Jack Eichel wants to rest a bit this offseason.©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Strong second half gives Sabres hope

BUFFALO – When center Ryan O’Reilly joined his new teammates seven months ago, the stench leftover from consecutive 30th-place finishes – the culture of losing, you might call it – still surrounded the Sabres.

“I think you could sense it a bit, for sure,” O’Reilly said this morning as the Sabres held their end-of-season meetings inside the First Niagara Center. “I think there’s a lot of habits, when you look at winning teams, ... Read the full article

Sabres goalie Jason Kasdorf makes a first-period save in his NHL debut Friday. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres fall in home finale to Blue Jackets, won’t hit .500

BUFFALO – In the big picture, failing to hit a .500 points percentage, a notable mark the Sabres sorely wanted, shouldn’t matter much.

The Sabres’ 4-1 loss in Friday’s home finale to the lowly Columbus Blue Jackets secured their third straight losing season (34-36-11), and like so many other home games recently, they let a weak opponent exploit them.

Still, the Sabres’ recent 7-2-2 run thrust them up the standings, giving them a real goal ... Read the full article

Ryan O'Reilly was named team MVP Friday. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres coach Dan Bylsma feels fans’ passion everywhere

BUFFALO – In his first season as coach, Dan Bylsma has experienced so much excitement surrounding the Sabres he wonders how crazy it would feel if his team becomes a contender again.

The Sabres, of course, will miss the playoffs for the fifth straight season. Still, to a rabid fan base yearning for postseason hockey, the progress the Sabres have made this season – they’ve improved 25 points with newcomers Jack Eichel, Ryan O’Reilly and ... Read the full article

Cole Schneider has strong AHL numbers. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Williamsville’s Cole Schneider paid dues to reach Sabres

BUFFALO – When Williamsville native Cole Schneider walked into the First Niagara Center on Thursday morning, it marked the first time the new Sabres winger had been in the building since he competed in a showcase of local high school players in 2008.

A lot happened to Schneider, 25, in between his trips to rink.

Schneider, who grew up cheering for the Sabres, will make his NHL debut in tonight’s home finale against the Columbus ... Read the full article

Tyler Ennis suffered a concussion Dec. 30. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres Tyler Ennis thrilled to be back

BUFFALO – In the more than three months Tyler Ennis spent recovering from a concussion, the Sabres winger reflected on and developed a greater appreciation for what he calls “such a great job.”

For the first six years of his career, the 5-foot-9, 160-pound Ennis, 26, had been remarkably durable, rarely missing action. Then injuries started ravaging him this season. After missing 16 games early, he suffered a scary concussion Dec. 30 in Washington.

Ennis ... Read the full article

Sabres rookie Evan Rodrigues (71) skates in a rookie camp game in September. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres recall Cole Schneider, Evan Rodrigues from Amerks

BUFFALO – The Sabres recalled Williamsville native Cole Schneider and Evan Rodrigues from the Rochester Americans for the first time this morning.

The rookie wingers will likely make their NHL debuts in Friday’s home finale against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Schneider, 25, has 20 goals and 54 points in 69 AHL games this season. The St. Joe’s graduate has three goals and nine points since the Sabres acquired him from the Ottawa Senators organization. Despite ... Read the full article

Jean Dupuy already has 10 points with Rochester. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres prospect Jean Dupuy impressing with Amerks

ROCHESTER – The biggest early-season surprise on the farm hasn’t been Justin Bailey, Nick Baptiste or Evan Rodrigues – three talented AHL rookie forwards many believe will play for the Buffalo Sabres someday.

While the prospects have contributed to the Americans at times, another first-year pro has outplayed them all. Remember this name: Jean Dupuy.

Who? Just 23 games into his career, Dupuy, an undrafted center from the Ontario Hockey League’s Sault Ste. Marie ... Read the full article

Josh Gorges was hurt in his preseason debut. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Josh Gorges OK after minor surgery

BUFFALO – Josh Gorges almost revealed what had sidelined him for a week of training camp.

Almost.

“Just a quick cleanup in my,” the Sabres defenseman said this morning before pausing briefly, “lower body.”

Yes, Gorges, who underwent microfracture surgery in February, has already undergone a minor procedure this season. He said he was injured nine days ago going into the corner against the Ottawa Senators.

While Gorges skated this morning and feels good, he ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel zooms by Toronto's Connor Brown on Tuesday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Jack Eichel stars in Sabres’ preseason win over Leafs

BUFFALO – In three NHL exhibition appearances, Sabres center Jack Eichel has generated two goals, five points and more excitement than any NHL rookie, even Connor McDavid, his counterpart in Edmonton.

To wit: Eichel, in his home preseason debut Tuesday, scored again in Sabres’ 4-0 shellacking of the Toronto Maple Leafs, his second short-handed breakaway goal.

The 18-year-old Eichel hit full speed in two strides leaving the Buffalo zone and quickly roared by Connor Brown ... Read the full article

Brendan Guhle will play his fourth preseason game tonight. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres prospect Brendan Guhle could crack lineup

BUFFALO – Brendan Guhle is no longer the impressive rookie getting a long look before going back to junior. Suddenly, the Sabres defense prospect, the 51st overall pick in June, has a real chance to be on the opening-night roster in nine days.

“Definitely there’s an opportunity,” said Guhle, who will play his fourth preseason game tonight. “There’s some injuries now, whatnot. I’m not looking too far ahead of myself.”

Four notable defensemen – ... Read the full article