TORONTO – The NHL’s worst team can certainly tease you. Before Monday’s 5-2 loss, in the last week, the Buffalo Sabres had beaten the Nashville Predators and the Maple Leafs, two heavyweights.
A week ago, the Sabres defeated the 48-win Maple Leafs here 3-2, ending their 13-game home winning streak. On Saturday, the Sabres triumphed 7-4 in Nashville, kicking around the league’s best team.
But the Sabres have demonstrated little consistency this trying season. Dreadful ... Read the full article
TORONTO – By Jack Eichel’s standards, he hadn’t scored in an eternity.
Thanks to the Buffalo Sabres center’s short slump and a high ankle sprain that cost him 15 games, he went 46 days and six games without scoring before his nifty two-goal effort in Monday’s 3-2 come-from-behind victory.
“I hadn’t scored in a month and a half, it’s not a little bit,” Eichel said after the Sabres ended the Maple Leafs’ 13-game home winning ... Read the full article
TORONTO – Given the Maple Leafs’ torrid run and the Buffalo Sabres’ futility, tonight could get ugly.
Right now, having won two straight games and six of the last seven, the Maple Leafs are scorching. They’ve scored a whopping 29 goals in that stretch.
They’ve won a franchise-record 13 straight games at home. They haven’t lost at the Air Canada Centre in more than two months.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Before Evan Rodrigues suffered an upper-body injury Feb. 28, the Sabres forward was playing perhaps the best hockey of his three-year career.
Less than a month after sitting out as a healthy scratch, he seemed to be putting everything together, showcasing speed, tenacity and the shot mentality Sabres coach Phil Housley constantly stresses.
In his last appearance prior to returning for Thursday’s 5-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, Rodrigues scored and pumped ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – When the NHL scheduled the only four tilts between the Sabres and the Toronto Maple Leafs over a 28-day late-season stretch, the league likely envisioned the fierce rivals would be battling for playoff spots or positioning.
Sixty-six games into another lost season, the last-place Sabres finally play the Leafs tonight at KeyBank Center, their first meeting since April 3, 2017.
The Sabres, of course, are playing for pride. The Leafs, meanwhile, are firmly ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Jason Botterill has never experienced a trade deadline like this one. Prior to joining the Sabres, the rookie general manager spent 10 seasons in the Pittsburgh Penguins’ front office, winning three Stanley Cups.
The Penguins contended for the Cup every season of Botterill’s tenure, meaning they loaded up for a long playoff run, dealing prospects and draft picks for talent that could help them immediately.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The Rochester Americans open their training camp Monday, so a for a slew of Sabres, tonight’s preseason tilt against the Toronto Maple Leafs inside KeyBank Center is a final chance to impress coach Phil Housley and the team’s brass.
The Sabres will almost certainly assign some players to their AHL affiliate in the near future.
“If you want to separate yourself from other people on the team or the totem pole, you got ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – How’s this for a scheduling quirk? After this weekend’s home-and-home preseason set with the Maple Leafs – the Sabres play tonight in Toronto – the fierce rivals don’t meet again until March 5.
“It’s crazy,” Sabres coach Phil Housley said this morning inside KeyBank Center. “When I looked at the schedule, here’s one of the rivals in our division, we’re not going to see them until March. Hopefully, they’re going to be real ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – You won’t find any slick youngsters like Connor McDavid, Jack Eichel, Auston Matthews or Patrik Laine – franchise-changing talents capable of starring in the NHL immediately – at the top of this year’s draft class.
“You don’t have that headliner, like (people) used that word ‘generational’ player,” Dan Marr, the NHL’s director of Central Scouting, told the Times Herald on Friday. “The fact you had back-to-back years with McDavid and Eichel ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – For the opening 20 minutes of Monday’s 4-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Sabres were downright awful in their worst display of hockey all season. The embarrassing period, punctuated by a disastrous 43-second stretch, could have dramatic repercussions.
There have been a lot of bad periods over the Sabres’ six-season playoff drought. It can be argued Monday’s was the worst.
The upstart Maple Leafs outclassed the sloppy Sabres early before the ... Read the full article