BUFFALO – Wayne Simmonds doesn’t regret waiving his no-trade clause to join the Sabres two weeks ago.
The Sabres, having crept within six points of a playoff spot, wanted the respected veteran winger to help their push. Meanwhile, Simmonds, an unrestricted free agent following the season, wanted a fresh opportunity after enduring a rough campaign.
So far, the deal – the Sabres sent the New Jersey Devils a conditional fifth-round pick – hasn’t paid many ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The Sabres’ season certainly turned quickly. Two weeks ago today, they stood six points out of a playoff spot and acquired forwards Dominik Kahun and Wayne Simmonds before the trade deadline.
Today, having lost six straight games in regulation, they’re 13 points out.
How bad is it getting? The Sabres haven’t dropped seven straight contests in regulation since their marathon 14-game losing streak halfway through the 2014-15 season. That, of course, was the ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Expect Linus Ullmark to morph into a workhorse again over the final four weeks this season. If the goalie can stay healthy, he might start 12 or 13 of the reeling Sabres’ 14 remaining games.
Ullmark, who hasn’t played since suffering a lower-body injury Jan. 28, will likely start tonight against the Washington Capitals at KeyBank Center.
Before Ullmark missed 17 games – he backed up Carter Hutton on Saturday – he seized ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – For 67 games this season, Sabres coach Ralph Krueger refused to play center Jack Eichel and winger Jeff Skinner together for any notable stretch.
Other than some occasional shifts, Krueger kept the lethal duo separated before reuniting them for Friday’s practice inside Harborcenter.
Krueger has often explained he likes balancing the lines by placing a defensive presence on each one. So Skinner, who scored a career-high 40 goals playing beside Eichel last season, ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Forget about Jimmy Vesey’s slow start. Since the Sabres winger registered his first goal Nov. 25, he has scored nine times in 37 games.
Over a full season, that’s a 20-goal pace. Vesey, 26, has saved his best hockey for the past few weeks, performing more like the player the Sabres likely envisioned when they traded the New York Rangers a third-round pick for him.
The Harvard product has also evolved into ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Jack Eichel smirked when he heard the question. The captain had just scored the game-winning goal, igniting a late outburst that cemented a critical victory against the Sabres’ fiercest rival, the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Clearly, Eichel revels in beating the Leafs and sending their legions of loud fans – they comprised at least 60% of Sunday’s capacity crowd inside KeyBank Center – home unhappy.
“I enjoy it,” was all Eichel would say following ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Prior to this season, Sabres forward Marcus Johansson hadn’t played center regularly since 2010-11, his rookie year.
Sure, Johansson briefly moved back to the middle a few years ago when the Washington Capitals needed help. But the Swede has spent the majority of his 637-game NHL career playing wing.
“I’m used to (wing), I think,” said Johansson, who returned for Sunday’s 5-2 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs at KeyBank Center following a ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – On Thursday, the Sabres will celebrate “2000s Night,” bringing back Daniel Briere, Brian Campbell and some other key figures from their wildly successful 2005-06 and 2006-07 teams that reached the Eastern Conference final.
Ryan Miller, the star goalie those seasons, can’t make it. As the only active NHL player left from those popular clubs, he will be in Anaheim for the Ducks’ game against the Calgary Flames.
“I’m actually going to ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sabres winger Victor Olofsson said he has never experienced anything like the lower-body injury that has sidelined him the last 13 games.
In his first seven years as a pro, the high-scoring Swede showcased terrific durability, never missing more than a couple weeks of action.
Then on Jan. 2 against the Edmonton Oilers, Olofsson’s left skate got caught in the ice, causing him to fall backwards.
“It was unfortunate, no one around me, ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The 4-3 shootout loss was even hard for Ralph Krueger to spin. The coach explained the Sabres’ inability to convert their chances doomed them Thursday against the hapless Detroit Red Wings. He insisted his reeling team’s effort remained high.
But there’s no getting around the Sabres suffered a humiliating defeat. The Red Wings, the NHL’s worst team, are on pace for the worst season since the NHL implemented the salary cap in 2005.... Read the full article