Jeff Skinner is pointless in four games this season. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Jeff Skinner moves to line with Casey Mittelstadt

BUFFALO – The tenacity Sabres winger Jeff Skinner has showcased early this season impresses coach Phil Housley.

“I really like the way he’s working, his forechecking,” Housley said this afternoon inside KeyBank Center. “He steals pucks and he strips pucks. (I like) the way he’s coming back into our zone. There’s just nothing evolving from that point.”

Skinner, 26, is pointless in first four outings with the Sabres. So Housley moved the left winger, an ... Read the full article

Sabres center Evan Rodrigues skates between Colorado's J.T. Compher (37) and Semyon Varlamov on Thursday. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres implode early, get blown out by Avalanche

BUFFALO – About 32 hours before the Sabres began Thursday’s ugly 6-1 loss, veteran winger Kyle Okposo saw some ominous signs of trouble during practice.

Throughout the short season, the Sabres had been dialed in and ready, according to Okposo. But fresh off two straight wins, he said they looked sloppy during Wednesday’s session.

“It was a lot like how we played the first period,” an agitated Okposo said after the Colorado Avalanche shellacked the ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel has a stronger supporting cast this season. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres’ depth has buoyed strong start

BUFFALO – Depth means coach Phil Housley can utilize his so-called fourth line for critical defensive zone faceoffs. It means the Sabres can replace former center Ryan O’Reilly’s minutes by committee. It means it can often be hard to distinguish between the first and fourth trios.

Right now, for the first time in years, the 2-1 Sabres possess depth up front and the ability to roll four lines.

“We’ve been rolling them pretty good,” center ... Read the full article

Carter Hutton started the Sabres' first two games this season. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres goalie Carter Hutton instilling confidence, becoming leader

BUFFALO – In just a few weeks, goalie Carter Hutton has already instilled loads of confidence in the Sabres and established himself as one of the team’s strongest voices.

How has Hutton, 32, done it so quickly?

Well, for starters, Hutton often looked dynamic making 43 saves against the New York Rangers in Saturday’s 3-1 win. He even stymied a three-on-zero break, a stop that will probably be remembered in these parts for a long ... 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

Vladimir Sobotka briefly fought Boston's Charlie McAvoy. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres regroup after ugly loss; Vladimir Sobotka day-to-day

BUFFALO – Fresh off Thursday’s ugly 4-0 season-opening loss, coach Phil Housley relayed a straightforward message to the Sabres.

“I walked in this morning to the group and said … ‘The sun came up,’” Housley said following practice inside KeyBank Center.

The setback to the Boston Bruins, of course, was just one of 82 games. But given the Sabres’ sorry history in recent seasons, the loss triggered some anger in fans, who booed the home ... Read the full article

Rasmus Dahlin (26) made his NHL debut Thursday. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres look awful in season-opening loss to Bruins

BUFFALO – Sabres coach Phil Housley kept talking, growing more agitated as the seconds ticked by following Thursday’s ugly 4-0 loss to the Boston Bruins.

How often does a team get booed off the ice on opening night? How often does it happen after 40 minutes?

The Sabres looked dreadful against a Bruins team that had been annihilated 7-0 the previous night. So much for all that optimism.... Read the full article

Phil Housley likes how his team welcomed its new players. ©2018, Hickling Images

New-look Sabres excited to open season: ‘A lot of enthusiasm’

BUFFALO – The first glimpse of the new-look Sabres comes tonight, 180 days after they ended perhaps the worst season in franchise history.

Seven new faces will dress against the Boston Bruins, including first overall pick Rasmus Dahlin and winger Jeff Skinner, a two-time 30-goal scorer. The optimism surrounding the Sabres is well-deserved.

They’re a much different team than the dreadful one that finished in 31st place six months ago.

“They’re excited,” Sabres coach ... Read the full article