Best wishes to RJ

Archive:
New Jersey Devils

Ville Leino fires his shootout-clinching goal past New Jersey goalie Cory Schneider on Tuesday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Nine rounds into Tuesday’s shootout, Sabres coach Ted Nolan turned to John Scott on the bench.

“Watch the crowd go crazy on this one,” Nolan told the winger after sending out Ville Leino, the fans’ No. 1 whipping boy, with a chance to win the game.

Sure enough, instead of booing Leino, who has zero goals in 53 games this season, the capacity crowd of 19,070 fans inside the First Niagara Center cheered wildly.

Leino zoomed in and wired a shot …

Read More --->
Cody Hodgson had played center his entire career. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Ted Nolan doesn’t want to project his lineup too far into the future. But the Sabres coach said he must evaluate his top six forwards these last two weeks so they receive enough ice time next season.

If Tyler Ennis and Zemgus Girgensons are his top centers, where does that leave Cody Hodgson?

For the time being, on the left wing, a position Hodgson had played once in his career before Saturday, during a 2008 exhibition game.

“I don’t think I …

Read More --->
Nathan Lieuwen will make his third start tonight. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – To Ted Nolan, Nathan Lieuwen has the technical aspect of goaltending down. The Sabres coach just wants the 22-year-old rookie, who will start tonight against the New Jersey Devils, to be a little bit more aggressive in net.

“The one thing we always say with forwards, we want to see how competitive you are. And same thing with goaltenders,” Nolan said this morning inside the First Niagara Center. “You have to come out. You have to challenge. You have …

Read More --->
Ted Nolan has help elevate the play of Drew Stafford (left) and Tyler Ennis (right). ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
2

BUFFALO – Drew Stafford’s first conversation with Sabres coach Ted Nolan lasted no more than two minutes, the winger said. It was a straightforward, “man-to-man” chat.

“Looking-at-me-in-the-eyes kind of conversation,” Stafford said Monday, hours after the Sabres removed Nolan’s interim tag and gave him a three-year contract extension.

Stafford was struggling badly back in mid-November. He had one goal and had just lost his alternate captaincy. Nolan didn’t care. As a veteran, Stafford deserved respect. Nolan immediately upped his ice time.

“Just that …

Read More --->
Matt D'Agostini (left) and Linus Omark celebrate D'Agostini's winning goal Saturday as Steve Ott joins them. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Ted Nolan wanted 10 percent more from Matt D’Agostini. Prior to the Sabres’ 2-1 win against the New Jersey Devils on Saturday, the interim coach said the struggling winger, who hadn’t scored in 15 games with his new club, was getting opportunities.

“You got to go into those dirty areas,” Nolan said Saturday morning. “I think he had a number of outside shots. But outside shots ain’t getting in. So we got to get a little bit closer. We …

Read More --->
Zenon Konopka takes a draw against New Jersey's Adam Henrique on Saturday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Zenon Konopka’s travel ordeal began Friday night shortly after his flight from Minnesota landed in New York. First, the center’s short flight here was delayed four hours. Then the airline canceled it.

“The tough part was they said they could get me in Sunday,” Konopka, a waiver acquisition, said Saturday prior to his Sabres a debut, a 2-1 win against the New Jersey Devils inside the First Niagara Center. “I said, ‘That’s not going to work.’”

Konopka eventually switched airports, …

Read More --->
Zenon Konopka chats with reporters this morning. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Zenon Konopka’s travel ordeal began Friday night shortly after landing in New York from Minnesota. First, the center’s flight was delayed four hours. Then the airline canceled it.

“The tough part was they said they could get me in Sunday,” Konopka, who was claimed on waivers by the Sabres on Friday, said this morning after skating briefly inside the First Niagara Center. “I said, ‘That’s not going to work.’”

Konopka eventually switched airports, going from LaGuardia to JFK.

But the airline …

Read More --->
Zenon Konopka has played 323 NHL games. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Zenon Konopka is joining the Sabres for more than his grittiness and faceoff prowess. In the 33-year-old center, they also possess a hardworking veteran the youngsters on the rebuilding team can learn from.

“Those type of guys are really good role models for the younger players,” interim coach Ted Nolan said Friday shortly after the Sabres plucked Konopka off waivers from the Minnesota Wild. “They last that long because they have that special ingredient to work and compete.”

The reeling …

Read More --->
Ryan Miller (30) has been one of the Sabres' lone bright spots this season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Ryan Miller knew what most Olympic observers knew. Despite nearly backstopping Team USA to an unlikely gold medal in the 2010 Vancouver Games, the Sabres goalie wasn’t a lock to represent his country again this year.

The 33-year-old has performed inconsistently at times during recent seasons. The Sabres, meanwhile, have become the NHL’s worst team.

“It’s something that I wanted to work hard for and get myself back in the picture,” said Miller, one of three netminders named to Team …

Read More --->
Patrick Kaleta was supposed to be back with the Sabres next week. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Agitating winger Patrick Kaleta, who was trying to develop a calmer style in the minors following a series of NHL suspensions, tore his right ACL Friday and is done for the season, according to the Buffalo News.

Here’s the kicker, though: Kaleta was going to be recalled from Rochester on Monday, interim Sabres coach Ted Nolan told reporters today in New Jersey.

“We were going to bring him up after the weekend,” Nolan said. “We spoke to him. It was …

Read More --->