Zemgus Girgensons has embraced a checking role. ©2019, Hickling Images

After six years of losing, Zemgus Girgensons enjoying Sabres’ revival

BUFFALO – Over winger Zemgus Girgensons’ first six NHL seasons, the Sabres earned an average of only 67 points, missing the playoffs every year and finishing dead last three times.

Girgensons, 25, has endured a lot of losing over his 430-game career. His only taste of big league success before this month – a 10-game winning streak last November – was fleeting, as the Sabres quickly reverted to their hapless ways.

So the Sabres’ scorching ... Read the full article

Jimmy Vesey spent three seaons with the Rangers. ©2019, Hickling Images

Jimmy Vesey should provide much-needed offense for Sabres

BUFFALO – General manager Jason Botterill never thought much about winger Jimmy Vesey’s history with the Sabres.

Botterill needed to add more scoring. The fact that Vesey once rejected the Sabres to become a free agent and join the New York Rangers wasn’t going to deter him from addressing a major need.

So on Monday morning, shortly before free agency opened, Botterill sent a third-round pick in 2021 to the Rangers for Vesey.

Besides, it ... Read the full article

Jimmy Vesey passed on the Sabres in 2016. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres acquire Jimmy Vesey from Rangers for draft pick

BUFFALO – Three years ago, the Sabres’ old regime gambled a bit, trading a third-round pick to the Nashville Predators for the rights to the Hobey Baker Award winner Jimmy Vesey.

But the high-scoring college winger rejected the Sabres, waited until mid-August to become a free agent and signed with the New York Rangers.

In his first trip to Buffalo as a rookie, Vesey, of course, was booed.

So the Sabres’ acquisition of Vesey ... Read the full article

Jake McCabe and the New York Rangers' Cristoval Nieves fall to the ice Friday. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres searching for answers after rough loss to Rangers

BUFFALO – This is all new for the Sabres – the high expectations, the strong sense of urgency they must showcase throughout their most meaningful tilts in seven years.

On Friday, the Sabres could’ve won their third game in four tries, closed out two weeks at home on a high note and inched two points closer to the Eastern Conference’s second wild card spot.

Instead, they imploded again, falling behind two goals early and ... Read the full article

Evan Rodrigues has enjoyed a productive stretch. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Evan Rodrigues grew under Rangers’ David Quinn

BUFFALO – Sabres center Evan Rodrigues figured David Quinn would stay put at Boston University until the coach guided the Terriers to a national championship.

Quinn’s success at the NCAA level, of course, generated plenty of interest from the NHL. Still, Rodrigues, whose dynamic exploits nearly helped BU win a title in 2015, enjoys a close relationship with Quinn.

“You can always go into his office and talk about anything to him,” Rodrigues said prior ... Read the full article

Jason Pominville (29) chats with Jeff Skinner (53), Jack Eichel (9) and Rasmus Dahlin (26) during Tuesday's game. ©2019, Hickling Images

Jason Pominville moving up among Sabres’ all-time leaders

BUFFALO – It has become a regular occurence this season, Jason Pominville’s 14th in the NHL and 10th with the Sabres. Every few weeks or so, the popular winger seems to reach a new milestone or move up among the franchise’s all-time leaders.

Pominville, whose focus has been a huge asset over his splendid 1,037-game career, hasn’t paid much attention to any of it.

“I try to just enjoy the moment, live in the moment,” ... Read the full article

Carter Hutton made 43 saves Saturday. ©2018, Hickling Images

Conor Sheary, Carter Hutton push Sabres past Rangers

BUFFALO – It was hard to tell which moment in Saturday’s 3-1 win against the New York Rangers generated the bigger roar from Sabres fans.

Winger Conor Sheary’s power-play goal 13:15 into the tilt, a perfect shot from the left circle into the far corner, ignited the crowd of 16,824 fans inside KeyBank Center.

So did goalie Carter Hutton’s splendid save on Rangers center Brett Howden, which stymied a three-on-zero shortly after Sheary’s second power-play ... Read the full article

Remi Elie made his Sabres debut Saturday. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Remi Elie believes he can produce more offense

BUFFALO – In his 91-game NHL career, Remi Elie has compiled seven goals and 21 points. The Dallas Stars utilized him as a checker, a role he continued Saturday as a fourth-line winger in his Sabres debut.

But in Elie, 23, Phil Housley sees a youngster who possesses the talents to morph into a scorer. Since the Sabres claimed him on waivers Tuesday, the coach has been praising the former second-round pick.

“When he gets ... Read the full article

Remi Elie was claimed on waivers Tuesday. ©2018, Hickling Images

Remi Elie to make Sabres debut

BUFFALO – In his 90-game NHL career, Remi Elie has compiled seven goals and 21 points. The Dallas Stars utilized him as a checker, a role he will continue tonight as a fourth-line winger in his Sabres debut.

But in Elie, 23, Phil Housley sees a youngster who possesses the talents to morph into a scorer. Since the Sabres claimed him on waivers Tuesday, the coach has been praising the former second-round pick.

“I just ... Read the full article

Phil Housley was miffed after Thursday's loss. ©2018, Hickling Images

Phil Housley to Sabres after loss: ‘The sun came up’

BUFFALO – Coach Phil Housley’s firm voice cut through the din of Friday’s practice every few minutes.

“He was definitely vocal,” winger Kyle Okposo said after the Sabres prepared for tonight’s home tilt against the New York Rangers. “I think we got the message.”

Actually, Housley relayed multiple messages Friday morning, hours after an embarrassing 4-0 loss left him seething. He delivered his first before practice.... Read the full article