Ryan Miller was angry following the Sabres' fourth straight loss. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres blink first again versus Isles, drop to last in Eastern Conference

BUFFALO – Nothing has changed. The Sabres are still a mess, perhaps the NHL’s worst team. Since firing Lindy Ruff on Wednesday and naming Ron Rolston interim coach, they’ve lost both games and scored one goal.

The disenchanted crowd inside the First Niagara Center booed and moaned Saturday throughout an ugly 4-0 loss to the New York Islanders, just like they did during Tuesday’s 2-1 defeat to Winnipeg, Ruff’s final game as coach.... Read the full article

Mikhail Grigorenko played his 15th NHL game Saturday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Grigorenko plays little in return; Leino feeling better, wants Sabres to have ‘higher demands’

BUFFALO – Sitting out hockey games, watching them in a suit from the press box high above the ice was a new and difficult experience for 18-year-old Sabres rookie Mikhail Grigorenko, a healthy scratch three straight games and four of the last six before returning Saturday.

“I think every hockey player wants to play hockey,” Grigorenko said prior to the Sabres’ 4-0 loss to the New York Islanders inside the First Niagara Center, his first ... Read the full article

Mikhail Grigorenko will play tonight after sitting three straight games. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Grigorenko set to return; Leino skates, wants Sabres to have ‘higher demands’

BUFFALO – Sitting out hockey games, watching them in a suit from the press box high above the ice was a new and difficult experience for 18-year-old Sabres rookie Mikhail Grigorenko, a healthy scratch the past three games and four of the last six.

The Russian center will finally play again tonight when the Sabres host the New York Islanders, his first appearance under new interim coach Ron Rolston.

“I think every hockey player ... Read the full article

Tyler Myers will sit tonight. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Myers could’ve been scratched much earlier

If the Buffalo Sabres’ defense corps hadn’t been down three regulars, it’s possible coach Lindy Ruff would’ve scratched the struggling Tyler Myers long before tonight’s tilt against the Islanders in New York.

Instead, Myers got a few extra games to work his problems out. Ruff said Wednesday the 23-year-old’s game was improving.

Still, with Andrej Sekera (bone bruise) set to return, Myers will sit tonight as healthy scratch for the second time in his four-year ... Read the full article

Thomas Vanek's scoring pace would be high for a normal 82-game season. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres can’t rely on Vanek’s sizzling production forever

BUFFALO – Follow Sabres superstar Thomas Vanek’s dynamic run closely. Enjoy watching the nifty goals, the points and knowing each time he steps on the ice something special could happen.

This might be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. NHL players just don’t score at Vanek’s torrid pace anymore.

The slick Austrian already has 10 goals and 21 points through 10 appearances, a stat line from eras past. He’s on track for 47 goals and 99 points in ... Read the full article

©2012

Sabres pounce on Isles early, hold on for tight win

BUFFALO – The Sabres, rested and waiting for the New York Islanders, would’ve had no excuses for losing Tuesday. Not against a team that had been humiliated 6-0 at home the previous afternoon. Not with Kevin Poulin, the rookie goaltender that had lasted just two minutes into his start, getting another nod.

The Isles looked ripe to be exploited inside the First Niagara Center.

Sure enough, the Sabres capitalized early. Tyler Myers scored just 1:21 ... Read the full article

Nathan Gerbe's goal scoring has dropped dramatically this season. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Gerbe developing into strong checker as offense vanishes

BUFFALO – Sabres sophomore Nathan Gerbe – the collegiate scoring machine, AHL star and NHL rookie that tallied at a 30-goal pace the second half of last season – has five scores this season, just one in the last 21 games.

Right now, the diminutive Gerbe’s not a scorer; he’s quickly morphed into a strong checker, playing a tenacious left wing on a line with Paul Gaustad and Patrick Kaleta that draws the opposition’s best.... Read the full article

Paul Gaustad should be worth a high draft pick, possibly a first-round choice. ©2012, Janet Schultz, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Gaustad could be in demand at trade deadline

BUFFALO – In a seller’s market, with bubble teams clamoring for any asset that might buoy their playoff chances and contenders searching for that last piece, Sabres veteran Paul Gaustad should be coveted at the upcoming NHL trade deadline.

The versatile American, an unrestricted free agent in July, has been at his best recently, centering a strong shutdown line with Nathan Gerbe and Patrick Kaleta.

Gaustad has three goals, including the winning score Sunday, and ... Read the full article