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