TORONTO – By Jack Eichel’s standards, he hadn’t scored in an eternity.
Thanks to the Buffalo Sabres center’s short slump and a high ankle sprain that cost him 15 games, he went 46 days and six games without scoring before his nifty two-goal effort in Monday’s 3-2 come-from-behind victory.
“I hadn’t scored in a month and a half, it’s not a little bit,” Eichel said after the Sabres ended the Maple Leafs’ 13-game home winning ... Read the full article
TORONTO – Even among the established NHL talent on the ice during those morning skates last summer in Minnesota, Buffalo Sabres prospect Casey Mittelstadt’s skills stood out, even turned heads.
“We skated Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at different rinks, five-on-five,” Sabres winger Kyle Okposo said this afternoon, shortly after the center signed a three-year, entry-level contract. “That pace, that’s the highest pace that I’ve played in the summer and he was really impressive there. I ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – It was a simple execution drill – “Attacking with wide speed and a middle lane drive,” Phil Housley explained – that forced the coach to lay into the Sabres.
Fresh off Wednesday’s embarrassing 4-1 loss to the Arizona Coyotes, the Sabres looked sluggish early during this morning’s practice. At one point, associate coach Davis Payne yelled at the players to stop coasting.
Housley finally had enough after watching his players execute the drill ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – On a Sabres team filled with, well, not exactly the fastest players, winger Nick Baptiste’s speed stands out.
Slick skating has helped the 6-foot-1, 205-pound Baptiste finally earn regular NHL action three years into his pro career. But the former third-round pick has played 12 straight games because he has evolved and started figuring what can make him successful.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Early in the third period Saturday afternoon, Sabres winger Benoit Pouliot roared into the Vegas zone, beat defenseman Shea Theodore to a loose puck and quickly dished it to linemate Justin Bailey, who was trailing the play in the slot.
Bailey tucked the puck past Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury at the 2:47 mark, then went airborne after tripping on his right pad.
The Williamsville native, who was playing his first game ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – For a chunk of the season, Sabres defensemen Brendan Guhle and Casey Nelson formed a strong AHL tandem, showcasing their speed and slick puck-moving skills together.
Then the Sabres recalled Guhle, 20, in early January for two games. A week later, the Sabres summoned Nelson, 25, and he quickly earned a regular spot.
So the two haven’t played together for about two months. Tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs, Guhle, who was brought ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – When the NHL scheduled the only four tilts between the Sabres and the Toronto Maple Leafs over a 28-day late-season stretch, the league likely envisioned the fierce rivals would be battling for playoff spots or positioning.
Sixty-six games into another lost season, the last-place Sabres finally play the Leafs tonight at KeyBank Center, their first meeting since April 3, 2017.
The Sabres, of course, are playing for pride. The Leafs, meanwhile, are firmly ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Despite having six healthy defensemen and 12 forwards practice today, the Sabres recalled top defense prospect Brendan Guhle and center Kyle Criscuolo from the Rochester Americans this afternoon.
The Amerks have a 3 p.m. home tilt against the Laval Rocket.
So why did the Sabres summon two players? Coach Phil Housley said earlier today they didn’t plan to recall a forward.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sabres winger Kyle Okposo heard the question coming and groaned, likely out of embarrassment.
The veteran owns a ghastly minus-29 rating, the NHL’s worst number among forwards.
“It’s gross, it’s absolutely gross,” Okposo said this morning inside KeyBank Center. “It’s something, whether the goal’s my fault or not, it just seems like it goes in, they’re just going in this year. It’s something I wanted to get better at. It’s something that’s very ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Kyle Okposo is a self-proclaimed “hockey nerd,” so the Sabres winger plans to follow today’s trade activity closely until the 3 p.m. deadline.
“I’ll be probably looking at stuff most of the day,” Okposo said following Sunday afternoon’s 4-1 win against the Boston Bruins before 18,522 fans inside KeyBank Center. “It’s an exciting day for the league.”
While deadline day is always highly anticipated by fans, most players dread it. The hours leading ... Read the full article