Josh Gorges battles Ottawa's Jean-Gabriel Pageau on Dec. 12. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Slow starts often dooming Sabres

BUFFALO – Barely one minute into Thursday’s 4-3 road loss to the New York Rangers, Sabres defenseman Jake McCabe whiffed on a loose puck in the neutral zone and started chasing speedy winger Rick Nash.

When Nash hit the blue line, McCabe knew he couldn’t catch the 400-goal scorer. Nash roared in alone and beat goalie Robin Lehner just 1:24 into the tilt.

For the 26th time in 45 games this season, the Sabres let ... Read the full article

Benoit Pouliot (67) celebrates his goal in Thursday's win with Kyle Okposo (21) and Brendan Guhle (45). ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres emerge from break feeling good; Casey Nelson recalled

BUFFALO – Six days ago, the Sabres began their bye week on a rare high note, earning only their 11th win in 44 tries by beating the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-1.

The Sabres, of course, fell out of the playoff race a long time ago. Still, the confidence the rare victory generated carried through the break.

When the Sabres convened for practice this morning, coach Phil Housley noticed his team’s jump.... Read the full article

Winnipeg's Jacob Trouba (8) and Jordan Nolan battle Tuesday. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Phil Housley rips Sabres following ugly loss to Jets

BUFFALO – Phil Housley spoke in measured tones following the Sabres’ fifth straight loss, an ugly 7-4 shellacking from the Winnipeg Jets. The rookie coach, even in trying times, never raises his voice.

But Tuesday’s embarrassing effort left Housley seething. He looked agitated talking about the Sabres’ 33rd defeat, a game not as close as the score might indicate.

Forty-three games into another lost season, the hapless Sabres are arguably the NHL’s worst team. Right ... Read the full article

Brendan Guhle spent three months in Rochester. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres look to Brendan Guhle for spark

BUFFALO – Earlier this season, as injuries decimated the blue line and the Sabres kept rookie Brendan Guhle in Rochester, the plan for their top defense prospect became evident.

The Sabres wanted Guhle to pay his dues, quietly develop in the AHL and eventually earn a recall.

“We were going through a tough stretch there, where you think about bringing guys up, we had some capable defensemen back there,” coach Phil Housley said Monday after ... Read the full article

Brendan Guhle has played 30 games in Rochester this seasson. ©2018, Michline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Brendan Guhle earns recall to Sabres

BUFFALO – Early on, as injuries decimated the blue line and rookie Brendan Guhle stayed in Rochester, the Sabres’ plan for their top defense prospect became obvious.

“We were going through a tough stretch there … (and) we had some capable defensemen back there, we were giving them an opportunity to see what they can bring to our team,” Sabres coach Phil Housley said this afternoon inside KeyBank Center. “They were winning hockey games (in ... Read the full article

Jake McCabe has scored two goals in the last five games. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres defense contributing goals

BUFFALO – Zero goals scored by a defense corps over a two-month stretch would be surprising for any NHL team, but one coached by Phil Housley, how could that happen?

Housley, of course, is a Hall of Famer who scored 338 goals, the fourth-highest total among defensemen in NHL history. The Sabres coach once scored 31 times in a season.

But Housley’s defense has produced just two goals this season entering tonight’s tilt against the ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel has 11 goals this season after scoring three Friday. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres waste Jack Eichel’s first hat trick, fall to Hurricanes in OT

BUFFALO – The first hat trick of Jack Eichel’s short career and the first witnessed by Sabres fans here since 2011 deserved to be celebrated wildly.

The slick center dominated Friday’s tilt late, scoring twice in a 10-second span to erase the Carolina Hurricanes’ brief third-period lead and secure the first three-goal outing of his 175-game career.

A night after registering zero shots on goal, Sabres coach Phil Housley said “something must’ve been triggered” in ... Read the full article

Zach Bogosian missed 25 games. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Zach Bogosian boosts defense

PITTSBURGH – In an otherwise awful weekend, defenseman Zach Bogosian emerged as one of the Buffalo Sabres’ few bright spots.

Following a two-month absence, an aggressive Bogosian boosted the Sabres’ feeble blue line, showing no effects of his lower-body injury.

“He’s been our best defenseman for two nights after missing 25 games, stepping in like this and providing energy,” Sabres coach Phil Housley said following Saturday’s 5-1 loss to the Penguins inside PPG Paints Arena.... Read the full article

Nathan Beaulieu has zero goals and three assists this season. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Nathan Beaulieu struggling

BUFFALO – Nathan Beaulieu never envisioned beginning his Sabres career this poorly. Sixteen games into his season, the defenseman has struggled offensively and often looks weak defensively.

So far, Beaulieu, 24, has compiled zero goals, three assists and a minus-7 rating. An upper-body injury also sidelined him seven games.

Beaulieu has played in just two of the Sabres’ six wins.

“I haven’t been satisfied whatsoever,” Beaulieu said prior to Friday’s 3-1 win against the ... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolainen missed nine games. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Rasmus Ristolainen ready to play against Oilers

BUFFALO – Expect the Sabres to run defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen ragged tonight during his return from an upper-body injury.

“When he says that he’s ready, he’s ready,” coach Phil Housley said this morning after the Sabres prepared for the Edmonton Oilers. “We’re going to play him in all situations like we have in the past. I don’t see anything wrong moving forward.”... Read the full article