Jack Eichel (15) bumps with Montreal's Paul Byron on Friday. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Phil Housley calls out Sabres’ leadership group following loss to Canadiens

BUFFALO – For the Sabres, the NHL’s worst team, any minor success is usually fleeting. A bad period quickly overshadows the good one.

For the opening 20 minutes Friday, the Sabres responded strongly after two home losses, following their game plan and pumping pucks on net.

Then they started freelancing following a scoreless first period, fell behind and lost 3-0 to the hapless Montreal Canadiens.... Read the full article

Nick Deslauriers has scored a career-high eight goals. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres notes: Nick Deslauriers thriving with Canadiens

BUFFALO – Six months ago, Nick Deslauriers’ future in the NHL looked iffy. Following a career-worst season in which he scored zero goals for the Sabres, it became apparent the popular winger wasn’t part of the new regime’s plans.

On Sept. 30, the Sabres waived Deslauriers. Four days later, they traded him to the Montreal Canadiens, who promptly assigned him to the Laval Rocket.

Deslauriers, 27, hadn’t played in the AHL since 2013-14.... Read the full article

Nick Deslauriers has found a new home in Montreal. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Former Sabre Nick Deslauriers happy with hometown Canadiens

BUFFALO – Six months ago, Nick Deslauriers’ future in the NHL looked iffy. Following a career-worst season in which he scored zero goals for the Sabres, it became apparent the popular winger wasn’t part of the new regime’s plans.

On Sept. 30, the Sabres waived Deslauriers. Four days later, they traded him to the Montreal Canadiens, who promptly assigned him to the Laval Rocket.

Deslauriers, 27, hadn’t played in the AHL since 2013-14.

To ... Read the full article

Nathan Beaulieu (82) shadows Toronto's Zach Hyman on March 15. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Nathan Beaulieu to sit out against Canadiens

BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Nathan Beaulieu is a “little sore” and will miss tonight’s tilt against his old team, the Montreal Canadiens, coach Phil Housley said.

But if Beaulieu, 25, hadn’t taken a puck to his upper body last game, he would still be scratched.

“He was not playing in this game tonight,” Housley said this morning.

Defenseman Josh Gorges, a Canadiens regular for eight seasons, will return tonight. Gorges, 33, has sat out ... Read the full article

Phil Housley's team has generated much momentum all season. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres need better efforts if they hope to be competitive

BUFFALO – It was a simple execution drill – “Attacking with wide speed and a middle lane drive,” Phil Housley explained – that forced the coach to lay into the Sabres.

Just hours after an embarrassing 4-1 home loss, the Sabres looked sluggish early during Thursday’s practice. At one point, associate coach Davis Payne barked at the players to stop coasting.

Housley finally had enough after watching them execute the drill incorrectly, yelling, “Get ... Read the full article

Benoit Pouliot has five goals in his last eight games. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Benoit Pouliot to have hearing for illegal check to head

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Benoit Pouliot has a phone hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety today for an illegal check to defenseman Keith Yandle’s head in Friday’s 4-1 loss to the Florida Panthers.

Pouliot, one of the Sabres’ top scorers, hit Yandle with 2:15 left in third period, knocking his helmet off. Pouliot wasn’t penalized.... Read the full article

Jason Pominvill scores his first-period goal against Montreal goalie Cary Price on Thursday. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Jason Pominville stars in Sabres’ loss to Canadiens

BUFFALO – It was shaping up to be one of those special nights in Sabreland that would be remembered for years.

In Phil Housley’s coaching debut Thursday, the Sabres showcased the fast, exciting style the Hall of Fame defenseman has been implementing, pumping shot after shot on goal. Veteran winger Jason Pominville, the former fan favorite the Sabres recently brought back, scored a power-play goal early on, igniting the capacity crowd of 19,070 fans.... Read the full article

The Sabres named Jack Eichel an alternate captain Thursday. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres want to spread leadership around

BUFFALO – Sabres general manager Jason Botterill wasn’t kidding when he said he believes leadership is a collaborative effort.

Thursday morning, hours before their season opener, the Sabres named four alternate captains: defenseman Zach Bogosian and forwards Jack Eichel, Ryan O’Reilly and Kyle Okposo.

Botterill said Wednesday the Sabres wouldn’t begin the season with a captain.... Read the full article

Josh Gorges (4) battles the New York Rangers' Jesper Fast last season. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Scratching Josh Gorges difficult for Sabres coach Phil Housley

BUFFALO – Scratching defenseman Josh Gorges, Sabres coach Phil Housley said, is “very difficult.” The veteran is a heart-and-soul player.

Gorges, 33, isn’t a slick puck-mover. He has carved out a strong 13-year career as a stay-at-home defender by showcasing grit and tenacity.

Housley, of course, wants his defense to drive possession and aggressively move up the ice. So Gorges will sit out tonight’s opener against the Montreal Canadiens, his old team. Gorges was ... Read the full article

Matt Tennyson has spent most of the last two seasons in the NHL. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Strong preseason helps Sabres’ Matt Tennyson earn gig

BUFFALO – When the Sabres signed Matt Tennyson to a two-year contract as free agency opened, it was assumed the defenseman would see NHL action this season.

After all, Tennyson, 27, spent most of the last two seasons with the Carolina Hurricanes and San Jose Sharks, playing 74 NHL games and only 14 AHL contests. Still, few figured Tennyson would crack the Sabres’ opening-night lineup.... Read the full article