Rasmus Dahlin has an ugly, NHL-worst minus-34 rating. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Rasmus Dahlin starting to settle down, put struggles in past

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

Sam Reinhart scored the first goal in Wednesday’s win. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres finally end winless streak, beat Flyers: ‘Everybody stepped up’

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

Brandon Montour tries to escape Philadelphia’s Michael Raffl in Monday’s 4-3 overtime loss. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Don Granato overworks players; Buffalo plans to add prospects

BUFFALO – Instead of letting the Sabres rest and recover in the midst of their grueling schedule, interim coach Don Granato said he has “overworked” his players.

“We’re trying to push them harder to develop harder,” Granato said on a Zoom call prior to Wednesday’s 6-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers at KeyBank Center. “We know we have to get better. The focus has to be on that. And we have to trust that wins ... Read the full article

Tage Thompson has often been a healthy scratch this season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Tage Thompson could thrive under interim coach Don Granato

BUFFALO – After morphing from a first-liner into a healthy scratch earlier this season, Tage Thompson could enjoy regular duty under interim coach Don Granato.

Thompson needs consistent action to buoy his development. The 6-foot-7, 219-pound winger has played only 17 NHL games in a more than two-year stretch.

Monday’s 4-3 overtime loss to Philadelphia Flyers at KeyBank Center was the Sabres’ 18th straight defeat. They have nothing to lose by playing him.

“It’s ... Read the full article

Eric Staal spent less than one season in Buffalo. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Eric Staal doesn’t want to revisit past with Sabres: ‘Put that behind me’

Eric Staal was hardly interested in revisiting his rough 32-game tenure in Buffalo and explaining the hapless Sabres’ struggles.

Staal, 36, left the NHL’s laughingstock on Friday in the midst of a stunning 17-game winless skid and a personal 23-game goal drought.

So can you blame the veteran center, one of the league’s most decorated players, for wanting to forget about a tumultuous two months and concentrate on his new opportunity with the Montreal Canadiens?... Read the full article

Linus Ullmark made 33 saves in his return Saturday afternoon. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Goalie Linus Ullmark looks strong in return, offers Sabres some hope

Following a 15-game absence, Buffalo Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark acknowledged he felt a little awkward in the beginning of Saturday afternoon’s 3-2 loss.

Then Ullmark, 27, quickly settled in, showcasing his regular strong form while making 33 saves against the Boston Bruins.

“After a couple shots you’re in it, like you never left,” Ullmark said on a Zoom call after the Sabres’ 17th consecutive loss.

The Sabres wish Ullmark, who suffered a lower-body injury Feb. ... Read the full article

Kyle Okposo scored Buffalo’s second goal Saturday afternoon. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres play best game in weeks, still lose 17th straight

The Buffalo Sabres performed much better in their 17th consecutive loss than they had in the previous 16.

They took an early lead Saturday afternoon – winger Sam Reinhart scored their first power-play goal in 16 games just 2:01 into the game – and later snatched it back after the Boston Bruins tied it.

Having been shut out seven times this season, simply scoring a goal or two can be measured as progress. That’s the ... Read the full article

Don Granato missed Thursday’s game. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

False COVID-19 positives caused Sabres’ Don Granato, Matt Ellis to miss game

When interim Buffalo Sabres Don Granato learned on Thursday his COVID-19 test had returned positive, he said he was in disbelief.

“Quite honestly, I didn’t believe it in the sense of, I said, ‘It’s not right, it didn’t feel right,’” Granato, who received his second vaccination last week, said on a Zoom call this morning. “And I say that because I believe the protocols that have been in place have given me a level ... Read the full article

Eric Staal can become an unrestricted free agent following the season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

After trading Eric Staal, Sabres know more moves coming: ‘Nobody’s naive’

Winger Kyle Okposo knows center Eric Staal was likely only the first of several veteran teammates who will be leaving the hapless Buffalo Sabres over the next few weeks.

The Sabres, having lost 16 straight entering this afternoon’s road game against the Boston Bruins, are broken and on pace to be historically bad. The NHL’s laughingstock needs a massive overhaul, so anyone could be in play before the April 12 trade deadline.

“I mean, nobody’s ... Read the full article

Don Granato missed Thursday’s game. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Don Granato, Matt Ellis clear COVID-19 protocols, join Sabres in Boston

Interim coach Don Granato and assistant Matt Ellis cleared the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol and joined the Buffalo Sabres following Friday’s practice in Boston.

The Sabres announced shortly before Thursday’s 4-0 road loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins that Granato, 53, and Ellis, 39, had entered protocol and were self-isolating.

General manager Kevyn Adams filled in for Granato and the Sabres also promoted Rochester Americans coach Seth Appert to fill in for Ellis.... Read the full article