©2012

Ruff feels Myers’ 3-game ban ‘a little harsh’

BUFFALO – Lindy Ruff said he “was surprised, disappointed” that the NHL banned Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers three games for ramming Montreal’s Scott Gomez into the boards from behind.

Both the coach and Myers knew the boarding penalty Monday, which concussed Gomez, would probably earn a suspension. But three games for a player with a clean record?

“I felt that as a first-time offender it was a little harsh,” Ruff said Wednesday prior to the ... Read the full article

Jaroslav Spacek has experienced a difficult season. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Former Sabres standout Spacek happy to be parked in Carolina

BUFFALO – With three Canadian sports networks and thousands of blogs and message boards bandying his name around all trade deadline day, a nervous Jaroslav Spacek tried to escape the commotion by taking a nap.

The likable Carolina Hurricanes defenseman made one big mistake, though. He left his cell phone beside him. He was barraged with text messages.

“I tried to lay down, enjoy (it). But after 30 minutes I was like, ‘Jesus.’ I turned ... Read the full article

©2012

Sabres newcomer Hodgson finally plays game in Buffalo

BUFFALO – Nine days after the Sabres acquired center Cody Hodgson from the Vancouver Canucks in a blockbuster deal at the NHL trade deadline, the 22-year-old rookie finally skated on the First Niagara Center ice Wednesday.

Hodgson had been experiencing a whirlwind acclimation to his new team on the road, and his head hasn’t stopped spinning.

“Has it been that long, really?” Hodgson said Wednesday morning inside the FNC when informed the trade was nine ... Read the full article

©2012

Sabres’ Cody McCormick struggling to recover from concussion

BUFFALO – On Monday, concussed winger Cody McCormick said he thought he could play later this week during the Sabres’ five-game road trip. He just needed to pass his neuro-psych test for clearance.

“A lot of guys take the test, they feel normal,” McCormick said inside the First Niagara Center. “They’re symptom-free. Maybe they don’t ace the concussion test and it takes a couple tries. Hopefully, that’s not my case and I can get through ... Read the full article

Corey Tropp recently sat out a month recovering from a concussion. ©2012, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres rookie Corey Tropp finally over concussion

BUFFALO – On Dec. 9 against Florida, Dmitry Kulikov’s wicked hit concussed gritty Sabres winger Corey Tropp, ending the rookie’s third recall early. Tropp wouldn’t fully recover for nearly two months.

When he had supposedly healed, the Sabres sent Tropp to Rochester on Jan. 2. But the 22-year-old responded poorly to his first three appearances, so the Americans shut him down until Feb. 8, giving him a full month between games.

“It was frustrating at ... Read the full article

Jason Pominville, who usually starts seasons slowly, compiled 14 points in October. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Jason Pominville showcasing dynamic consistency

BUFFALO – Sixty games into the season, Jason Pominville hasn’t shown any signs of letting up. With five points in the last two contests, the Sabres captain already has 23 goals and 59 points, seven more than he had all of last season in 13 fewer appearances.

In a disappointing year for the Sabres, Pominville’s been the only constant presence, showcasing a remarkable consistency right from opening night, when a goal and two assists began ... Read the full article

Nathan Gerbe's goal scoring has dropped dramatically this season. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Nathan Gerbe developing into strong checker as offense vanishes

BUFFALO – Sabres sophomore Nathan Gerbe – the collegiate scoring machine, AHL star and NHL rookie that tallied at a 30-goal pace the second half of last season – has five scores this season, including just one in the last 21 games.

Right now, the diminutive Gerbe’s not a scorer; he’s quickly morphed into a strong checker, playing a tenacious left wing on a line with Paul Gaustad and Patrick Kaleta that draws the opposition’s ... Read the full article

Paul Gaustad should be worth a high draft pick, possibly a first-round choice. ©2012, Janet Schultz, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Paul Gaustad could be in demand at trade deadline

BUFFALO – In a seller’s market, with bubble teams clamoring for any asset that might buoy their playoff chances and contenders searching for that last piece, Sabres veteran Paul Gaustad should be coveted at the upcoming NHL trade deadline.

The versatile American, an unrestricted free agent in July, has been at his best recently, centering a strong shutdown line with Nathan Gerbe and Patrick Kaleta.

Gaustad has three goals, including the winning score Sunday, and ... Read the full article

©2012

Sabres’ checking trio stymies potent Evgeni Malkin line

BUFFALO – Rather than merely shadowing Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Evgeni Malkin and his wingers Sunday afternoon, Sabres center Paul Gaustad and his checking line planned to aggressively shut down one of the NHL’s best trios.

Gaustad, Nathan Gerbe and Patrick Kaleta – charged with stopping the NHL’s leading scorer, 30-goal man James Neal and Chris Kunitz – would dictate the play.

“We didn’t want to back off on them. If we backed off, it gives ... Read the full article

©2012

Habs coach Cunneyworth experiencing difficult acclimation to Montreal

BUFFALO – Jason Pominville grew up in Quebec and still makes his offseason home there. The bilingual Sabres captain knows the Montreal Canadiens market well. He understands “the circumstances of the public wanting a French-speaking coach.”

“But at the same time,” Pominville said Friday morning inside the First Niagara Center, “I don’t think you can pass up a guy that could be your best option even though he doesn’t speak the language.”

Randy Cunneyworth, the ... Read the full article