BUFFALO – Even by Sabres standards, their start in Thursday’s 4-3 win over the New York Islanders was bad.
The Sabres have consistently stumbled, even occasionally imploded, early in games this lost season, falling behind and generating little offense.
Unlike other outings, however, the Sabres kept the puck out of their net early Thursday. Still, they chased the Islanders most of the first period, getting hemmed in their zone.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Three years ago, Jack Eichel and Evan Rodrigues formed perhaps college hockey’s best duo, piling up points during Boston University’s run to the national championship game.
Eichel won the Hobey Baker Award as a freshman. Meanwhile, Rodrigues enjoyed a monster senior season, compiling 61 points in 41 games.
“We kind of knew where each other were all over the ice,” Rodrigues said Thursday prior to scoring his first goal in 22 games. “We ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – For years, Sabres coaches have said they want to trim Rasmus Ristolainen’s ice time. For years, the workhorse Finnish defenseman has kept skating big minutes.
Of course, those coaches – first Dan Bylsma and now Phil Housley – haven’t had many options beyond Ristolainen. Bad teams usually don’t possess much defense depth.
An injury or a struggling defenseman means the Sabres must lean on Ristolainen, 23, even more.
Thanks to Jake McCabe’s ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – With Jake McCabe out three to four weeks after undergoing thumb surgery today and Rasmus Ristolainen struggling, the Sabres’ defense corps will look much different tonight against the New York Islanders.
Casey Nelson, a recent recall quickly earning coach Phil Housley’s trust, will play with Marco Scandella, Ristolainen’s partner much of the season on the No. 1 pair. Ristolainen, meanwhile, will move back and skate with Nathan Beaulieu.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Forget about struggling winger Evander Kane, the asset that could fetch the Sabres the greatest return before the upcoming trade deadline is goalie Robin Lehner.
Kane has been struggling for months, producing just four goals over a 32-game span, including zero in the past 13 contests. His value has dropped dramatically.
Lehner, meanwhile, has been tending some strong goal for the hapless Sabres, who have lost four straight home games. In ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – At first glance, it appears Sabres winger Jason Pominville has been declining since hitting the prestigious 30-goal mark four years ago.
Statistical drops are usually inevitable as players progress into their 30s, and Pominville, 34, has experienced one, failing to reach 20 goals or 60 points the last three seasons.
In his first eight NHL seasons of 70 or more games, Pominville averaged 26 goals and 64 points. In the last two campaigns, ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Among the 38 players the Sabres have used through five preseason games, very few have stood out.
Of course, center Jack Eichel has performed strongly, compiling one goal and four points in three appearances. Meanwhile, veteran winger Jason Pominville scored twice in his debut.
But those Sabres are expected to make notable contributions. What about the bubble players, the AHL guy looking to crack the big club out of training camp?... Read the full article
BUFFALO – As the son of a former Sabres coach, winger Jordan Nolan’s memories of his new team and this area are special.
As a child in the 1990s, Nolan sometimes tagged along with his father, Ted Nolan, to the rink. In 2013, when the Sabres brought the elder Nolan back for a second run, Jordan proudly watched the news conference inside KeyBank Center.
Buffalo, Jordan Nolan said, has “kind of shaped our ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Top Sabres forward prospect Alexander Nylander, the eighth overall pick in 2016, could be recalled from the Rochester Americans and make his NHL debut in tonight’s tilt against his brother, William, and the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Update: Nylander has been recalled.
Nylander, 19, was held out Sunday afternoon’s 2-1 road win against the Albany Devils. The Buffalo News reported the Sabres will summon the Swede from the AHL club.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The play will be seared in Sabres rookie C.J. Smith’s memory the rest of his life.
Halfway through Smith’s NHL debut, Sunday afternoon’s 4-2 loss to the New York Islanders, the speedy winger grabbed Evander Kane’s pass just outside the blue line and zoomed into the zone on a two-on-one.
Smith then dished a backhand saucer pass to Kane, who beat goalie Jaroslav Halak for his team-leading 27th goal. Just 10:08 into his ... Read the full article