BUFFALO – When Sabres winger Victor Olofsson started practicing again Saturday, coach Ralph Krueger said the rookie might need another week before he could play.
But Olofsson went full tilt this afternoon, taking reps in his normal spots beside captain Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart and down low on the power play.
Meanwhile, Kyle Okposo, who returned for Tuesday’s morning skate, practiced in his regular spot at right wing with center Johan Larsson and ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Suddenly, goalie Carter Hutton has morphed into a difference-maker again, helping the Sabres secure tight games by making clutch stops in the waning minutes.
Hutton struggled for months, losing the No. 1 job and 13 straight starts. Before Linus Ullmark suffered a lower-body injury, he had become a spare part, only playing when the Sabres had back-to-back games.
But in the last week, Hutton, 34, has began showcasing the early-season form that helped ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – At worst, you figured Sabres winger Jeff Skinner would score 25 or 30 goals this season. But having performed so dynamically most of last year, hitting 35 or even 40 again seemed possible.
Skinner and top Sabres captain Jack Eichel formed a lethal duo a year ago. For the first time in his career, Skinner, 27, had an elite center feeding him the puck, and he responded by scoring 40 goals.
When ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – On Thursday, the Sabres will celebrate “2000s Night,” bringing back Daniel Briere, Brian Campbell and some other key figures from their wildly successful 2005-06 and 2006-07 teams that reached the Eastern Conference final.
Ryan Miller, the star goalie those seasons, can’t make it. As the only active NHL player left from those popular clubs, he will be in Anaheim for the Ducks’ game against the Calgary Flames.
“I’m actually going to ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sabres winger Victor Olofsson said he has never experienced anything like the lower-body injury that has sidelined him the last 13 games.
In his first seven years as a pro, the high-scoring Swede showcased terrific durability, never missing more than a couple weeks of action.
Then on Jan. 2 against the Edmonton Oilers, Olofsson’s left skate got caught in the ice, causing him to fall backwards.
“It was unfortunate, no one around me, ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The 4-3 shootout loss was even hard for Ralph Krueger to spin. The coach explained the Sabres’ inability to convert their chances doomed them Thursday against the hapless Detroit Red Wings. He insisted his reeling team’s effort remained high.
But there’s no getting around the Sabres suffered a humiliating defeat. The Red Wings, the NHL’s worst team, are on pace for the worst season since the NHL implemented the salary cap in 2005.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – This could spiral out of control in a hurry. There might be more ugly efforts like Tuesday’s uninspired 6-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche down the stretch.
The Sabres have displayed a disturbing penchant for melting down late in the season.
Players, coaches and even regimes change, yet the sorry results stay the same.
A week ago, the Sabres began a stretch in which they play five straight home games nine of 10 ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The left winger beside top center Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart has become a revolving-door position since Victor Olofsson suffered a lower-body injury last month.
Rookie Rasmus Asplund started off subbing for Olofsson. Jimmy Vesey took a brief turn before Zemgus Girgensons enjoyed the longest run.
Last week, Evan Rodrigues and Jeff Skinner, Eichel’s partner most of last season, moved up for about a period.
Now, Vesey, 26, is back on the No. ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – For 60 minutes against the Columbus Blue Jackets, Sabres captain Jack Eichel blended in, generating little offense against one of the NHL’s stingiest teams.
When overtime began Saturday afternoon, Eichel hadn’t registered a shot on goal, a rarity during a dynamic season in which he has morphed into a superstar.
“I thought a little bit there he was fighting it,” goalie Carter Hutton said after Eichel’s goal 36 seconds into overtime secured a ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Marco Scandella saw the end here coming. Not only did the Sabres have a surfeit of defensemen, he had an expiring contract.
Scandella, 29, knew he was a goner.
Still, when the Sabres traded him to his hometown Montreal Canadiens on Jan. 2 in exchange for a fourth-round pick this year, he was stunned.
“You’re always in shock when you get traded,” Scandella said prior to Thursday’s 3-1 win over the Sabres, ... Read the full article