Sam Reinhart (23) and the Sabres were scheduled to play in Montreal tonight. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Coronavirus pandemic forces NHL to suspend season

The COVID-19 pandemic forced the NHL to suspend its season indefinitely today.

The league announced the decision following a conference call with its Board of Governors and less than a day after the NBA suspended its season after one its players tested positive for coronavirus.

“In light of ongoing developments resulting from the coronavirus, and after consulting with medical experts and convening a conference call of the Board of Governors, the National Hockey League is ... Read the full article

Dominik Kahun (95), Victor Olofsson (middle) Marcus Johansson (90) celebrate Olofsson's goal Monday. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Marcus Johansson meshing well with new linemates

BUFFALO – Marcus Johansson and Victor Olofsson started developing their chemistry in September, when they spent part of training camp as linemates.

But nearly six months passed before the Swedes shared any meaningful ice time during the regular season.

Olofsson, 24, earned a plum assignment at left wing beside top Sabres center Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart, and he thrived there nearly all season, morphing into one of the NHL’s top rookies.

Meanwhile, Johansson, ... Read the full article

Ralph Krueger grew up listening to Canadiens games on the radio. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

First game in Montreal as Sabres coach will be special for Ralph Krueger

BUFFALO – Growing up in Manitoba in the 1960s, you had your choice of two NHL teams to root for, according to Sabres coach Ralph Krueger.

“You were either a Maple Leaf fan or you were a Canadiens fan,” Krueger, 60, said after the Sabres prepared for Thursday’s game against the Canadiens, his first in Montreal as an NHL head coach.

Krueger said his sister, who’s 10 years older than him, listened to every Montreal ... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolainen (55) and Jonas Johansson look on during Thursday's game. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres lose again, fall behind Canadiens: ‘We’ve let ourselves down’

BUFFALO – For about the opening nine minutes of Thursday’s 3-1 loss to Montreal Canadiens, it appeared some desperation had finally kicked in and the Sabres grasped they’re playing for their season right now.

They pummeled their Atlantic Division rival early, taking a 1-0 lead on Jack Eichel’s power-play goal at 7:11, his 30th this season.

When the Canadiens finally mustered their first shot on goalie Carter Hutton at 10:29, the Sabres had already pumped ... Read the full article

Marco Scandella played two and a half seasons for the Sabres. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Marco Scandella living dream with hometown Canadiens

BUFFALO – Marco Scandella saw the end here coming. Not only did the Sabres have a surfeit of defensemen, he had an expiring contract.

Scandella, 29, knew he was a goner.

Still, when the Sabres traded him to his hometown Montreal Canadiens on Jan. 2 in exchange for a fourth-round pick this year, he was stunned.

“You’re always in shock when you get traded,” Scandella said prior to Thursday’s 3-1 win over the Sabres, ... Read the full article

Jonas Johansson just played in the AHL All-Star Classic. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

First recall to Sabres special for goalie Jonas Johansson: ‘Just really pumped’

BUFFALO – On Monday, goalie Jonas Johansson represented the Rochester Americans at the AHL All-Star Classic, an honor he received for his breakout season.

After landing Tuesday night in Rochester following a long travel from Ontario, Calif., Amerks coach Chris Taylor called Johansson to relay some special news.

Johansson, 24, had earned his first recall to the Sabres. Having lost Linus Ullmark to a lower-body injury for three to four weeks in Tuesday’s 5-2 home ... Read the full article

Marco Scandella spent two and a half seasons with the Sabres. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

To acquire Michael Frolik from Flames, Sabres had to trade Marco Scandella

BUFFALO – When the Sabres traded defenseman Marco Scandella to the Montreal Canadiens shortly before Thursday’s 3-2 overtime win against the Edmonton Oilers, it felt like another deal could be imminent.

The Sabres need help at forward. Why would they dish Scandella, 29, for or a fourth-round pick in 2020? They’re trying to win now, right?

Well, shortly after the Sabres announced the deal, they traded the pick they received from the Canadiens to the ... Read the full article

Marco Scandella joined the Sabres in 2017. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres trade Marco Scandella to Canadiens for draft pick

BUFFALO – The Sabres traded defenseman Marco Scandella to the Montreal Canadiens tonight for a fourth-round pick in 2020.

Update: The Sabres have traded the selection they received from Montreal to the Calgary Flames for forward Michael Frolik.

Scandella, a Montreal native, will be an unrestricted free agent following the season.

The Sabres and Canadiens, of course, rarely make trades. Right now, the sixth-place Sabres trail their Atlantic Division rival by one point.... Read the full article

Jack Eichel (9) skates past Shea Weber on Wednesday. ©2019, Hickling Images

Dynamic power play helps Sabres beat Canadiens in overtime

BUFFALO – Officially, center Marcus Johansson’s winner 1:30 into overtime Wednesday doesn’t count as the Sabres’ ninth power-play goal this season.

Johansson secured the Sabres’ third win in four tries (3-0-1), an exciting 5-4 triumph over the Montreal Canadiens, five seconds after center Phillip Danault’s slashing penalty expired.

So, yes, on paper, Johansson’s one-timer from the right circle goes down as an even-strength score. But Danault hadn’t even gotten back into the play yet.

Make ... Read the full article

Ralph Krueger is in his first season coaching the Sabres. ©2019, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Ralph Krueger, Canadiens’ Claude Julien share mutual respect

BUFFALO – Six years ago, Ralph Krueger’s job as a consultant for Team Canada’s Olympic entry at the Sochi Games offered the Sabres coach a chance to discuss hockey with some the game’s greatest minds.

Mike Babcock, Ken Hitchcock, Claude Julien and former Sabres coach Lindy Ruff all served on Canada’s coaching staff.

“It was the best hockey coaching symposium you could go through with that group because of the way everybody exchanged everything,” Krueger ... Read the full article