his three-year career, Rasmus Dahlin has never experienced the NHL postseason. But in Tuesday’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Boston Bruins, the Buffalo Sabres defenseman received a taste of what heavy playoff hockey feels like.
“I haven’t been in a playoff game, but it didn’t feel like a regular-season game,” said Dahlin, whose goal 11:53 into the third period tied the game at 2.
Tuesday’s game inside TD Garden was the Sabres’ most physical ... Read the full article
Ex-Buffalo Sabres center Curtis Lazar signed a two-year contract prior to the season and quickly solidified a regular spot in the lineup, so he wasn’t expecting to be traded before this afternoon’s deadline.
“Yeah, it completely caught me off guard,” said Lazar, who was dealt to the Boston Bruins earlier today with winger Taylor Hall in exchange for forward Anders Bjork and a second-round pick in 2021.
At 11 p.m. Sunday, Lazar, 26, said he ... Read the full article
In October, before winger Taylor Hall signed a one-year, $8 million contract with the Buffalo Sabres, he said he was “really close” to joining the Boston Bruins as a free agent.
“I was ready to be a Bruin and just some other things kind of didn’t work out,” Hall said on a Zoom call Monday morning hours after being traded to the Bruins. “But it was not like any hard feelings or anything like ... Read the full article
Winger Taylor Hall’s decision to sign a one-year, $8 million contract with the Buffalo Sabres six months ago stunned the hockey world.
But Hall, 29, had strong reasons for choosing a team that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2011.
After two down seasons, Hall wanted another chance to play for Ralph Krueger, a coach he had thrived under with the Edmonton Oilers.
The opportunity to skate beside Sabres captain Jack Eichel also enticed Hall. ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – In 2014, following forward Drake Caggiula’s sophomore season at North Dakota, he attended the Sabres’ summer development camp, scoring two goals in the annual scrimmage.
Two years later, after Caggiula won a national championship and earned NCAA Tournament MVP honors, the Sabres pursued him as a free agent before he chose the Edmonton Oilers.
This afternoon, Caggiula joined the Sabres after they claimed him on waivers from the Arizona Coyotes.
The 5-foot-10, 176-pound ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Instead of addressing the Sabres during Wednesday’s second intermission, interim coach Don Granato left his players alone.
No words of encouragement. Not even a tactical point or two.
The game was playing out eerily similar to Monday’s. Granato, whose Sabres also held a three-goal that night over the Philadelphia Flyers, wanted his players to take over.
“I wouldn’t have handed it off to them if I wasn’t confident that they could do it ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Shifting Casey Mittelstadt to center wasn’t simply a result of the hapless Sabres trading Eric Staal or Jack Eichel suffering a lower-body injury.
Yes, injuries and Staal’s departure have decimated the Sabres at center. The four who practiced Tuesday inside KeyBank Center – Mittelstadt, Cody Eakin, Curtis Lazar and Riley Sheahan – have combined to score 10 goals and 25 points this season.
Interim coach Don Granato, whose Sabres host the Philadelphia ... Read the full article
The hapless Buffalo Sabres kept hanging around Wednesday, trailing by one goal late in the second period despite being outshot by nearly a two-to-one margin.
No one, of course, expected the Sabres would win. But right now, they’re so bad a one-goal deficit is noteworthy.
That narrow margin did not last. The Pittsburgh Penguins pulled ahead late in the second period, capitalizing on two miscues from struggling winger Taylor Hall to take a commanding lead ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Instead of relying on veteran goalie Carter Hutton last week, the Sabres turned to Jonas Johansson, starting the rookie three straight games.
Johansson even played against the Pittsburgh Penguins, a heavyweight team Hutton has dominated over his eight-year career.
With starting goalie Linus Ullmark injured, the Sabres wanted Johansson, a third-round pick in 2014, to experience a heavy NHL workload.
“It was good for him to see a few games in a ... Read the full article