Christian Ehrhoff takes a hit from Winnipeg's Alexander Burmistrov. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Ehrhoff excited to respresent reeling German national team

BUFFALO – Watching Germany’s national team fall into disarray and off the world stage hasn’t been easy for Sabres defenseman Christian Ehrhoff.

The country recently failed to qualify for the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Consider that other than three world war bans, the country’s ice hockey team had qualified for every other Olympics, all of them since 1948.

“Obviously, the non-qualification for the Olympics is very frightening, very sad,” Ehrhoff said Monday prior to ... Read the full article

Jhonas Enroth struggled in relief Friday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Enroth to start tonight; Rolston insists Miller can play at home again

BUFFALO – Given what transpired in Friday’s ugly 8-4 loss to the New York Rangers – in between two Bronx cheers, Ryan Miller sarcastically saluted the crowd shortly before he was yanked – can the Sabres realistically play the goalie at home again this season?

“Yes,” interim Sabres coach Ron Rolston said this morning. “It is realistic.”

Tonight, however, backup goalie Jhonas Enroth start against the Winnipeg Jets, a meaningless game for the Sabres.

Is ... Read the full article

Steve Ott has missed the playoffs five straight seasons. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres believe they have plenty to play for after playoff elimination

BUFFALO – What’s left for the Sabres now? Three meaningless games, that’s it. With their slim playoff chances smothered Friday, starting with tonight’s home contest against the Winnipeg Jets, the Sabres are skating for pride and hoping to play a spoiler role.

As senior advisor Ken Sawyer, owner Terry Pegula’s close confidant, watched closely from the stands, a rarity, the Sabres practiced quietly Sunday for the first time since an ugly 8-4 loss to the ... Read the full article

Mikhail Grigorenko has played 22 NHL games. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres rookie Grigorenko set to return to lineup

BUFFALO – Mikhail Grigorenko has been playing real hockey games since August. Counting NHL, junior and Team Russia appearances, the 18-year-old Sabres rookie estimates he has skated in 85 contests this season.

Grigorenko insists he’s in “real good shape,” though. Under normal circumstances, a nine-month season would be trying.

“But I always changed places,” Grigorenko, who’s in his second stint with the Sabres, said Sunday after preparing for tonight’s contest against the Winnipeg Jets in ... Read the full article

Matt Hackett played well during his three seasons in Houston. ©2013, PhotoGraphics Photography, AHL

Goalie prospect Hackett upbeat about future with Sabres

BUFFALO – Matt Hackett figured the Minnesota Wild would eventually trade a goaltending prospect. The team possessed two similar youngsters in the 23-year-old Hackett and Darcy Kuemper.

With Niklas Backstrom entrenched as the upstart Wild’s No. 1 goalie, there simply wasn’t room for everyone.

Still, when the Wild yanked him from the ice during the team’s morning skate Wednesday, Hackett “was pretty shocked,” he said.

“It just caught me off guard, I guess,” Hackett said ... Read the full article

Ryan Miller had a beef with linesman Scott Miller on Tuesday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres jeered throughout ugly loss to Jets

BUFFALO – It was ugly. Testy fans kept booing the Sabres as they trudged toward a sluggish, uninspired 2-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday. They moaned early and often as the Sabres ran around their own zone.

As the final horn signaled the Sabres’ second straight loss and fourth in five games, what remained of the capacity crowd of 19,070 booed them off the ice one more time.

Clearly, the Sabres’ rabid ... Read the full article

T.J. Brennan returned to the lineup Tuesday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres rookie Brennan replaces struggling Leopold

BUFFALO – The gaffe gnawed away at Jordan Leopold. His blown coverage on Pascal Dupuis’ late tying goal a day earlier left the struggling Sabres defenseman “upset … the whole day” Monday, he said.

The 32-year-old, a veteran of 602 NHL games, probably felt even worse Tuesday morning.

For Lindy Ruff, leaving Dupuis wide open in the right circle, something Leopold called an “easy read,” was the last straw. The Sabres coach scratched Leopold for ... Read the full article

Ryan Miller was seething after Sunday's loss. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Ruff on Miller’s passion: ‘I think we need more of it’

BUFFALO – Lindy Ruff said this morning he hadn’t read Ryan Miller’s angry comments after the Sabres blew a third-period lead Sunday and lost 4-3 to Pittsburgh.

The coach, however, has heard about how a disgusted Miller cursed three times during his brief chat with the media. He loves the passion his franchise goalie showcased.

“When you start holding yourself accountable inside the room, you’ve almost got your team in the right place,” Ruff said ... Read the full article

Jordan Leopold skates this morning. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Struggling Leopold to sit as Sabres turn to rookie Brennan

BUFFALO – Jordan Leopold walked into the dressing room following a long skate this morning, began taking off his equipment and noticed a few reporters waiting to chat with him.

The struggling defenseman was the last player off the ice for a reason.

“You guys smell blood or what?” joked Leopold, who will sit as a healthy scratch tonight against the Winnipeg Jets inside the First Niagara Center.

Leopold, a team-worst minus-7, has never been ... Read the full article

Christian Ehrhoff joined the Sabres in 2011 amid much hype. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Despite Sheen’s criticism, Sabres’ Ehrhoff enjoying strong season

BUFFALO – Charlie Sheen’s a baseball guy, you know. He starred in two “Major League” movies as pitcher Rick “Wild Thing” Vaughn and played centerfielder Happy Felsch in “Eight Men Out,” the story of the 1919 Chicago Black Sox.

The bad-boy actor has never hidden his affection for America’s pastime. He once bought all the outfield seats in Anaheim to try to grab a home run ball from an Angels game.

But what does he ... Read the full article