Casey Mittelstadt and John Gilmour celebrate a Rochester goal earlier this season. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

AHL season won’t resume before May

The American Hockey League season won’t resume before May, the league announced today.

But the league has recommended to its 31 teams they help their players return home, an ominous sign the season could be canceled in the coming weeks.

On Thursday, shortly after the NHL suspended its season indefinitely because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the AHL also stopped its campaign.

On Sunday, the CDC recommended that events with 50 or more people be canceled ... Read the full article

KeyBank Center could remain empty the rest of the season. ©2020, Hickling Images

NHL tells players they can return home

In a best-case scenario, the NHL could restart its season in the second week of May, the league announced today.

Of course, that timeline could be overly optimistic. The COVID-19 pandemic, which forced the NHL to suspend its season indefinitely Thursday, is a fluid situation.

Just days ago, the NHL was hopeful players could soon resume small group workouts.... Read the full article

The NHL suspended its season Thursday. ©2020, Hickling Images

PSE will pay arena workers if COVID-19 pandemic forces game cancellations

Players, staff, the Buffalo Sabres Foundation and Pegula Sports and Entertainment will help pay the lost wages of game day arena employees if the COVID-19 pandemic forces games to be canceled.

PSE owner and CEO Kim Pegula made the announcement Saturday, three days after the NHL suspended its season indefinitely as more coronavirus cases were confirmed throughout the country.

PSE also owns the Rochester Americans and two National Lacrosse League teams: the Buffalo Bandits and ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel might not have a chance to score 40 goals and 90 points. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Coronavirus fears put NHL season, Sabres on hold indefinitely

Before the COVID-19 pandemic forced the NHL to suspend its season indefinitely on Thursday, the Buffalo Sabres generated a little optimism in their last outing.

In Monday’s 3-2 win over the Washington Capitals, star captain Jack Eichel and rookie Victor Olofsson both busted out of slumps as the Sabres ended their six-game losing streak. Newcomer Dominik Kahun looked impressive again, scoring the shootout-winning goal. Goalie Linus Ullmark dazzled in his first appearance in nearly six ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart (23) and the Sabres were scheduled to play in Montreal tonight. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Coronavirus pandemic forces NHL to suspend season

The COVID-19 pandemic forced the NHL to suspend its season indefinitely today.

The league announced the decision following a conference call with its Board of Governors and less than a day after the NBA suspended its season after one its players tested positive for coronavirus.

“In light of ongoing developments resulting from the coronavirus, and after consulting with medical experts and convening a conference call of the Board of Governors, the National Hockey League is ... Read the full article

Dominik Kahun (95), Victor Olofsson (middle) Marcus Johansson (90) celebrate Olofsson's goal Monday. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Marcus Johansson meshing well with new linemates

BUFFALO – Marcus Johansson and Victor Olofsson started developing their chemistry in September, when they spent part of training camp as linemates.

But nearly six months passed before the Swedes shared any meaningful ice time during the regular season.

Olofsson, 24, earned a plum assignment at left wing beside top Sabres center Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart, and he thrived there nearly all season, morphing into one of the NHL’s top rookies.

Meanwhile, Johansson, ... Read the full article

Ralph Krueger grew up listening to Canadiens games on the radio. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

First game in Montreal as Sabres coach will be special for Ralph Krueger

BUFFALO – Growing up in Manitoba in the 1960s, you had your choice of two NHL teams to root for, according to Sabres coach Ralph Krueger.

“You were either a Maple Leaf fan or you were a Canadiens fan,” Krueger, 60, said after the Sabres prepared for Thursday’s game against the Canadiens, his first in Montreal as an NHL head coach.

Krueger said his sister, who’s 10 years older than him, listened to every Montreal ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart has an eight-game point drought. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Sam Reinhart emerging from career-worst slump

BUFFALO – Late in Monday’s 3-2 shootout win, Sabres winger Sam Reinhart grabbed the puck along the right boards and skated below the goal line before quickly threading it through a cluster of defenders.

A second later, Sabres defenseman Brandon Montour beat Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby from the edge of the left circle.

The play showcased some of Reinhart’s best talents – hockey sense, vision and adroit passing – and appeared to end his ... Read the full article

Rasmus Dahlin was excited to have a chance in the shootout. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Rasmus Dahlin borrowed from former Sabre to score first NHL shootout goal

BUFFALO – Rasmus Dahlin couldn’t help himself. The Sabres defenseman waited 141 games for his first NHL shootout opportunity. After beating goalie Braden Holtby in the fourth round Monday, the normally mild-mannered Swede wanted to celebrate his goal.

So Dahlin yelled and moved his arms as he skated to the bench.

“Did some stupid celly there,” Dahlin said this morning inside KeyBank Center. “But I was all happy. I was very happy, actually, so it ... Read the full article

Dominik Kahun scores the shootout winner against Washington goalie Braden Holtby on Monday. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres win in shootout after late goal disallowed: ‘Soft, questionable call’

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Jeff Skinner tried to choose his words carefully when asked if he knows what constitutes goalie interference.

“I’m gonna get in trouble for that one,” Skinner said with a smirk after Monday’s 3-2 shootout win over the Washington Capitals ended the Sabres’ six-game losing streak. “I don’t know.”

Luckily, the questionable goalie interference call on Skinner that negated defenseman Brandon Montour’s goal with 2:48 left in regulation did not fluster the ... Read the full article