Jack Eichel joined his teammates again this morning. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Jack Eichel snags memorabilia; Phil Housley unsure about defense

BUFFALO – Before Sabres captain Jack Eichel left the NHL All-Star Game in San Jose, he snagged some special memorabilia for his house.

In addition to having his game jersey signed by the entire Eastern Conference squad and a stick autographed by everyone in the game, the high-scoring center received an item he has coveted.

“I grabbed one of (Sidney) Crosby’s sticks,” Eichel said this afternoon inside KeyBank Center. “That was cool. I had been ... Read the full article

Zach Bogosian spent his break in the Cayman Islands. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres feel recharged after long break

BUFFALO – During the Sabres’ eight-day break, coach Phil Housley traveled home to Minnesota, where he visited his family and watched his son, Wilson, a rookie junior coach.

In the midst of a grueling 82-game season, getting away from the rink – the bye week went right into the NHL All-Star break – provided the struggling Sabres an opportunity to reset.

So Housley went up to Thief River Falls, about a five-hour drive from his ... Read the full article

Phil Housley watched his son coach over the eight-day break. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres use bye week, NHL All-Star break as opportunity to ‘reboot’

BUFFALO – During the Sabres’ eight-day break, coach Phil Housley traveled home to Minnesota, where he visited his family and watched his son, Wilson, a rookie junior coach.

In the midst of a grueling 82-game season, getting away from the rink – the bye week went right into the NHL All-Star break – provided the Sabres “a great time to get a break, to reboot,” Housley said.

So Housley went up to Thief River Falls, ... Read the full article

Kyle Okposo has scored seven goals this season. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Sabres notes: Kyle Okposo showcasing more physicality

BUFFALO – Over the last week or two, Sabres winger Kyle Okposo has finally started showcasing signs of his old self, playing a heavier, straight-line game.

“He’s going to the net a lot better,” Sabres coach Phil Housley said prior to Saturday’s 5-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning inside KeyBank Center. “I think he’s attacking off the wing and he’s shooting a lot more.”

Not surprisingly, Okposo has started scoring a bit. After enduring ... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner has scored 29 goals this season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres sniper Jeff Skinner elected to NHL All-Star Game

Buffalo Sabres winger Jeff Skinner will be playing for the Atlantic Division in the upcoming NHL All-Star Game.

Skinner, the NHL’s second-leading goal scorer with 29, earned a spot today as part of the “Last Men In” online voting the NHL conducted for the last week.

More than 11.5 million votes were cast, including more than 2 million Thursday, the final day of voting, according to the league.... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner has been celebrating a lot this season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Jeff Skinner ready for first meeting against Hurricanes

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Jeff Skinner knows returning to Carolina, where he became the face of the Hurricanes over eight seasons, will have special meaning.

Skinner, 26, was a star from the get-go in Raleigh, scoring 31 goals and winning the Calder Trophy as a rookie in 2010-11. He surpassed the 30-goal mark two other times.

During some lean seasons, Skinner, who has already scored 29 goals in 43 games, was usually the Hurricanes’ most ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel has missed three games. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Jack Eichel close to playing

BUFFALO – Sabres center Jack Eichel practiced this morning in his regular spot beside winger Jeff Skinner, a sign the NHL All-Star is ready to return from his upper-body injury.

“He did quite well, a pretty high-tempo, bump-and-grind practice,” Sabres coach Phil Housley said. “It’s good to see him out there.”

So, will the captain return for Friday’s road tilt against the Carolina Hurricanes following a three-game absence?... Read the full article

C.J. Smith (left) celebrates his first NHL goal beside Kyle Okposo. ©2019, Hickling Images

C.J. Smith, Lawrence Pilut score first NHL goals, help Sabres beat Devils

BUFFALO – Early in Tuesday’s 5-1 victory, Sabres rookie C.J. Smith utilized his speed and cranked a shot off the post, a sign the speedy winger’s first NHL goal could be imminent.

Smith, 24, kept buzzing around the New Jersey Devils zone, creating more scoring chances.

“Got a little more confident tonight,” Smith said after scoring 4:14 into the second period in his sixth NHL game, a goal that put the Sabres ahead for good.... Read the full article

Jason Pominville smiles during Sunday's Sabres Skills Challenge. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Jason Pominville remaining confident as ice time dips

BUFFALO – Barely two months ago, Jason Pominville was enjoying a renaissance. As his 1,000th NHL game and 36th birthday approached, the affable Sabres winger kept piling up goals and points.

On Nov. 17, Pominville scored his ninth goal and 17th point in the Sabres’ 20th game. But since then, he has mustered just one assist.

Pominville, the Sabres’ biggest early-season surprise, has a 17-game goal drought entering tonight’s tilt against the New Jersey Devils ... Read the full article

Rene Robert still spends some of the year in Buffalo. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres legend Rene Robert happy in Buffalo, excited about current team

BUFFALO – Nearly 47 years after he first arrived here, Rene Robert hasn’t officially left town. The high-scoring winger and member of the legendary French Connection line still uses “we” when he talks about the Sabres.

Sure, these days, Robert lives much of the year in Punta Gorda, Fla., but he returns every year and spends the summer in Williamsville.

“This is my home,” Robert told the Times Herald on Sunday. “I’ve been here since ... Read the full article