ROCHESTER – Barely two years ago, Hudson Fasching stood out as one of the Buffalo Sabres’ top prospects. Just days after leaving college, the power forward scored minutes into his NHL debut. Months later, he cracked the big club out of training camp.
Fast forward to today, and Fasching, having just sat out two AHL playoff games as a healthy scratch, might have an iffy future with the Sabres.... Read the full article
ROCHESTER – Linus Ullmark struggled to answer the question. The goalie paused for a moment and fought back tears following what could be his last AHL appearance.
Talk to any member of the upstart Americans, and they’ll likely tell you how a great group of guys helped buoy them to their first playoff appearance since 2014.
So when Ullmark, 24, tried talking about what made the team so special following Wednesday’s season-ending 6-3 loss, he ... Read the full article
ROCHESTER – With the Americans about to suffer a devastating loss that would drop them into fourth place, coach Chris Taylor tabbed center Colin Blackwell for a crucial offensive zone faceoff.
Blackwell, 25, has been the Amerks’ unsung hero for more than a month, quietly piling up points and morphing into the AHL club’s late-season MVP.
In critical times, Taylor enjoys utilizing Blackwell, a Harvard graduate who had trouble finding work this season.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – In three seasons between his stints in the Sabres organization, forward Kevin Porter played 43 NHL games. One year, the former Hobey Baker Award winner stayed in the minors all season. In another one, he played just two contests.
But two years ago, Porter, 32, earned regular duty with the Pittsburgh Penguins, playing 41 contests before an ankle injury ended his season.
While Porter missed the playoffs, he experienced the Stanley Cup run ... 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, they summoned Nelson, 25, and he quickly earned a regular spot.
So the two hadn’t played together for about two months until Sabres coach Phil Housley reunited them for Monday’s 5-3 win ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Kyle Criscuolo was about to leave for the rink Sunday morning when Rochester Americans coach Chris Taylor phoned him.
“He was giving me a little joke,” Criscuolo said this morning inside KeyBank Center. “He said, ‘You’re not playing tonight.’ I said, ‘OK.’ He said, ‘You’re suspended. No, I’m kidding, you’re going up.’”
With a dearth of centers, the Sabres summoned Criscuolo, 25, for the second time this season. He will play tonight against ... Read the full article
ROCHESTER – Early in Danny O’Regan’s junior season at Boston University, he earned a coveted spot playing beside an ultra-talented freshman center named Jack Eichel.
The two meshed well together, but around Christmas that rollicking 2014-15 campaign, an underrated senior began playing right wing with O’Regan and Eichel.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Chris Taylor prefaced his comments with a reminder Sabres prospect Alexander Nylander is still a teenager, one of the AHL’s youngest players, and coming off a lower-body injury that cost him all of training camp and six weeks of the season.
“We always forget how young he is and he went through a major injury this year, too,” the Rochester Americans coach said prior to Wednesday’s 2-1 loss to the Syracuse Crunch inside ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Chris Taylor knows winger Justin Bailey better than anyone in the Sabres organization.
Before the Americans coach left Rochester for a year, he was an assistant with the AHL club, helping the Williamsville native earn his first NHL recall as a rookie two seasons ago.
Taylor mentored Bailey, 22, watching him develop from a raw prospect into a youngster the Sabres have played 47 times over the last three seasons.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Earlier this season, if you had asked Casey Nelson if he could play 20 minutes a night in the NHL, often against the opposition’s top line, the Sabres defenseman would’ve given you a straightforward answer.
“I’d say there’s no chance, there’s no way,” Nelson said Wednesday inside KeyBank Center.
But in tonight’s tilt in Detroit, Nelson, 25, will likely play big minutes on the second defense pair, meaning he’ll face some of the ... Read the full article