Tage Thompson unleashes a shot Friday. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres prospect Tage Thompson thriving with Amerks

ROCHESTER – The numbers jump out at you. Through nine AHL appearances, Buffalo Sabres prospect Tage Thompson has already compiled seven goals and 10 points.

Sure, it’s a small sample size. But Thompson, 21, has often been a dynamic presence for the Americans since the Sabres sent him down March 28.

“We’re looking for him to be a big-time player for us,” Amerks coach Chris Taylor said following Saturday’s practice at Bill Gray’s Regional Iceplex ... Read the full article

Phil Housley began his Hall of Fame playing career with the Sabres. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ second-half regression cost Phil Housley his job

BUFFALO – Even as the Sabres stumbled and lost their grip on a playoff spot early in the winter, it seemed like coach Phil Housley would return next season unless the team totally fell apart down the stretch.

Well, the Sabres imploded, losing 16 of 17 games before winning their final two outings. That marked the first time they won back-to-back games since Dec. 11 and 13.

On Sunday, a day after the Sabres finished ... Read the full article

Carter Hutton makes a shootout stop on St. Louis' Ryan O'Reilly to secure Sunday afternoon's win. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres end losing streak, get building roaring again

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Kyle Okposo heard the crowd roaring and wanted in on the action.

For a 27-second stretch late in the third period of Sunday afternoon’s entertaining 4-3 shootout win, the Sabres started thumping every opponent in sight.

The normally docile fans inside KeyBank Center grew louder and louder with each hit.

So Okposo wasn’t about to pass up an opportunity to hit St. Louis Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester.... Read the full article

Ryan O'Reilly spent three seasons with the Sabres. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Ryan O’Reilly returns to Buffalo thriving with Blues

BUFFALO – St. Louis Blues center Ryan O’Reilly hasn’t experienced a season like this in five years, since he played for the Colorado Avalanche.

For the first time since 2013-14, O’Reilly, 28, has a legitimate chance to reach the playoffs.

Simply contending for a spot has helped rejuvenate O’Reilly, who was beaten down by the losing he endured in Buffalo so much he acknowledged following last season it sapped some of his love for hockey.... Read the full article

Jason Pominville also sat out Jan. 30. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Sabres’ Jason Pominville to be healthy scratch against Blues

BUFFALO – The Sabres cleared one huge hurdle in Saturday’s 4-2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes by, uh, scoring a goal for the first time in more than three games.

“It certainly was a relief,” coach Phil Housley said of the Sabres ending their drought at 199:58. “I really like the way we started, and just taking a look at the game after the fact, I really liked the way we played. We had a ... Read the full article

Losing sapped Ryan O'Reilly's love for hockey last season. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Trading Ryan O’Reilly looks like brutal deal for Sabres

BUFFALO – The trade could go down as one of the worst in Sabres history.

For NHL All-Star Ryan O’Reilly, the Sabres received two overpaid veteran forwards, a prospect who has been in and out of the lineup and first- and second-round picks from the St. Louis Blues, this afternoon’s opponent at KeyBank Center.

The Sabres’ struggles this season can be sliced and diced a thousand ways. But getting rid of O’Reilly on July ... Read the full article

Phil Housley is in his second season as coach. ©2019, Hickling Images

Players say Phil Housley has changed Sabres for better

BUFFALO – Barely two years ago, Phil Housley was the NHL’s hottest assistant before the Sabres hired him as the 18th head coach in franchise history following the Nashville Predators’ run to the Stanley Cup final.

The move was almost universally lauded. Housley, a Hall of Fame defenseman and one of the greatest Sabres ever, was returning to a team and city close to his heart.

Housley’s defense corps in Nashville showcased the fast, aggressive ... Read the full article

Tage Thompson possesses a lethal shot. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Tage Thompson understands development takes time

TORONTO – Tage Thompson said he views his development as a marathon, not a sprint. Having played only 97 NHL games, the Buffalo Sabres winger understands he’s raw.

“Everyone’s got their own path,” Thompson said prior to Saturday’s 5-2 loss to the Maple Leafs. “It’s going to take a little bit of time. You never want to rush into things.”

So Thompson, 21, has embraced the Sabres’ plan for him. While they’ve kept him in ... Read the full article

Jason Botterill made a significant move Sunday night. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ acquisition of Brandon Montour shows they want to win now

TORONTO – On Sunday night, Sabres general manager Jason Botterill made a significant trade for this season, sending a 2019 first-round pick and defense prospect Brendan Guhle to the Anaheim Ducks for defenseman Brandon Montour.

Think about that, the Sabres, a team seemingly in perpetual rebuilding mode, dealt futures for an established NHL player before today’s 3 p.m. trade deadline.

But for the first time since 2011-12, the Sabres are in the playoff ... Read the full article

Tage Thompson also sat out earlier in the season. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Sabres notes: Tage Thompson’s benching could be short

BUFFALO – This is probably only a temporary benching. Sabres coach Phil Housley plans to give winger Tage Thompson another opportunity soon.

But for the first time since Nov. 8 and the eighth time this season, Thompson, 21, sat out as a healthy scratch Thursday.

Center Johan Larsson replaced him for the Sabres’6-5 overtime loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. Thompson, a big piece of the Ryan O’Reilly trade with the St. Louis Blues, had played ... Read the full article