On Sunday afternoon, Don Granato said the Buffalo Sabres’ belief they could roar back and win was stronger and more collective than in previous games. The interim coach could feel it up and down the bench.
“More confident speak, less emotional speak,” Granato said after the Sabres rallied to stun the Philadelphia Flyers 5-3 at Wells Fargo Center.
The Sabres, who ended their 18-game winless skid March 31, possessed little or no confidence just a ... Read the full article
Buffalo Sabres rookie Arttu Ruotsalainen said when linemate Dylan Cozens delivered a short, soft pass to him in the right circle Sunday afternoon, he simply closed his eyes and shot the puck.
A second later, Ruotsalainen’s lethal one-timer blew by Philadelphia Flyers goalie Carter Hart 4:42 into the second period. The Finnish winger’s first NHL goal tied the game at 2.
“It’s awesome. It’s a dream,” a smiling Ruotsalainen said following his second NHL game, ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – In his first 12 games as interim coach, Don Granato’s most telling accomplishment has been his ability to unlock potential from several of the Sabres’ young players who struggled to stay in the lineup earlier this season.
Consider that in Friday’s 4-3 loss to the Washington Capitals, center Casey Mittelstadt, defenseman Henri Jokiharju and winger Tage Thompson scored for the Sabres inside KeyBank Center.
All three players are 23 or under and spent ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – A few weeks ago, an early two-goal deficit like the Sabres experienced Thursday against the New Jersey Devils would’ve been insurmountable.
They would’ve folded and gone down meekly.
But over the past week or so, the Sabres have morphed into, well, a somewhat normal team. Yes, they’re still one of the NHL’s lightweights, but they’re much more competitive.
While Thursday’s 6-3 loss inside KeyBank Center ended their two-game winning streak and five-game point ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Arttu Ruotsalainen’s pro experience belies his prospect status. The Sabres rookie played six seasons in Liiga, Finland’s top pro circuit. When he left Ilves earlier this season, he had scored a league-leading 16 goals in only 19 games.
Ruotsalainen, 23, arrived here for training camp barely three months ago close to a finished product. So it wasn’t surprising the center earned his first NHL recall after playing just 13 games with the Rochester ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – After the Sabres finished practicing today, center Dylan Cozens and defenseman Will Borgen jumped on the KeyBank Center ice and went through a rehab skate, a strong sign the rookies are progressing from their injuries.
“We need the information on how they responded on the ice before we can go to the next step there,” interim Sabres coach Don Granato said on a Zoom call. “But clearly, they’re closer and closer.”
Granato said ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The Sabres this afternoon recalled forward prospect Arttu Ruotsalainen to the taxi squad and assigned forward Jean-Sebastien Dea from the taxi squad to the Rochester Americans.
Ruotsalainen, 23, has enjoyed a terrific rookie season with the Amerks, scoring five goals and 13 points in 13 games. He just compiled two goals and five points in two weekend outings against the Syracuse Crunch.
Before the North American seasons started, Ruotsalainen starred for Ilves, a ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – In barely a week, the Sabres have transformed from the NHL’s laughingstock into a team that plays a fast, active brand of hockey.
Right now, they’re creating offense, limiting chances against and – believe it or not – are pretty exciting to watch. They look nothing like the hapless team that just endured an embarrassing 18-game winless streak.
Interim coach Don Granato has the Sabres playing to their strengths and feeling confident. After ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – In the last week, Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin has finally settled down and started showcasing a sturdier game under interim coach Don Granato.
Dahlin, whose ghastly minus-34 rating ranks last in the NHL, hasn’t suddenly recaptured his old form. Still, he has looked much more comfortable playing for Granato than he did under Ralph Krueger, who was fired March 17.
Simply playing a calmer, more composed style – Dahlin, 20, has ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Instead of addressing the Sabres during Wednesday’s second intermission, interim coach Don Granato left his players alone.
No words of encouragement. Not even a tactical point or two.
The game was playing out eerily similar to Monday’s. Granato, whose Sabres also held a three-goal that night over the Philadelphia Flyers, wanted his players to take over.
“I wouldn’t have handed it off to them if I wasn’t confident that they could do it ... Read the full article