BUFFALO – There was no wild celebration. Not even a fist pump.
When Sabres winger Steven Fogarty scored his first NHL goal on Wednesday, he reacted as if he had done it 100 times. A smiling Fogarty simply raised his stick, pointed to defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen and shared a few fist bumps with his teammates.
By the time he started skating back to the bench, his grin had disappeared.
“It just happened so quick and ... 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 – Instead of letting the Sabres rest and recover in the midst of their grueling schedule, interim coach Don Granato said he has “overworked” his players.
“We’re trying to push them harder to develop harder,” Granato said on a Zoom call prior to Wednesday’s 6-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers at KeyBank Center. “We know we have to get better. The focus has to be on that. And we have to trust that wins ... 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
BUFFALO – After morphing from a first-liner into a healthy scratch earlier this season, Tage Thompson could enjoy regular duty under interim coach Don Granato.
Thompson needs consistent action to buoy his development. The 6-foot-7, 219-pound winger has played only 17 NHL games in a more than two-year stretch.
Monday’s 4-3 overtime loss to Philadelphia Flyers at KeyBank Center was the Sabres’ 18th straight defeat. They have nothing to lose by playing him.
“It’s ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sabres captain Jack Eichel, who has missed the last 10 games recovering from an upper-body injury, could play again this season, interim coach Don Granato said.
Granato said he spoke to Eichel late last week.
“He said he felt good, he was feeling better,” Granato said on a Zoom call this morning. “I don’t think it would be season-ending. So I know we’re all working to get him back. (I) do not ... Read the full article
Eric Staal was hardly interested in revisiting his rough 32-game tenure in Buffalo and explaining the hapless Sabres’ struggles.
Staal, 36, left the NHL’s laughingstock on Friday in the midst of a stunning 17-game winless skid and a personal 23-game goal drought.
So can you blame the veteran center, one of the league’s most decorated players, for wanting to forget about a tumultuous two months and concentrate on his new opportunity with the Montreal Canadiens?... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Coach Ralph Krueger noticed it right away this season. Over the year winger Casey Mittelstadt spent away from the Sabres, he had matured.
Mittelstadt’s 36-game stint in the minors last year and the COVID-19 layoff offered him a chance to revamp his body and mind. He arrived at training camp determined to earn back the spot he had lost.
“His attitude from the get-go was different this year,” Krueger said on a Zoom ... Read the full article
Last season, his first in Buffalo, defenseman Henri Jokiharju morphed into the Sabres’ biggest surprise, showcasing a steady style that earned him coach Ralph Krueger’s trust.
So naturally, Jokiharju, 21, wants to advance his game this year and develop his offensive side.
“It’s part of the development for a young defenseman to come in and be very conservative and then try to build a more attacking, offensive game on top of that,” Krueger said on ... Read the full article
The reeling Buffalo Sabres this morning assigned defenseman Henri Jokiharju to the taxi squad and recalled forward Casey Mittelstadt and defenseman Brandon Davidson from the practice group.
The Sabres, who have lost six straight games, play a road contest this afternoon against the New York Islanders.
Jokiharju, 21, was perhaps the Sabres’ biggest surprise last season, playing all 69 games. But the Finn has struggled to regain that form this year. He sat out Saturday ... Read the full article