BUFFALO – Sabres coach Phil Housley kept talking, growing more agitated as the seconds ticked by following Thursday’s ugly 4-0 loss to the Boston Bruins.
How often does a team get booed off the ice on opening night? How often does it happen after 40 minutes?
The Sabres looked dreadful against a Bruins team that had been annihilated 7-0 the previous night. So much for all that optimism.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The first glimpse of the new-look Sabres comes tonight, 180 days after they ended perhaps the worst season in franchise history.
Seven new faces will dress against the Boston Bruins, including first overall pick Rasmus Dahlin and winger Jeff Skinner, a two-time 30-goal scorer. The optimism surrounding the Sabres is well-deserved.
They’re a much different team than the dreadful one that finished in 31st place six months ago.
“They’re excited,” Sabres coach ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Long before the Sabres drafted Rasmus Dahlin first overall in June, he possessed more skill than most NHL players.
The Swede, 18, has been called the best defense prospect in decades. If rules allowed it, he probably could’ve thrived in the NHL even a year ago.
So Dahlin, who will make his long-awaited NHL debut tonight against the Boston Bruins in the season opener at KeyBank Center, will likely immediately contribute to the ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – One training camp earlier in his career, Sabres defenseman Matt Tennyson said he knew he was locked into the sixth spot on the San Jose Sharks’ blue line.
“Other than that, I’ve just been grinding away, just trying to make it,” Tennyson said Thursday inside KeyBank Center after the Sabres prepared for tonight’s preseason finale.
Tennyson, 28, is the typical journeymen defensemen. He usually ranks anywhere from sixth to 10th on the depth ... Read the full article
CLINTON – When center Casey Mittelstadt told some of his teammates skating this morning inside tiny Clinton Arena this felt like high school, he said they starting making fun of him.
But Mittelstadt, 19, is less than two years removed from playing high school hockey. Memories of skating in old rinks like the 65-year-old barn where the Sabres will face the Columbus Blue Jackets in tonight are fresh.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Instead of utilizing Sam Reinhart or Kyle Okposo at right wing on the No. 1 line tonight, Sabres coach Phil Housley will give youngster Tage Thompson a look beside center Jack Eichel and Jeff Skinner.
Thompson, 20, scored a nifty goal in Friday’s 5-3 loss in Toronto, carrying the puck into the zone before toe-dragging and unleashing a wicked wrist shot from the right circle.
“I really liked what he brought to ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Rasmus Dahlin never looks nervous. For months, whatever the situation – the NHL Draft, development camp or training camp – the ultra-talented Sabres rookie has always showcased a cool demeanor.
But on Tuesday, before the first overall pick’s NHL exhibition debut, he said he started feeling some nerves.
Then Dahlin, 18, made his first pass, and his first-game jitters disappeared.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sabres winger Conor Sheary, a newcomer expected to skate on a top line, is week-to-week after suffering an upper-body injury during Friday’s practice.
“In the first day (of training camp), he took a hit the wrong way, and we’re just making sure we’re on top of that,” said Sabres coach Phil Housley, who is dealing with three notable injuries just five days into camp.
Center Sean Malone will miss six weeks after ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Rasmus Dahlin secured his roster spot the second the Sabres drafted him first overall almost three months ago. The ultra-talented Swedish defenseman is expected, even as a rookie, to help transform the franchise into a winner.
But Dahlin, 18, isn’t taking anything for granted. He sometimes talks about if he makes the Sabres. He said it again Friday after his first official NHL practice.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – A year ago, coach Phil Housley and his staff were so busy installing a new system and teaching during training camp, the Sabres never established much of a pace that could lead to regular-season success.
Not surprisingly, it hurt the Sabres, who plodded through a miserable campaign and wound up finishing dead last in Housley’s first year.
This year, even with a slew of new faces, most of the roster knows Housley’s system, ... Read the full article