TORONTO – Following a few dismal weeks, the Buffalo Sabres have quietly started showing signs of snapping out of their long funk.
Sure, Saturday’s 2-1 overtime loss to the Maple Leafs closed a disappointing November in which they went 3-8-2, losing 10 out of 13 games.
But the Sabres finished the month strongly, going 2-1-2. Earning points in four out of five contests during a busy seven-day stretch illustrates progress.
They’ll begin December in fourth ... Read the full article
TORONTO – Who expected Buffalo Sabres defenseman Colin Miller would be a healthy scratch once this season, let alone six times before December?
But a crowded blue line – the Sabres have seven healthy defensemen, including five right-handed shots – forced them to bench one in eight recent games.
Miller, 27, was usually the odd man out.
“I’m not getting many bounces lately,” Miller said prior to Saturday’s 2-1 overtime loss to the Maple Leafs ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – In the second period Wednesday, Sabres rookie Rasmus Asplund grabbed a loose puck in the right corner, spun off a defender in the circle and quickly cut to the net.
Calgary Flames defenseman Rasmus Andersson hectored the 5-foot-11, 190-pound Asplund in the slot, but he fended him off before creating a prime scoring chance goalie David Rittich stymied.
Asplund’s seventh NHL game, a 3-2 overtime loss, was perhaps his best performance since the ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – In the last month, a wretched stretch in which the Sabres have lost 11 of 13 games and plummeted down the standings, winger Jimmy Vesey said he has seen some positives.
“There’s a lot of games I think we liked the way we played for most of it,” Vesey said after scoring a breakaway goal for the second straight game in Wednesday’s 3-2 overtime loss to the Calgary Flames.
But what has that ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Maybe Thursday’s 5-4 overtime loss, a rollicking game in which the Sabres roared back multiple times, can help them recapture some of their early-season form.
The Sabres looked dead at several points, including with 3:54 left, when winger Andrei Svechnikov’s power-play goal restored the Carolina Hurricanes’ lead after they had blown a 3-1 advantage.
Instead of wilting, the Sabres scored with 40.1 seconds left, getting the tying goal from center Johan Larsson.
While ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Instead of offering a short reply, Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen kept talking, going into detail why he enjoys playing for Ralph Krueger, his fifth coach in seven years.
By his standards, Ristolainen, a man of few words, was gushing.
“I like whatever he does,” Ristolainen said Thursday inside KeyBank Center. “I like how he communicates with us. I like the way he talks. He talks really powerfully and everyone listens. He’s kind of ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Over winger Zemgus Girgensons’ first six NHL seasons, the Sabres earned an average of only 67 points, missing the playoffs every year and finishing dead last three times.
Girgensons, 25, has endured a lot of losing over his 430-game career. His only taste of big league success before this month – a 10-game winning streak last November – was fleeting, as the Sabres quickly reverted to their hapless ways.
So the Sabres’ scorching ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Coach Ralph Krueger said the Sabres bench “erupted” long before captain Jack Eichel scored Tuesday’s wild overtime winner.
It started getting loud about 20 seconds earlier, when center Casey Mittelstadt put his head down and pursued San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson as he raced out of the Buffalo zone on a two-on-one.
“It was crazy,” Krueger said following Wednesday’s practice inside KeyBank Center. “I mean, I’m watching the entire bench cheering ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Jack Eichel’s night started ominously, with the Sabres captain passing up a glorious scoring chance in front of wonky San Jose Sharks goalie Martin Jones.
It wouldn’t be the last time Eichel did it early in Tuesday’s 4-3 overtime victory, a wild contest in which the Sabres roared back thanks to their young star’s dynamic performance.
“(I was) a little frustrated with myself more than anything,” Eichel said after scoring the overtime winner, ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Having already produced seven points through five games, Rasmus Dahlin could be in the early stages of the greatest offensive season ever enjoyed by a Sabres defenseman.
Dahlin, of course, will likely cool off. At his current pace entering this afternoon’s home game against the Dallas Stars, he would score 115 points over an 82-game campaign.
Only five NHL defensemen have ever recorded a 100-point season. The last one, Brian Leetch, hit the ... Read the full article