©2012

Ruff believes ‘NFL doesn’t mess around’ with suspensions

BUFFALO – What does Lindy Ruff think about the stunning bounty punishment the NFL laid on the New Orleans Saints, which included a one-year suspension for coach Sean Payton and an indefinite ban for defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, the former Bills coach?

“I’ve said the NFL doesn’t mess around,” the Sabres coach said Thursday inside the First Niagara Center. “They, for the most part, get most of their stuff right. They send a strong message. ... Read the full article

©2012

Miller’s shutout over Habs has Sabres sniffing playoff spot

BUFFALO – The Sabres’ shocking resurgence – one that’s vaulted them from the Eastern Conference basement to a points tie with eighth-place Washington in 33 days – can be attributed to several factors.

The banged-up defense corps has stayed healthy and locked down. Several slumping stars have started scoring again, giving the team a secondary scoring attack. A few youngsters have contributed immediately upon their arrival from Rochester.

Most notably, though, Ryan Miller began playing ... Read the full article

©2012

First NHL recall ‘best thing’ Sabres rookie Turnbull has ever heard

BUFFALO – Travis Turnbull said he never stopped believing he’d crack the NHL someday. Still, the odds looked stacked against the undrafted center. The Sabres possess a slew of talented youngsters and high-priced veterans in Rochester.

The 25-year-old Turnbull’s name has rarely popped up as a prospect since he was inked out of the University of Michigan in 2009.

The Sabres had already summoned six forwards from the AHL this season when Turnbull’s phone rang ... Read the full article

Marcus Foligno already has five goals and seven points just six games into his career. ©2012, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Scorching Sabres rookie Foligno off to historic start

BUFFALO – NHL success can be fleeting, especially for 20-year-olds thrown headfirst into a ferocious postseason race. Today’s hero can quickly become overwhelmed the next day.

With five goals and seven points just six games into his career, winger Marcus Foligno’s already enjoying one of the greatest rookie stretches in the Sabres’ 41-year history.

Only Phil Housley (nine points, 1982-83) and Ray Sheppard (seven, 1987-88) have tallied seven or more points in their first six ... Read the full article

©2012

Myers’ return from suspension has Sabres’ blue line stacked

BUFFALO – With star defenseman Tyler Myers banished three games for hitting Montreal’s Scott Gomez into the boards from behind, the Sabres went 1-0-2, earning four of a possible six points.

Now, with his full fleet of defensemen back for tonight’s tilt against the Montreal Canadiens at the First Niagara Center, what does Sabres coach Lindy Ruff do?

“I really think we’re going to keep all seven going,” Ruff said Tuesday.

What does that mean? ... Read the full article

©2012

Sabres sign Varone to entry-level deal

BUFFALO – The Sabres have signed forward prospect Phil Varone to a three-year, entry-level contract, the club announced Monday.

The 21-year-old rookie has turned heads in Rochester this season, compiling a team-best 43 points and 35 assists. His assist total ranks fourth among AHL rookies and 15th overall. He ranks 12th in freshman scoring.

Varone attended Sabres training camp on a tryout before earning a one-year AHL contract.

Varone, 5-foot-10 and 186 pounds, enjoyed a ... Read the full article

Illness has sidelined Andrej Sekera the last five games. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sekera’s return could force a Sabres defenseman out

BUFFALO – Ten days ago, as Andrej Sekera was preparing for warm-ups prior to the Sabres’ tilt against Carolina, the defenseman began feeling ill.

“Just came out of nowhere,” Sekera said Friday after practicing inside the First Niagara Center. “My stomach hurt before the game, and then it just hit me – fever, headaches.”

Sekera sat that game, and then hoped to play two nights later in Ottawa.

Instead, the Slovak’s condition “got worse and ... Read the full article

Tyler Ennis has three goals and six points in three games back at center. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Ennis becoming center of attention

BUFFALO – Oh, Tyler Ennis enjoys playing center. Skating there allows the slick Sabres speedster to hold the puck and utilize his creativity more effectively. He can easily move east-west. If Ennis needs to change directions and go north-south, he can simply “turn the jets on,” he said.

“It gives me kind of free reign to use the ice,” Ennis said earlier this week inside the First Niagara Center.

It’s certainly showing. With three goals ... Read the full article

©2012

Avs spoil Foligno’s big night as Sabres blow late lead again

BUFFALO – The famous “Foligno Leap” reappeared for its highly anticipated single showing just 99 seconds into the Sabres’ shocking 5-4 shootout loss Wednesday to the Colorado Avalanche, when rookie Marcus Foligno drove hard to the net and connected on Tyler Ennis’ pass.

The 20-year-old winger then jumped into the air, fulfilling a promise he had made to honor his father, Sabres legend Mike Foligno, who celebrated in the same fashion during his long career.... Read the full article

©2012

Ruff feels Myers’ 3-game ban ‘a little harsh’

BUFFALO – Lindy Ruff said he “was surprised, disappointed” that the NHL banned Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers three games for ramming Montreal’s Scott Gomez into the boards from behind.

Both the coach and Myers knew the boarding penalty Monday, which concussed Gomez, would probably earn a suspension. But three games for a player with a clean record?

“I felt that as a first-time offender it was a little harsh,” Ruff said Wednesday prior to the ... Read the full article