BUFFALO – At times this season, Sabres winger Victor Olofsson has battled adversity and the perception he’s too one-dimensional.
For stretches, he has struggled at even strength and lost ice time, doing little to dispel the belief he’s simply a power-play guy who possesses a lethal shot.
Still, 45 games into the campaign, Olofsson has already registered a career-high 21 goals.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Growing up, Sabres legend Ryan Miller said he usually wore No. 30. Mike Gilmore, a Michigan State goalie he liked, sported it. So did some of the NHL’s best netminders at the time.
But when Miller reached junior hockey in 1997, an older goalie for the Soo Indians had the digits.
“There’s not a chance I’m getting that number,” Miller said Thursday after the Sabres retired his No. 30 and inducted him into ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – After an 11-day layoff, goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen looked sharp against the Anaheim Ducks in his first NHL action this season. The rest of the Sabres, meanwhile, clamped down, limiting chances following a slew of dreadful defensive efforts.
The end result, however, was their fifth consecutive loss. The Sabres, who have consistently been scoring goals, generated little offense for the first 40 minutes of Tuesday’s 2-0 loss.
The Ducks only needed Sonny Milano’s goal ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Think about it, do kids grow up dreaming of scoring goals or playing defense? Hockey players develop an offensive mentality at a young age that remains with them.
“Every player in the NHL wants to play offense,” Sabres defenseman Jacob Bryson said prior to Tuesday’s 2-0 loss to the Anaheim Ducks at KeyBank Center. “No one likes to play defense.”
Bryson, who knows he can’t shirk his defensive duties, loves the aggressive, fast-paced ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – As expected, the struggling Sabres will change goalies tonight against the Anaheim Ducks, awarding prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen his first start this season.
Having played four games late last year, Luukkonen developed a feel of the NHL. The Finn performed well, winning his debut and posting a .906 save percentage.
“The hope is when you put him in there’s an element of relaxed to him, a comfort,” Sabres coach Don Granato said following this ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sabres prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has struggled at times this season, performing below expectations. Yes, the goalie has enjoyed some nice moments, including his first shutout with the Rochester Americans.
But ideally, Luukkonen, 22, would be in the minors right now honing his game. The reeling Sabres only recalled him Monday because they’re in the midst of a goaltending crisis.
Having lost goalie Malcolm Subban to injury in his debut Saturday, Luukkonen was ... Read the full article
In the waning seconds of Thursday’s overtime, Buffalo Sabres winger Rasmus Asplund looked up ice, saw Victor Olofsson had room to maneuver at the blue line and fed his best friend a stretch pass.
As Asplund skated to the right circle, Olofsson cut left into the slot, splitting two Anaheim Ducks defenders before reaching the bottom of the left circle. The dizzying moves forced goalie Anthony Stolarz to overcommit, and as Olofsson fell to the ... Read the full article
Right away this season, Sabres coach Don Granato learned why goalie Craig Anderson has enjoyed such remarkable longevity.
“On Day One when I saw him in shape and as serious and intent as he was, that’s all I needed to see,” Granato said of the 40-year-old, who’s beginning his first season in Buffalo. “Nothing surprised me after that.”
Forget that Anderson is the NHL’s oldest goalie and third-oldest player, trailing only defenseman Zdeno Chara (44) ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sabres defensemen Robert Hagg and Mark Pysyk form a no-frills tandem. The newcomers’ simplicity is perhaps their greatest strength.
“We try to move the puck up north as quick as we can and try to close plays in the D-zone as quick as we can,” Hagg said following Wednesday’s practice at KeyBank Center. “I think that’s why we’ve been successful so far.”
That style, of course, can be a tad boring. Still, it ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Center Cody Eakin accompanied the Sabres on their four-game road trip but will likely miss tonight’s contest against the Anaheim Ducks, coach Don Granato said.
Granato expects Eakin, who suffered an upper-body injury when he crashed into the net during a practice drill last Wednesday, to play later in the trip.
Eakin, 30, has missed the last three games. Granato said Eakin will be reevaluated after tonight’s game. The Sabres also play Sunday ... Read the full article