Adam Pardy played five games in Rochester. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres recall defenseman Pardy

BUFFALO – This morning, five Sabres who played in Sunday’s 4-3 loss to Florida – Christian Ehrhoff, Marcus Foligno, Cody Hodgson, Steve Ott and Jason Pominville – didn’t skate during an optional workout inside the First Niagara Center.

“We got a couple guys that are nicked up that may be doubtful (for the Senators),” coach Lindy Ruff said after the Sabres prepared for Tuesday’s tilt in Ottawa.

Well, at least one probably won’t be playing ... Read the full article

Thomas Vanek's ice time ranks 56th among NHL forwards. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

The curious case of Vanek’s ice time

BUFFALO – It’s a fair question that won’t stop being asked until Sabres coach Lindy Ruff ups his minutes.

Why the heck is slick winger Thomas Vanek, the NHL’s most dynamic presence through two weeks with eight goals and a league-high 19 points, only playing 19:13 a game?

That time ranks 56th among NHL forwards. It’s second among Sabres forwards to linemate Jason Pominville’s 20:51 and sixth overall.

“I’m happy with whatever I get,” ... Read the full article

Cody Hodgson missed this morning's workout. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Banged-up Sabres could be down more players Tuesday

BUFFALO – Five Sabres who played Sunday – Christian Ehrhoff, Marcus Foligno, Cody Hodgson, Steve Ott and Jason Pominville – didn’t skate during this morning’s optional workout inside the First Niagara Center.

“We got a couple guys that are nicked up that may be doubtful tomorrow,” coach Lindy Ruff said after the Sabres prepared for Tuesday’s tilt in Ottawa.

Right now, forward Matt Ellis is the Sabres’ only extra player. A recall could be coming.... Read the full article

Ryan Miller stops Tomas Kopecky in front moments before Brian Campbell's game-winning goal Sunday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres blow lead to Panthers, waste Vanek’s 3-point effort

BUFFALO – Sabres star Thomas Vanek dazzled again Sunday, scoring another goal and three more points. That’s a whopping eight goals and 19 points through two weeks for the slick Austrian.

But arguably the greatest individual start in the franchise’s 42-year history is being wasted.

The Sabres have dropped six of seven games (1-5-1) after blowing a 3-1 second-period lead and falling to the hapless Florida Panthers 4-3 on Sunday afternoon before 18,831 fans inside ... Read the full article

Thomas Vanek began his point bonanza on opening day. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Crazy early pace by Sabres’ Vanek could help shatter short-season records

The scoring benchmarks set during the only other lockout-shortened season – the 48-game 1994-95 campaign – are steep. The NHL hadn’t fully devolved into a clutch-and-grab league then.

Top scorers still racked up some pretty gaudy numbers.

Peter Bondra’s 34 goals, two more than Jaromir Jagr, topped the league. Jagr and Eric Lindros both scored 70 points. Ron Francis had 48 assists.

With an utterly dominant three-goal, five-point performance in the Buffalo Sabres’ dizzying ... Read the full article

Mikhail Grigorenko celebrates his first NHL goal Tuesday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Leafs stun Sabres late in overtime, spoil Grigorenko’s first goal

BUFFALO – Fifteen minutes after allowing the overtime winner in the Sabres’ shocking 4-3 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, Ryan Miller sat stewing in his stall inside the dressing room, staring straight ahead. The goalie still had his pads on. He barely moved.

Down the hallway, winning Leafs goalie James Reimer was riding an exercise bike sporting a wide grin.

His 29 saves had just bested the former Vezina Trophy winner Tuesday before 18,801 ... Read the full article

Mikhail Grigorenko won't be returning to the Quebec Remparts. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Lockout helped Grigorenko develop into NHL talent

BUFFALO – If the Sabres had to decide Mikhail Grigorenko’s NHL fate back in September, then the team would’ve returned the 18-year-old rookie to junior, general manager Darcy Regier said.

But the lockout gave Grigorenko a unique opportunity to keep developing before the 48-game NHL season started.

The center dominated the QMJHL. His strong play with Team Russia during the recent world junior championship elevated his confidence to another level, Regier said.

The top prospect ... Read the full article

The NHL lockout gave Mikhail Grigorenko more time to develop. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

NHL lockout helped Grigorenko stick with Sabres

BUFFALO – If the Sabres had to decide Mikhail Grigorenko’s NHL fate back in September, then the team would’ve returned the 18-year-old rookie to junior, general manager Darcy Regier said.

But the lockout gave Grigorenko a unique opportunity to keep developing before the 48-game NHL season started.

The center dominated the QMJHL. His strong play with Team Russia during the recent world junior championship elevated his confidence to another level, Regier said.

The top prospect ... Read the full article

Drew Stafford's still looking for his first goal this season. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Struggling Sabres trying to ‘get rid of the pond hockey’ mentality

AMHERST – In about 27 hours, the Buffalo Sabres morphed from a tight five-man unit into a disjointed, ugly mess, performing brutally during consecutive losses to the once-hapless Carolina Hurricanes.

So much for all that optimism the Sabres’ hot 2-0 start had generated just several days ago.

Sabres coach Lindy Ruff broke up his lines Saturday and ripped into his team­ on the Northtown Center ice, at one point barking, “Every freakin’ puck is ... Read the full article

Mikhail Grigorenko skated just two shifts after the first period Friday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Ruff on Grigorenko’s fourth appearance: ‘I burned up a game’

AMHERST – Lindy Ruff couldn’t hide his disgust this morning inside the Northtown Center.

The Buffalo Sabres coach sighed before acknowledging the obvious.

“It’s like burning a game,” Ruff said about skating 18-year-old rookie Mikhail Grigorenko a career-low 6:48 in Friday’s 3-1 loss to Carolina.

The Russian center can play five times before the first-year of his entry level contract kicks in. Each appearance is precious in the Sabres’ evaluation.

The Sabres wasted Grigorenko’s fourth ... Read the full article