Ralph Krueger has established a strong relationship with Jack Eichel. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Ralph Krueger says it’s ‘healthy’ for Jack Eichel to vent about losing

The pain and anger, as Ralph Krueger called it, is a good sign. The Buffalo Sabres coach believes it’s healthy for captain Jack Eichel to vent his frustrations over losing.

Of course, Eichel, who said on a Zoom call Thursday he was “fed up,” is not alone in his disappointment. He’s just the most visible member of the team.

The Sabres’ biggest star and the team’s young core haven’t come close to cracking the playoffs.... Read the full article

Ramsus Ristolainen has played seven seasons with the Sabres. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Rasmus Ristolainen knows he could be traded

Rasmus Ristolainen understands that if the Buffalo Sabres make significant moves this offseason, he could be dealt.

“If changes will happen, I know I’m one of the first ones probably who is going to get traded,” the defenseman said on a Zoom call Thursday, two days after the Sabres’ season officially ended. “It’s part of the business and I’m ready, whatever happens. I have really enjoyed my time in Buffalo. It’s home for me.”

Buffalo ... Read the full article

Lawrence Pilut has spent the past two seasons with the Sabres. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Report: Lawrence Pilut leaving Sabres, joining Russian team

Defenseman Lawrence Pilut has left the Buffalo Sabres to join a Russian team in the Kontinental Hockey League.

Pilut, 24, has signed with Traktor Chelyabins, according to The Buffalo News. Hockeynews.se also reported Pilut was set to leave for Russia.

His new contract includes an NHL out clause, according to The News, although it’s unclear if he could depart the team during the season.

The Swede will become a restricted free agent when the ... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolainen has enjoyed a bounce-back season. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres succeeded in helping Rasmus Ristolainen transform game this season

“We’re continuing to try to set this team up where we’re putting (Rasmus Ristolainen) in positions to have success.”

– Buffalo Sabres general manager Jason Botterill, Aug. 17, 2019

As their nine-year run of futility indicates, the Sabres rarely accomplish what they set out to do. The once-proud franchise has become a laughingstock.

Still, in the case of defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen, the Sabres deserve credit for helping him develop a smarter, sturdier style as ... Read the full article

Linus Ullmark has played 33 games this season. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Goalie Linus Ullmark Sabres’ best option this season and likely next one

BUFFALO – Expect Linus Ullmark to morph into a workhorse again over the final four weeks this season. If the goalie can stay healthy, he might start 12 or 13 of the reeling Sabres’ 14 remaining games.

Ullmark, who hasn’t played since suffering a lower-body injury Jan. 28, will likely start tonight against the Washington Capitals at KeyBank Center.

Before Ullmark missed 17 games – he backed up Carter Hutton on Saturday – he seized ... Read the full article

Conor Sheary returned to Pittsburgh last week. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Former Sabres Conor Sheary, Evan Rodrigues fitting in with Penguins

BUFFALO – In a little less than two seasons with the Sabres, Conor Sheary rarely played beside top center Jack Eichel. Instead, the winger often shuffled between the second and third lines as he struggled to score goals.

But in the four games since the Sabres traded him back to the Pittsburgh Penguins with forward Evan Rodrigues on Feb. 24, Sheary has received a plum assignment, skating beside superstar Sidney Crosby.

Sheary has gone from ... Read the full article

Wayne Simmonds waived his no-trade clause to leave New Jersey. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres deal aggressively, trade for Wayne Simmonds, Dominik Kahun

BUFFALO – The Sabres’ core group of young players has never played a meaningful late-season NHL game. This upcoming stretch will be a new experience.

A perfect weekend moved the Sabres to within six points of the Atlantic Division’s final playoff spot with 20 games remaining. A team given up for dead has roared back into the postseason hunt.

So Sabres general manager Jason Botterill dealt aggressively before Monday’s trade deadline, acquiring winger Wayne Simmonds... Read the full article

Zemgus Girgensons and Rasmus Ristolainen bump each other before a game this season. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Through seven years of losing, three Sabres have grown close

BUFFALO – Sabres center Johan Larsson was standing beside defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen waiting for a practice drill to begin when he sensed an opportunity.

“(He) hits guys and tries to sneak up on you,” Larsson said of Ristolainen. “When you can, you got to find a little spot to get back at him.”

So Larsson, affectionately nicknamed “Angry Larry” by his teammates, gave his buddy a friendly shove Thursday on the KeyBank Center ice.

“He’s ... Read the full article

Brandon Montour (62) tries to help goalie Carter Hutton on Tuesday. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Goalie Carter Hutton difference-maker in Sabres’ win over Red Wings

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

Sam Reinhart (23) skates in front of Colorado's Nazem Kadri on Tuesday. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres implode in ugly second period, fall to Avalanche: ‘Today was (crap)’

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