Ryan Miller performed terribly for three months before regaining his old form. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Miller’s ‘enough is enough’ mentality turned around awful season, Sabres’ fortunes

BUFFALO – Ryan Miller couldn’t offer any strong explanations for suddenly transforming back into one of the NHL’s elite goalies following a wretched, career-worst three months.

When the 31-year-old Sabres veteran began feeling better during the winter, everything became easier, he said. The ice opened up and he started reading plays and seeing shots clearly again.

Nothing magical happened. Miller had just experienced enough mediocrity.

“Mainly, it was kind of, ‘Enough is enough. I’m better ... Read the full article

Derek Roy was critical of coach Lindy Ruff as the Sabres cleaned out their lockers. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ disappointing season could claim victims

BUFFALO – Their run together stands at 423 total games over five fruitless seasons. In that time, the Sabres’ homegrown core players have earned two playoff appearances and zero series wins.

That’s it.

Most teams would’ve broken up that group years ago. The Sabres have plodded forward, mostly keeping it intact despite little success.

But a veteran star could finally be jettisoned following a bitterly disappointing ninth-place finish this season. A club constructed to hoist ... Read the full article

A broken ankle ended Tyler Myers' season March 30. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Broken ankle shelved Sabres’ Myers

BUFFALO – Early in the Sabres’ 5-3 loss to Pittsburgh on March 30, Tyler Myers took a shot off his face and fell down on the ice. It looked bad.

The 22-year-old was fine, however, and he got up and kept playing.

In the third period, when Paul’s Martin’s harmless-looking shot hit Myers’ skate, few noticed and the defenseman finished the game.

“It just felt like a little stinger like any other day,” Myers said ... Read the full article

Paul Gaustad's failure to go after Milan Lucic helped dramatically alter the season. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Much went wrong during Sabres’ lost season

“The main thing is start talking about it and just put it out there that we want to win a championship. We want to do it the right way, and we just have to hit a few checkpoints along the way and set ourselves up for it.” – Sabres goalie Ryan Miller, September 16, 2011

BUFFALO – Nearly seven months after his upbeat chat as training camp opened, Miller and the Sabres will clean out ... Read the full article

Marcus Foligno had six goals and 13 points during his latest recall. ©2012, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres assign Foligno, Tropp to Rochester

BUFFALO – The Rochester Americans’ playoff push got a big boost Friday, as the Sabres assigned rookie wingers Marcus Foligno and Corey Tropp to their 11th-place AHL affiliate.

Foligno and Tropp had secured regular NHL roles recently, impressing during the Sabres’ run at the postseason, which ended with Thursday’s 2-1 loss in Philadelphia.

The Amerks, two points behind eighth-place Houston for the final Western Conference playoff spot, have five games remaining. They play tonight in ... Read the full article

Lindy Ruff has seen other teams eke into the playoffs on the last day. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Ruff hopes Sabres write their own special postseason story

BUFFALO – Having survived so long and stared down elimination so many times recently, a sense of destiny accompanies the Sabres’ unlikely charge toward the postseason. Six months and 80 games into the season, they’ve refused to die.

Lindy Ruff hopes the Sabres’ story gets to be told like all those other celebrated longshot playoff teams.

“There’s a lot of great stories in sports about teams making it the last day,” the coach said Wednesday ... Read the full article

The Sabres aren't revealing many details about Tyler Myers' injured foot. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres mum on Myers’ injured foot

BUFFALO – Star Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers, who hurt his foot blocking a shot Friday, is wearing a walking boot and out at least the last two regular-season games.

Is the foot broken?

“He’s got a bad foot, yeah,” was all Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said Wednesday after practice inside the First Niagara Center.

Myers didn’t make the trip to Philadelphia for tonight’s contest against the Flyers.

When asked if Myers could return if the ... Read the full article

©2012

Wild scramble helps Sabres rally past Leafs, stay in playoff chase

BUFFALO – Nine seconds, an eternity for a goal-mouth scramble, elapsed from Sabres rookie Marcus Foligno’s initial run at the net to Jordan Leopold’s final poke past Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Ben Scrivens on Tuesday inside a roaring First Niagara Center.

In these parts, if the Sabres win the final two regular-season contests, get some help and secure that unlikely playoff berth, the tying goal with 1:53 left in their wild 6-5 overtime triumph could ... Read the full article

Nathan Gerbe has one goal in his last 19 games. ©2012, Janet Schultz, Olean Times Herald

Sabres expect more goals from Gerbe

BUFFALO – The defensive style winger Nathan Gerbe has embraced and played so well this season isn’t quite a full-fledged checking role. No way. The Sabres still expect Gerbe to score, something he’s done only six times this season in 60 games.

Gerbe, who returned from a muscle pull Tuesday that sidelined him nine games, often shadows and stymies the opposition’s top scorers. But that shouldn’t hinder his offense, said Sabres coach Lindy Ruff, who’s ... Read the full article

Connor Knapp played collegiately at the University of Miami (Ohio). ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres sign Catenacci, Knapp to entry-level deals

BUFFALO – The Sabres have signed forward Daniel Catenacci and goalie Connor Knapp to entry-level contracts beginning next season. Both will report to Rochester on amateur tryouts.

The 19-year-old Catenacci, the 77th overall pick in 2011, tallied 33 goals and 72 points in 67 games with the Ontario Hockey League’s Owen Sound Attack this season.

Catenacci, 5-foot-9 and 199 pounds, has 69 goals, 173 points and 299 penalty minutes in 199 career OHL contests.... Read the full article