BUFFALO – Sabres winger Jeff Skinner needs time to decompress following a grueling 82-game season before he starts thinking about his next contract.
Sure, the 40-goal scorer said he loves playing in Buffalo. Despite the Sabres’ sorry season – coach Phil Housley was fired Sunday – he believes they’re heading in the right direction.
But Skinner, who can become an unrestricted free agent July 1, made sure his contract took a backseat during the season.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Even as the Sabres stumbled and lost their grip on a playoff spot early in the winter, it seemed like coach Phil Housley would return next season unless the team totally fell apart down the stretch.
Well, the Sabres imploded, losing 16 of 17 games before winning their final two outings. That marked the first time they won back-to-back games since Dec. 11 and 13.
On Sunday, a day after the Sabres finished ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Out of respect for Phil Housley, the coach he fired hours earlier Sunday, Jason Botterill wouldn’t reveal what he’s looking for in a replacement. The Sabres general manager did, however, say a search has already started.
“Those are things I’m not going to talk about too much right now, and the simple fact is I just had a conversation with Phil Housley a couple of hours ago,” Botterill said Sunday afternoon inside KeyBank ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – After suffering eight straight losses, the Sabres enjoyed a rare opportunity to celebrate a little following Thursday’s 5-2 win, just their second victory in 17 outings.
Not only did they thump an opponent, winger Jason Pominville received a rousing ovation after scoring in what could’ve been his final home game with the Sabres, who close their miserable season tonight against the Red Wings in Detroit.
The salute to one of the franchise’s all-time ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – A seething Phil Housley said it over and over – four times in three minutes, to be exact – following Tuesday’s 3-2 loss, the Sabres’ eight straight setback.
“It’s frustrating because we got screwed,” the Sabres coach said.
To Housley, the Sabres “got screwed” against the Nashville Predators because 2:40 into the second period, winger Conor Sheary scored on a delayed penalty, appearing to tie the game at 2.
The Predators never gained ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The Sabres’ beleaguered blue line received a much-needed addition Sunday, as Jake McCabe returned after missing 13 games.
Did it help? Well, no. The Columbus Jackets throttled the Sabres 4-0 inside KeyBank Center.
McCabe hadn’t played since suffering an upper-body injury March 2.
Defenseman Marco Scandella, who blocked a shot in Saturday’s ugly 5-1 road loss to the New York Islanders, missed Sunday’s contest. Housley said the Sabres will know more about Scandella’s ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Jason Pominville understands why he is sitting out. Having played 1,052 NHL games, the Sabres know what the veteran winger offers them.
Nine contests remain in a miserable season. The Sabres, who have fallen from first overall to sixth in the Atlantic Division, want to evaluate other players.
So the Sabres scratched Pominville, 36, for the second straight game Wednesday.
“It’s just the situation we’re at,” Pominville said prior to the 4-2 loss ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Forget about Jeff Skinner scoring 50 times. Thanks to a four-week slump, the Sabres winger might fall short of the 40-goal mark.
Skinner, 26, showcased dynamic consistency over his first 57 outings, never going more than four games without a goal.
After scoring twice on Feb. 15, Skinner was producing at a 52-goal pace over a full season.
But Skinner been stuck on 36 goals for 27 days. The NHL All-Star has a ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Right now, it feels like the Sabres might not win another game this season.
Sure, they made progress in Tuesday’s 2-0 loss, pumping 35 shots on goal and attempting 61 overall. Five-on-five, they probably outplayed the Dallas Stars.
Of course, any effort would’ve looked better than their last one, Saturday afternoon’s miserable 3-0 loss in Colorado. In a downright terrible offensive display, the Sabres produced only nine shots in the opening 50 minutes ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – After receiving the weekend off, Sabres goalie Carter Hutton could start tonight’s game against superstar Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers, his fifth nod in the last seven games and 40th appearance overall.
Following a rough six-week stretch in which he often took a backseat to Linus Ullmark, Hutton, 33, has started looking like his old self at times.
Hutton channeled his early-season form in two recent outings, stopping 70 of 73 shots ... Read the full article