Rest in Peace, Jean Beliveau

Archive:
Montreal Canadiens

Josh Gorges wears No. 4 because of Jean Beliveau. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Josh Gorges considers himself old school. He believes defensemen should wear single-digit numbers. So after sporting No. 26 with the Montreal Canadiens for years, the veteran wanted a low number when the Sabres acquired him.

Gorges had a couple of choices. He settled on No. 4, partly because iconic Canadiens legend Jean Beliveau, who died Tuesday at age 83, wore it during his illustrious Hall of Fame career.

Beliveau is hockey royalty.

“What a great number to wear,” Gorges said Wednesday. …

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Josh Gorges played for Montreal before the Sabres acquired him. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Josh Gorges considers himself old school. He believes defensemen should wear single-digit numbers. So after sporting No. 26 with the Montreal Canadiens for years, the veteran wanted a low number when the Sabres acquired him.

Gorges had a couple of choices. He settled on No. 4, partly because iconic Canadiens legend Jean Beliveau, who died Tuesday at age 83, wore it during his illustrious Hall of Fame career.

Beliveau is hockey royalty.

“What a great number to wear,” Gorges said this …

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Tim Schaller has never played in the NHL. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
3

BUFFALO – With winger Drew Stafford questionable for tonight’s game in Montreal with a lower-body injury, the Sabres have recalled center Tim Schaller from the Rochester Americans.

The undrafted 24-year-old has never played in the NHL.

He has six goals, 15 points and 20 penalty minutes in 20 games this year. The Sabres gave the New Hampshire native a long looking during training camp.

Schaller has 17 goals, 33 points and 58 penalty minutes in 92 career AHL games. He played four seasons …

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Tyler Ennis watches his first-period goal Friday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – One Sabres goal was scintillating, the kind destined to become a highlight-reel staple. The other goal was, well, pure luck, a rare bounce off the glass.

“That’s the way hockey goes,” winger Tyler Ennis, whose slick goal opened the scoring, said Friday following the Sabres’ 2-1 win against the Montreal Canadiens. “It doesn’t matter how it goes in, as long as we get the win we’re happy.”

The Sabres were a happy bunch following their fourth win in five games. …

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Brian Gionta skates Friday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Sabres captain Brian Gionta doesn’t know what kind of reception to expect from Canadiens fans tonight at the Bell Centre, his first visit to Montreal since a three-year, $12.75 million contract enticed him to sign here.

“I’ll deal with it (tonight),” Gionta said Friday prior to the Sabres’ 2-1 win against the Canadiens inside the First Niagara Center. I’m sure it’ll be weird going into the building. Until you’re back there you really don’t feel it.”

He added: “I hope …

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Josh Gorges wants to play badly. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Sitting out, watching from the sidelines for more than two weeks has been difficult for Sabres defenseman Josh Gorges.

“I hate being a guy sitting on the sidelines watching,” Gorges said this morning inside the First Niagara Center. “I’m not built for that.”

This weekend might be excruciating for the 30-year-old, who injured his knee Nov. 11. The Sabres host the Canadiens, his old team, tonight, and play Saturday in Montreal.

Gorges, who’s nearing a return but will miss his sixth …

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Tyler Myers missed one game. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – How relieved is Sabres coach Ted Nolan to have defenseman Tyler Myers back for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens?

“Very, very,” Nolan said this morning inside the First Niagara Center. “Sometimes you don’t know what you got until it’s taken away from you a little bit. He’s a big part of our team.”

With Myers (lower body) out for Wednesday’s 2-1 loss to Winnipeg, his replacement, Andre Benoit, gave away the puck during a second-period power play, creating the …

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Andre Benoit has zero points and a minus-13 rating. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Twenty-two games into the season, the Sabres’ weak and often sloppy defense corps has combined for two goals, 20 points and minus-41 rating entering tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.

As evidenced by the Sabres’ recent three-game winning streak, a stretch in which they allowed only four goals, the defense has looked much better – sturdier, you might say – during some contests this month.

Still, it’s a mistake-prone group. And with little or no depth on the blue line, …

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Sabres captain Brian Gionta (12) creates traffic in front of Montreal goalie Dustin Tokarski and defenseman Tom Gilbert. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Let’s say it was a busy day at work Wednesday, and when you sat down to watch the Sabres play the Montreal Canadiens, you dozed off until, oh, about 9:30 p.m.

You wouldn’t have missed anything notable.

The Sabres’ 2-1 shootout loss to the Montreal Canadiens before 17,837 fans inside the First Niagara Center was a real snoozer for 40 minutes.

Still, that’s the kind of effort the Sabres, 2-2-2 in their last six games, needed.

“The foundation we want to create …

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Nikita Zadorov played his third game Wednesday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – It went on for weeks. Each day, 19-year-old Nikita Zadorov, the eighth defenseman most of this season, asked Sabres coach Ted Nolan if he would play.

“He asked me every day,” Nolan said Wednesday prior to the Sabres’ 2-1 shootout loss to the Montreal Canadiens inside the First Niagara Center.

Finally, Nolan gave his assistant coaches a message: “Tell him I’ll tell him when he’s in.”

After sitting the first seven games and 11 of the opening 12, Zadorov has played …

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