Jack Eichel blamed the players, not Phil Houlsey. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Sabres surprised by Phil Housley’s firing, believe players at fault

BUFFALO – Just days before Phil Housley’s dismissal, captain Jack Eichel was adamant the Sabres’ woes should be pinned on the players, not the coach.

Eichel’s words, which he repeated this morning, couldn’t save Housley, who was fired Sunday after the Sabres’ sorry finish.

“It’s on us in the room,” Eichel said as the Sabres cleaned out their lockers and held end-of-season-meetings inside KeyBank Center. “We’re the product on the ice. It’s unfortunate that ... Read the full article

Phil Housley began his Hall of Fame playing career with the Sabres. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ second-half regression cost Phil Housley his job

BUFFALO – Even as the Sabres stumbled and lost their grip on a playoff spot early in the winter, it seemed like coach Phil Housley would return next season unless the team totally fell apart down the stretch.

Well, the Sabres imploded, losing 16 of 17 games before winning their final two outings. That marked the first time they won back-to-back games since Dec. 11 and 13.

On Sunday, a day after the Sabres finished ... Read the full article

Jason Botterill will head overseas next month. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Jason Botterill reluctant to talk about coaching search

BUFFALO – Out of respect for Phil Housley, the coach he fired hours earlier Sunday, Jason Botterill wouldn’t reveal what he’s looking for in a replacement. The Sabres general manager did, however, say a search has already started.

“Those are things I’m not going to talk about too much right now, and the simple fact is I just had a conversation with Phil Housley a couple of hours ago,” Botterill said Sunday afternoon inside KeyBank ... Read the full article

The Sabres ranked first overall in late November. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ awful second half led to Phil Housley’s dismissal

BUFFALO – The Sabres fired Phil Housley this afternoon, less than a day after the team completed a disappointing season in which it fell from first overall in late November to sixth in the Atlantic Division.

Even as the Sabres stumbled and lost their grip on a playoff spot early in the winter, it seemed like Housley would return for a third season unless the team totally imploded down the stretch.

Well, the Sabres fell ... Read the full article

Phil Housley lasted two seasons with the Sabres. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres fire coach Phil Housley

BUFFALO – The Sabres fired Phil Housley this afternoon, less than a day after the team completed a disappointing season in which it fell from first overall in late November to sixth in the Atlantic Division.

Even as the Sabres stumbled and lost their grip on a playoff spot early in the winter, it seemed like Housley would return for a third season unless the team totally imploded down the stretch.

Well, the Sabres fell ... Read the full article

The Sabres have been in a four-month slump. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Sabres’ Jack Eichel tries to accentuate positives of rough season

BUFFALO – After suffering eight straight losses, the Sabres enjoyed a rare opportunity to celebrate a little following Thursday’s 5-2 win, just their second victory in 17 outings.

Not only did they thump an opponent, winger Jason Pominville received a rousing ovation after scoring in what could’ve been his final home game with the Sabres, who close their miserable season tonight against the Red Wings in Detroit.

The salute to one of the franchise’s all-time ... Read the full article

Jason Pominville scored his 16th goal this season Thursday. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Fans, teammates celebrate Jason Pominville in rare Sabres win

BUFFALO – The crowd kept roaring. For more than a minute late in Thursday’s 5-2 win, the fans saluted one of their favorites, winger Jason Pominville, after he capped off an emotional day by scoring perhaps his last goal for the Sabres.

The noise wouldn’t stop after Pominville, 36, was announced as the scorer, so after receiving a signal from his teammates, one of the greatest players in franchise history skated to center ice ... Read the full article

Jason Pominville has played 10 seasons with the Sabres. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Jason Pominville breaks down discussing future

BUFFALO – All season long, Jason Pominville has insisted he hasn’t thought much about his future. But this morning, as he drove to KeyBank Center, the Sabres winger couldn’t help but wonder what it holds.

It dawned on him after 10 seasons with the Sabres, tonight’s game against the Ottawa Senators could be his final appearance here wearing Blue and Gold.

The thought of his Sabres career ending caused Pominville, 36, to break down.... Read the full article

Kyle Okposo has scored twice in the last four games. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Kyle Okposo responds to challenge from coach Phil Housley

BUFFALO – Late in the winter, in the midst of perhaps his worst season ever, Sabres winger Kyle Okposo and coach Phil Housley had what the veteran called a “good conversation” about his play.

Okposo, of course, didn’t want to share details of his chat with Housley, someone he has known since he was a teenager.

But during their talk, Okposo said Housley, who wasn’t made available to the media Wednesday, “challenged me.”

“I just ... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner (53) waits for a faceoff against Nashville's Austin Watson on Tuesday. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Sabres coach Phil Housley miffed after no-goal call: ‘We got screwed’

BUFFALO – A seething Phil Housley said it over and over – four times in three minutes, to be exact – following Tuesday’s 3-2 loss, the Sabres’ eight straight setback.

“It’s frustrating because we got screwed,” the Sabres coach said.

To Housley, the Sabres “got screwed” against the Nashville Predators because 2:40 into the second period, winger Conor Sheary scored on a delayed penalty, appearing to tie the game at 2.

The Predators never gained ... Read the full article