Colin Miller has been scratched six times this season. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Colin Miller trying to stay positive during tough start

TORONTO – Who expected Buffalo Sabres defenseman Colin Miller would be a healthy scratch once this season, let alone six times before December?

But a crowded blue line – the Sabres have seven healthy defensemen, including five right-handed shots – forced them to bench one in eight recent games.

Miller, 27, was usually the odd man out.

“I’m not getting many bounces lately,” Miller said prior to Saturday’s 2-1 overtime loss to the Maple Leafs ... Read the full article

Carter Hutton earned his last win Oct. 22. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres to start struggling goalie Carter Hutton against Maple Leafs

TORONTO – In his last seven starts, Buffalo Sabres goalie Carter Hutton has struggled mightily, compiling a 0-5-2 record with a 4.02 goals against average and an .869 save percentage.

Hutton, 33, will start tonight against the Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena, only his second nod in seven games. He earned his last win Oct. 22.

“He’s ready for it,” Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said this morning. “We feel good. His spirits are good, he’s ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel loves facing Toronto. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu

Jack Eichel’s dynamic outing helps Sabres roar back, beat Maple Leafs

BUFFALO – Coach Ralph Krueger said he could feel the electricity hours before captain Jack Eichel starred in the Sabres’ wildly entertaining 6-4 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. The season’s first meeting against their fiercest rival would be more than a normal regular-season contest.

“You could feel that it was a highlight day,” Krueger said following Friday afternoon’s win before the bipartisan sellout crowd of 19,070 inside noisy KeyBank Center. “It was an experience ... Read the full article

Casey Mittelstadt has scored four goals this season. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Casey Mittelstadt scores goal, ends long slump: ‘It’s not easy’

BUFFALO – Like most elite prospects, Casey Mittelstadt was a dynamic scorer in junior and college. So struggling for weeks sometimes in the NHL has been a new experience for the Sabres winger.

“It’s not easy, I’m not going to lie,” Mittelstadt said after scoring in Friday afternoon’s 6-4 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs inside KeyBank Center, his first goal in 17 games. “But at the same time, I’ve scored pretty much my whole ... Read the full article

Rasmus Asplund has played seven NHL games. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres prospect Rasmus Asplund quickly acclimating to NHL

BUFFALO – In the second period Wednesday, Sabres rookie Rasmus Asplund grabbed a loose puck in the right corner, spun off a defender in the circle and quickly cut to the net.

Calgary Flames defenseman Rasmus Andersson hectored the 5-foot-11, 190-pound Asplund in the slot, but he fended him off before creating a prime scoring chance goalie David Rittich stymied.

Asplund’s seventh NHL game, a 3-2 overtime loss, was perhaps his best performance since the ... Read the full article

Marcus Johansson was traded to Boston last season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Marcus Johansson learned from short tenure with Bruins

BUFFALO – Counting 22 postseason appearances, forward Marcus Johansson played 32 games with the Bruins. The Swede arrived in Boston on Feb. 25 and was gone by July 6, when he signed a two-year, $9 million contract with the Sabres.

But Johansson’s short run with one of the NHL’s model franchises recharged his career.

After battling injuries, including two concussions, with the New Jersey Devils over a season and a half, Johansson played regularly throughout ... Read the full article

Tage Thompson joined Rochester late last season. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

‘Full-time job’ eating helped Sabres’ Tage Thompson pack on muscle

TORONTO – In the offseason, Buffalo Sabres winger Tage Thompson started what he called a “full-time job.”

“I was eating a lot,” Thompson said prior to Friday’s 3-0 exhibition loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Yes, Thompson, 21, spent much of the spring and summer devouring food.

“I was probably eating five square meals a day with snacks in between,” Thompson said in Buffalo before the Sabres traveled to Scotiabank Arena.

Sound like fun? Well, ... Read the full article

Conor Sheary endured long goal droughts last season. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Conor Sheary knows consistency must improve to help Sabres

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Conor Sheary certainly showcased flashes of his scoring prowess last season.

On Nov. 18, Sheary scored in his third straight game, his sixth goal in just his 16th outing with the Sabres.

Then suddenly, Sheary, 27, went cold.

The speedy UMass product endured a 16-game goal drought. After scoring an empty-netter Dec. 22, he experienced an 11-game dry spell.

On. Jan 29, Sheary finally scored past a goalie again.... Read the full article

The Sabres acquired Brandon Montour last season. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Sabres believe they possess depth to handle Brandon Montour’s injury

BUFFALO – The good news for the Sabres is defenseman Brandon Montour’s hand injury probably won’t sideline him too long.

While Montour will miss the rest of the preseason, Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said he should be ready “pretty soon” after the season opener Oct. 3.

The Sabres, who began training camp down three defensemen, could ill afford to lose another one, especially a point-producer capable of eating up minutes.

Then Montour, 25, left Tuesday’s ... Read the full article

Goalie Carter Hutton readies for a shot Wednesday. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Sabres goalie Carter Hutton nearly steals show in loss to Maple Leafs

BUFFALO – For two periods, as the Toronto Maple Leafs kept pummeling the Sabres, it was reminiscent of tank-era games from several years back.

The Leafs pumped 11 shots on goal before the 10-minute mark Wednesday. At one point in the opening period, they held a 17-2 shot advantage.

Goalie Carter Hutton, meanwhile, turned away shot after shot, keeping the Sabres in a game they had no business being in.

Heck, thanks to center ... Read the full article