Ron Rolston had already put John Scott on the ice Sunday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

NHL fines Ron Rolston for Sabres’ brawl with Leafs

BUFFALO – The NHL has fined Sabres coach Ron Rolston an undisclosed amount for “player selection and team conduct” in Sunday’s brawl in Toronto.

After the Sabres’ Corey Tropp and the Maple Leafs’ Jamie Devane fought 10:01 into the third period, Rolston left John Scott, who had already played 8:37 in the exhibition game, on the ice. The tough guy then went after Leafs star Phil Kessel before the faceoff, igniting a huge melee.... Read the full article

John Scott (32) fights Toronto's Frazer McLaren on March 21. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres tough guy John Scott defends role in brawl: ‘I wasn’t going to try to hurt him’

BUFFALO – Naturally, hulking Sabres tough guy John Scott was a little surprised to see Phil Kessel, one of the NHL’s most talented stars, lining up for a faceoff beside him Sunday in Toronto after the Maple Leafs’ Jamie Devane had just pummeled Corey Tropp in a gruesome scrap.

Watching Devane knockout and bloody Tropp, who gave up five inches to the 6-foot-5 fighter, infuriated the Sabres. Scott, who was already on the ice, figured ... Read the full article

John Scott isn't afraid to give an honest take. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres tough guy John Scott on going after Leafs star Phil Kessel: ‘I was just trying to send a message’

BUFFALO – Naturally, hulking Sabres tough guy John Scott was a little surprised to see Phil Kessel, one of the NHL’s most talented stars, lining up for a faceoff beside him Sunday in Toronto after the Maple Leafs’ Jamie Devane had just pummeled Corey Tropp.

Watching Devane knockout and bloody Tropp, who gave up five inches in the bout, infuriated the Sabres. Scott figured Leafs coach Randy Carlyle would send out some muscle.

Instead, skill ... Read the full article

John Scott, shown here after a fight last season, sent a message Sunday in Toronto. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Fight night in Toronto: Sabres and Leafs brawl in exhibition tilt

TORONTO – It was a not-so-subtle message: John Scott, the Buffalo Sabres’ 6-foot-8, 258-pound tough guy, lining up for a faceoff against slick Maple Leafs superstar Phil Kessel, who’s about eight inches shorter and 60 pounds lighter.

A minute earlier, 6-foot-5 Leafs fighter Jamie Devane had knocked Corey Tropp out briefly and bloodied him.

The Sabres didn’t like Devane fighting someone five inches smaller.

So Sabres coach Ron Rolston had Scott on the ice ... Read the full article

Marcus Foligno has three goals in two preseason outings. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Marcus Foligno impressing Sabres again early after forgettable season

BUFFALO – When Marcus Foligno’s dismal, five-goal season ended in April, the 22-year-old could’ve laid the blame on others or taken responsibility, Sabres coach Ron Rolston said.

“Whether they think it’s me or them, ultimately they got to make that change, and I think he took that ownership on that,” Rolston said Saturday prior to the Sabres’ 3-2 exhibition shootout loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs before a capacity crowd of 19,070 fans inside the ... Read the full article

Johan Larsson scored twice in his third preseason game Thursday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Center prospect Johan Larsson making strong bid to crack Sabres

BUFFALO – Right now, the Sabres’ depth down the middle is, well, a bit thin beyond Cody Hodgson.

Consider this: the five other centers coach Ron Rolston has played in the team’s three exhibition contests – Matt Ellis, Mikhail Grigorenko, Johan Larsson, Cody McCormick and Kevin Porter – have combined for 64 goals and 154 points in 816 NHL games.

That’s it.

So what will the Sabres do?

“We’re going to continue ... Read the full article

Clarke MacArthur scored two goals in two games following two healthy scratches. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Former Sabres regular MacArthur making most of first NHL playoff experience with Leafs

TORONTO – This is one of those special stories hockey fans love hearing about and watching this time of year, some of the moments that make the NHL playoffs so fun and memorable.

Consider Clarke MacArthur’s recent exploits.

Following his postseason debut in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal, the Maple Leafs scratched MacArthur twice, no doubt an embarrassing experience for the assistant captain, who played a whopping 403 regular-season games before finally skating ... Read the full article

Toronto star Joffrey Lupul skates Monday morning. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Upstart Leafs used Sabres’ abandoned philosophies as blueprint to success

TORONTO – Think about it, Buffalo Sabres fans, a couple of years ago, your team switched identities with the hated, mega-market Maple Leafs.

As the small-market Sabres morphed into a free-spending, win-at-all-costs club under new owner Terry Pegula, the Leafs began embracing development and patience, the Sabres’ old and successful philosophies.

The Leafs’ major volte-face has quickly paid off. They finished fifth this season, their highest spot since 2003-04.

Inside a noisy Air Canada Centre ... Read the full article

John Scott (32) declares victory after bloodying Toronto’s Frazer McLaren during the first period Thursday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Relentless Sabres roar back to down Leafs in ultra-intense tilt

BUFFALO –For 65 wildly entertaining minutes Thursday, the Sabres and Toronto Maple Leafs fought, traded goals and battled for every inch as they zoomed up and down the ice before a noisy bipartisan crowd of 19,070 fans inside the First Niagara Center.

The Sabres’ 5-4 shootout victory was NHL hockey at its fiercest and most exciting.

“They got their money’s worth tonight,” interim Sabres coach Ron Rolston said about the capacity crowd.

Fittingly, Sabres agitator ... Read the full article

Alexander Sulzer played 17 games this season. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sulzer disappointed season over, hoping to re-sign with Sabres

BUFFALO – When defenseman Alexander Sulzer caught his skate in a rut and twisted his knee early in the Sabres’ 4-0 loss to the New York Islanders on Feb. 23, the defenseman immediately knew something wasn’t right.

“I felt that something happened,” Sulzer said prior to the Sabres’ 5-4 shootout win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday inside the First Niagara Center. “It was really painful. I didn’t know how bad it was. But ... Read the full article