Brooks Orpik (44) will represent Team USA at the upcoming Sochi Games. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Penguins’ Brooks Orpik says Olympians more concerned with family safety

PITTSBURGH – Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik, a member of Team USA’s Olympic squad, said athletes aren’t that concerned about their own safety for the upcoming Sochi Games.

“It’s more they’re concerned over their family members going because they’re not in the village,” Orpik said Monday prior to the Penguins’ 3-0 win against the Buffalo Sabres inside the Consol Energy Center. “We’ve been pretty assured they’re going to be safe where they are. It’s one of ... Read the full article

Ted Nolan played 18 games with the Penguins in 1985-86. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Ted Nolan fondly recalls days with Penguins

PITTSBURGH – Having spent more than five years out of the NHL, Ted Nolan walked into the Consol Energy Center, the league’s newest arena, for the first time today.

“It’s beautiful,” the interim Buffalo Sabres coach said this afternoon.

Of course, as a Penguins winger for 18 games in 1985-86, Nolan was familiar with Pittsburgh’s old Civic Arena. “The Igloo,” which closed in 2010, is now a parking lot across the street.

Nolan loves ... Read the full article

Brooks Orpik was recently named to Team USA's Olympic squad. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Penguins’ Brooks Orpik on his Olympic concerns, Sabres goalie Ryan Miller

PITTSBURGH – Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik, a member of Team USA’s Olympic squad, said athletes aren’t that concerned about their own safety for the upcoming Sochi Games.

“It’s more they’re concerned over their family members going because they’re not in the village,” Orpik said this morning at the Consol Energy Center. “We’ve been pretty assured they’re going to be safe where they are. It’s one of those unfortunate things. That’s just the way it is, ... Read the full article

Ryan Miller stops Columbus' Matt Calvert on Jan. 18. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Ryan Miller to start against Penguins

PITTSBURGH – The numbers are terrible. In 23 career games against the Penguins, Buffalo Sabres franchise goalie Ryan Miller is 7-11-3 with a ghastly 3.26 goals-against average and .888 save percentage.

The powerhouse Penguins own Miller like no other team.

So why start Miller tonight when the Sabres play Washington, a team he has dominated recently, Tuesday at home?

Interim Sabres coach Ted Nolan doesn’t care about Miller’s numbers.

“I just know how good he ... Read the full article

Matt Ellis (37) battles Florida's Dmitry Kulikov (7) and Marcel Goc (57) recently. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Matt Ellis scoring, earning Ted Nolan’s respect and regular duty

PITTSBURGH – Matt Ellis had two Buffalo Sabres skating to the crease, so even a few steps inside the blue line, the winger figured lofting a backhander toward Columbus goalie Sergei Bobrovsky was a smart move.

To Ellis, getting the puck on net – even the seemingly harmless shots – is one of the simplest ways to increase scoring.

“Coaches tell you from Day One when you pick up a hockey stick that things happen ... Read the full article

Jhonas Enroth was arguably the Sabres' only bright spot Saturday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Feeble Sabres fall to Penguins, left searching for answers

PITTSBURGH – Three defeats. Two goals. One team going nowhere fast.

For the first time in their 43-year history, the Buffalo Sabres have started a season with three consecutive losses.

In Saturday’s setback, a 4-1 loss to the high-powered Penguins before 18,641 fans inside the Consol Energy Center, the Sabres’ goal drought went on the length of more than two full games before Thomas Vanek scored with 4:54 left in the contest.

“It’s the same ... Read the full article

Matt Hackett dressed for Saturday's game. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Ryan Miller’s ‘minor’ injury forces Sabres to recall goalie Matt Hackett

PITTSBURGH – Matt Hackett was home in Rochester, “about to pass out,” the goalie joked, when the phone rang around midnight Saturday.

Hackett had just been shelled in the Americans’ disastrous 8-1 season-opening loss to Grand Rapids, allowing six goals on 30 shots in just 36:35 before mercifully getting yanked.

The 23-year-old wasn’t expecting a recall to the Buffalo Sabres hours later.

“Never seen getting called up for six goals,” Hackett said Saturday afternoon prior ... Read the full article

Matt Hackett played poorly Friday in Rochester. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Ryan Miller questionable for tonight’s game against Penguins; Matt Hackett up from Amerks

PITTSBURGH – Matt Hackett was home in Rochester, “about to pass out,” the goalie joked, when the phone rang around midnight.

Hackett had just been shelled in the Americans’ disastrous 8-1 season-opening loss, allowing six goals on 30 shots in just 36:35 before mercifully getting yanked.

The 23-year-old wasn’t expecting a recall to the Buffalo Sabres.

“Never seen getting called up for six goals,” Hackett said this afternoon after participating in the Sabres’ optional skate ... Read the full article

Ryan Miller made 40 saves Tuesday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Miller bounces back as Sabres down Penguins

PITTSBURGH – The thinking went like this: Sabres goalie Ryan Miller, heckled during an ugly home outing Friday, wouldn’t play in Buffalo again this season. No way. The Sabres couldn’t risk having the face of their franchise jeered again.

Sure enough, he sat Monday’s home game.

But the Sabres turned to Miller again Tuesday inside Consol Energy Center, and the former Vezina Trophy winner dazzled in his 499th NHL appearance, stopping 40 ... Read the full article

Chad Ruhwedel played college hockey in Pittsburgh earlier this month. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Ruhwedel’s whirlwind NHL adventure brings Sabres rookie back to Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH – Buffalo Sabres rookie Chad Ruhwedel hasn’t truly left college yet. Six games into his new life, the 22-year-old defenseman is still enrolled at UMass Lowell, where he’s a senior pursuing degrees in business and marketing and management.

Even in the NHL, Ruhwedel, who had junior playing status, has some school work to do. When the season ends, he’ll go back and finish the semester.

“A little tough, but my teachers have been pretty ... Read the full article