Jack Eichel has a stronger supporting cast this season. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres’ depth has buoyed strong start

BUFFALO – Depth means coach Phil Housley can utilize his so-called fourth line for critical defensive zone faceoffs. It means the Sabres can replace former center Ryan O’Reilly’s minutes by committee. It means it can often be hard to distinguish between the first and fourth trios.

Right now, for the first time in years, the 2-1 Sabres possess depth up front and the ability to roll four lines.

“We’ve been rolling them pretty good,” center ... Read the full article

Jason Pominville (29) celebrates his second-period goal with Zemgus Girgensons on Monday. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Jason Pominville’s goal reward for fourth line’s strong play

BUFFALO – In past seasons, the line comprised of center Evan Rodrigues and wingers Zemgus Girgensons and Jason Pominville would’ve been the Sabres’ third or even second combination.

But for the first time in years, the Sabres have legitimate NHL depth, so the trio is actually their fourth line.

Well, in terms of ice time, it’s the fourth line.... Read the full article

Carter Hutton made 43 saves Saturday. ©2018, Hickling Images

Conor Sheary, Carter Hutton push Sabres past Rangers

BUFFALO – It was hard to tell which moment in Saturday’s 3-1 win against the New York Rangers generated the bigger roar from Sabres fans.

Winger Conor Sheary’s power-play goal 13:15 into the tilt, a perfect shot from the left circle into the far corner, ignited the crowd of 16,824 fans inside KeyBank Center.

So did goalie Carter Hutton’s splendid save on Rangers center Brett Howden, which stymied a three-on-zero shortly after Sheary’s second power-play ... Read the full article

Remi Elie made his Sabres debut Saturday. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Remi Elie believes he can produce more offense

BUFFALO – In his 91-game NHL career, Remi Elie has compiled seven goals and 21 points. The Dallas Stars utilized him as a checker, a role he continued Saturday as a fourth-line winger in his Sabres debut.

But in Elie, 23, Phil Housley sees a youngster who possesses the talents to morph into a scorer. Since the Sabres claimed him on waivers Tuesday, the coach has been praising the former second-round pick.

“When he gets ... Read the full article

Remi Elie was claimed on waivers Tuesday. ©2018, Hickling Images

Remi Elie to make Sabres debut

BUFFALO – In his 90-game NHL career, Remi Elie has compiled seven goals and 21 points. The Dallas Stars utilized him as a checker, a role he will continue tonight as a fourth-line winger in his Sabres debut.

But in Elie, 23, Phil Housley sees a youngster who possesses the talents to morph into a scorer. Since the Sabres claimed him on waivers Tuesday, the coach has been praising the former second-round pick.

“I just ... Read the full article

Phil Housley was miffed after Thursday's loss. ©2018, Hickling Images

Phil Housley to Sabres after loss: ‘The sun came up’

BUFFALO – Coach Phil Housley’s firm voice cut through the din of Friday’s practice every few minutes.

“He was definitely vocal,” winger Kyle Okposo said after the Sabres prepared for tonight’s home tilt against the New York Rangers. “I think we got the message.”

Actually, Housley relayed multiple messages Friday morning, hours after an embarrassing 4-0 loss left him seething. He delivered his first before practice.... Read the full article

Phil Housley likes how his team welcomed its new players. ©2018, Hickling Images

New-look Sabres excited to open season: ‘A lot of enthusiasm’

BUFFALO – The first glimpse of the new-look Sabres comes tonight, 180 days after they ended perhaps the worst season in franchise history.

Seven new faces will dress against the Boston Bruins, including first overall pick Rasmus Dahlin and winger Jeff Skinner, a two-time 30-goal scorer. The optimism surrounding the Sabres is well-deserved.

They’re a much different team than the dreadful one that finished in 31st place six months ago.

“They’re excited,” Sabres coach ... Read the full article

The Sabres stretch earlier today inside Clinton Arena. ©2018, Olean Times Herald

Hockeyville in Clinton provides unique experience for Sabres

CLINTON – When center Casey Mittelstadt told some of his teammates skating this morning inside tiny Clinton Arena this felt like high school, he said they starting making fun of him.

But Mittelstadt, 19, is less than two years removed from playing high school hockey. Memories of skating in old rinks like the 65-year-old barn where the Sabres will face the Columbus Blue Jackets in tonight are fresh.... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart missed the first five days of training camp. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sam Reinhart practices, happy to be back with Sabres

BUFFALO – Sam Reinhart’s short time back in Vancouver tested his patience, even made the Sabres winger miserable.

Sitting at home as a contract holdout can do that, especially when your teammates start a training camp filled with so much optimism.

“It was probably one of the most challenging week and a halves that I’ve been a part of,” Reinhart said following Thursday’s session of training camp.

By Tuesday night, as the Sabres played an ... Read the full article

Sean Malone looked impressive early in training camp. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres forwards Conor Sheary, Sean Malone out with injuries

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Conor Sheary, a newcomer expected to skate on a top line, is week-to-week after suffering an upper-body injury during Friday’s practice.

“In the first day (of training camp), he took a hit the wrong way, and we’re just making sure we’re on top of that,” said Sabres coach Phil Housley, who is dealing with three notable injuries just five days into camp.

Center Sean Malone will miss six weeks after ... Read the full article