Best wishes to RJ

Archive:
Weber

Andrey Makarov hasn't played this preseason. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – The Sabres aren’t bringing their ‘A’ squad to Toronto for tonight’s preseason contest against the Maple Leafs, but the lineup features a lot of youngsters and bubble players “that deserve to play,” coach Ted Nolan said.

“Camp’s far from over,” Nolan said this morning inside the First Niagara Center.

First, here are forward lines: Cody Hodgson, Mikhail Grigorenko, Chris Stewart; Zac Dalpe, Torrey Mitchell, Brian Flynn; Joel Armia, Johan Larsson, Nick Deslauriers; Matt Ellis, Tim Schaller, Patrick Kaleta.

“You look at …

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Chris Stewart zooms toward the net Friday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – If this keeps up, the battle to become the Sabres’ No. 1 goalie could be over soon.

Michal Neuvirth performed poorly in his first preseason action, making only 16 saves in the Sabres’ 6-4 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday inside the First Niagara Center.

The Leafs scored on four of their first seven shots and five of the first 12.

“A tough game, not a lot of shots,” Neuvirth said. “It seemed like every time they had a …

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Tim Schaller has looked impressive this training camp. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Ted Nolan knew very little about Sabres prospect Tim Schaller prior to training camp. The center hasn’t dazzled the coach, but his play away from the puck has been catching Nolan’s eye.

“I just thought his hockey intelligence was evident to a few of us,” Nolan said this morning inside the First Niagara Center. “He kept doing it day after day after day. We just felt that he deserves an opportunity.”

Schaller, an undrafted free agent from Providence College, will …

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Phil Varone played nine NHL games last season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Phil Varone’s nine-game run last season grabbed coach Ted Nolan’s attention. The 5-foot-10 forward played well during his first NHL recall, compiling one goal and two points while taking a regular shift.

But Varone, who will play in today’s preseason opener in Washington, couldn’t convert a slew of scoring opportunities he generated.

“The difference between him and (Martin) St. Louis and players of that caliber who’s a smaller structure, when they have an opportunity to put it, they put it …

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Joel Armia hasn't played in a regular-season NHL game yet. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
3

Since most NHL Entry Drafts don’t start paying dividends for a few years, here’s a look at the Buffalo Sabres’ first-round picks from 2006-11 and some notable hits and misses. Fourteen of Buffalo’s 43 draft choices over that time have made the NHL.

The Sabres have eight picks this weekend in Philadelphia, including the No. 2 selection.

2011

First-round pick: center Joel Armia, 16th overall

Armia endured a rough season in 2013-14, his first in North America. The 21-year-old broke his hand during an …

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Mike Weber talks to the media Monday. ©2014, Margaret Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Mike Weber spoke passionately, like a man embarrassed by what he had just experienced. The worst season in the Sabres’ 43-year history clearly jolted the defenseman.

“You don’t want that feeling walking around town that you’ve disappointed people or you’re letting people down, especially a hardworking city like Buffalo,” Weber said Monday inside the First Niagara Center. “I think to every man we’ve accepted the challenge.”

Weber talked about changing the team’s culture, eliminating excuses and playing hockey for the …

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Mike Weber talks to the media this morning. ©2014, Margaret Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Almost a year ago, well before the rebuilding Sabres started what would quickly become the most tumultuous season in franchise history, defenseman Mike Weber heard about former general manager Darcy Regier’s warning the team’s rabid fan base would endure some suffering.

“To be honest with you, you hear those things but you never think things are going to get as bad as they did,” Weber said this morning as the Sabres cleaned out their lockers and held their end-of-season …

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Marcus Foligno skates Monday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – There is some good news for the reeling, injury-ravaged Sabres. They could have three players back tonight against the Detroit Red Wings. Of course, 13 – yes, a stunning 13 – are hurt right now.

Incredibly, the NHL’s worst team lost three more players in the third period of Sunday’s disastrous 5-2 loss in Philadelphia.

– Goalie Nathan Lieuwen, who has a disturbing history of concussions, suffered another one, coach Ted Nolan said. Philadelphia’s Jay Rosehill possibly hit the rookie …

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Goalie Nathan Lieuwen has a history of concussions. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – There is some good news. The Sabres could have three injured players back Tuesday against Detroit. Of course, 13 players – yes, a stunning 13 – are hurt right now.

Incredibly, the Sabres suffered three more injuries in the third period of Sunday’s 5-2 loss in Philadelphia.

– Goalie Nathan Lieuwen, who has a disturbing history of concussions, suffered another one, coach Ted Nolan said. Philadelphia’s Jay Rosehill possibly hit the rookie high after defenseman Mike Weber pushed him.

– Defenseman …

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Jake McCabe signed a three-year contract Wednesday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
2

Buffalo Sabres rookie Jake McCabe knows he’ll feel more nerves tonight during his NHL debut tonight in St. Louis against the Blues.

“Even out in the pregame skate, I’m sure my heart rate was getting up there, for sure,” the defenseman told reporters this afternoon in St. Louis. “This is a whole new level.”

The 20-year-old, the 44th overall pick in 2012, played three NCAA seasons before signing a three-year, entry level contract Wednesday.

Giving away his senior season, McCabe said, “was a …

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