David Leggio has played 59 games this season. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Amerks coach Cassidy says goalie Leggio should be considered for AHL MVP

BUFFALO – In 28-year-old No. 1 David Leggio, the Rochester Americans possess one of the AHL’s best goalies, a workhorse interim coach Chadd Cassidy thinks should be considered for the AHL’s MVP award.

But following the Sabres’ deadline trade with Minnesota last Wednesday, the Amerks received Matt Hackett, a strong prospect with NHL experience and three seasons as an AHL starter. The 23-year-old made 39 saves in a 3-2 shootout win Sunday, his first ... Read the full article

Johan Larsson has played three games with Rochester. ©2013, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Amerks coach Cassidy already impressed by new Sabres prospect Larsson

BUFFALO – Chadd Cassidy called Johan Larsson’s new situation “very difficult.” A week ago, the 20-year-old prospect was preparing for his second NHL game. Then Minnesota yanked the center from its morning skate.

Not only was Larsson going back to the AHL, the Wild had sent him to the Sabres as a key figure in the Jason Pominville trade.

So far, Larsson has impressed Cassidy through three games, scoring one goal and three points.... Read the full article

Tyler Myers has struggled much of this season. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres youngsters must focus on consistency before becoming leaders

BUFFALO – On Sunday morning, interim coach Ron Rolston was asked about youngsters Tyler Ennis, Cody Hodgson and Tyler Myers taking the Sabres over, having a chance to make it their team with former captain Jason Pominville and some other respected veterans now gone.

“They’re in a situation where, for them, is to be the next core of leaders for us,” Rolston said. “And before you can be a leader in any capacity, you’ve got ... Read the full article

Steve Ott often speaks his mind. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Ott believes booing by Sabres fans ‘completely ridiculous’

BUFFALO – Almost nine months ago, Steve Ott introduced himself to the local community, saying he believed his blue-collar style would endear himself to this hardworking community.

The 30-year-old was right.

If you hit opponents and score goals in this town, you can earn a long career here.

Just 39 games into his Sabres career, the passionate Ott has become one of team’s most popular players. The rabid fan base loves his gritty, all-out ... 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 slides across his crease to stop a shot by New Jersey’s Steve Sullivan on Sunday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres overcome crowd and Devils to win in shootout

BUFFALO – Not long ago, the Sabres might’ve wilted under the intense pressure, lost a game like Sunday’s 3-2 shootout win over the freefalling New Jersey Devils.

For at least 15 minutes – from late in the first period until midway through the game – the Devils hemmed the Sabres in their own zone, pumping chance after chance on goalie Ryan Miller as they sustained almost constant pressure.

It looked like the reeling Devils enjoyed ... Read the full article

Jochen Hecht has played 10 seasons with the Sabres. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres veteran Hecht thriving in reduced role

BUFFALO – Thirty-one days ago, it appeared Jochen Hecht’s long career here could be ending. In his fifth game as interim coach, Ron Rolston scratched the versatile forward, the first benching of his 10-season Sabres career. Rolston had already slashed the German’s minutes dramatically.

Hecht, a favorite of former coach Lindy Ruff, was seething.

But Rolston complimented Hecht’s play following the scratch, saying the German was only benched so the Sabres could add some toughness.... Read the full article

Jochen Hecht often shoots the puck from almost anywhere. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Hecht says penchant for odd-angle shots came from former Sabres star

BUFFALO – No angle is too awkward for Sabres forward Jochen Hecht. The veteran’s penchant for shooting the puck – or, perhaps more appropriately, sweeping it – from any spot deep in the offensive zone is legendary.

The 35-year-old scored a nifty goal in Friday’s 4-2 win over Ottawa, backhanding the puck quickly in the left circle with a defender draped on him. Other players surely would’ve passed that shot up.

Still, that wasn’t ... Read the full article

Adam Pardy should stay in the NHL the rest of this season. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ new defense corps locking down, helping keep slim playoff hopes alive

BUFFALO – There are some perks to hotel life, Adam Pardy said. Each day, a maid makes his bed and cleans his room. That’s not a bad thing, right?

For three months, the defenseman has been living out of a suitcase while shuttling between the Sabres and the Rochester Americans, an experience Pardy chalks up to being “one of those years.”

“It (stinks), but it is what it is,” Pardy said about hotel living Saturday ... Read the full article

Thomas Vanek will miss his sixth straight game tonight. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ sole focus on game in front of them; Vanek should practice again Monday

BUFFALO – Forget about the other seven or eight teams battling for that final Eastern Conference playoff berth. The 12th-place Sabres simply need to keep winning games and mind their own business.

“We’ve been same story, focused on the game in front of us like a lot of teams are doing in our situation, where they got to get points out of every game to make the playoffs,” interim coach Ron Rolston said ... Read the full article