The pain and anger, as Ralph Krueger called it, is a good sign. The Buffalo Sabres coach believes it’s healthy for captain Jack Eichel to vent his frustrations over losing.
Of course, Eichel, who said on a Zoom call Thursday he was “fed up,” is not alone in his disappointment. He’s just the most visible member of the team.
The Sabres’ biggest star and the team’s young core haven’t come close to cracking the playoffs.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – After receiving two starts early in his NHL career, Sabres goalie Jonas Johansson took a backseat to veteran Carter Hutton two weeks ago.
Hutton’s emergence from a long slump allowed the Sabres to utilize him regularly again.
So Johansson, a rookie the Sabres recalled when Linus Ullmark suffered a lower-body injury, patiently waited to play another game.
Prior to earning his first NHL victory in Sunday’s afternoon 2-1 win against the Winnipeg ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – After the Anaheim Ducks scored their third goal early Sunday afternoon, Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said he considered yanking goalie Jonas Johansson.
Could you blame him?
Johansson, 24, struggled mightily for the opening 12 minutes of his second NHL start, allowing three goals on four shots after stopping the first two he faced.
The Swede looked a bit off and uncomfortable in the crease. He knew the hook might be coming.
“It ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – While Sabres coach Ralph Krueger wouldn’t reveal tonight’s starting goalie, it’s a safe bet he will utilize Carter Hutton against the Montreal Canadiens.
Throughout a three-month slump in which he has morphed into a spare part, Hutton, 34, has quietly gone about his business, expressing confidence in his ability to bounce back and showing support for his teammates.
With workhorse Linus Ullmark sidelined three to four weeks with a lower-body injury, Krueger ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Goalie Linus Ullmark’s second full NHL season has quickly become a blur. The Swede has started 32 of the Sabres’ 49 games, putting him on pace to play a career-high 54 times entering tonight’s contest against the Ottawa Senators.
The loquacious Ullmark, 26, has enjoyed a massive workload since Nov. 19, starting 24 of the last 29 games. During his emergence as the Sabres’ No. 1 goalie, he has played more games and ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sooner or later it had to happen. Slumps are inevitable, and the Sabres, the NHL’s biggest early-season surprise, avoided one for nearly a month.
“You’re not going to go through a whole season without facing adversity,” captain Jack Eichel said following Saturday’s 1-0 loss to the scorching New York Islanders, the Sabres’ third straight setback (0-2-1).
After winning nine of their first 12 games, the Sabres, having dropped four of the last five ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – After watching Linus Ullmark’s 41-save shutout Friday, Sabres goalie Carter Hutton will start again tonight, his eighth nod this season.
Thanks to their two-game trip to Sweden next week, the Sabres’ schedule is jam-packed.
So through 12 games, Sabres coach Ralph Krueger has mostly rotated the netminders, trying to balance their workload. Krueger even sticks to the goalie plan he and assistant coach Mike Bales have devised following shutouts.
“It’s something that ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – After outplaying Carter Hutton last month, Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark took a backseat Thursday, watching his partner’s splendid 28-save performance from the bench.
Coach Ralph Krueger said everything would be up for competition during training camp, and based on their preseason numbers, Ullmark deserved to start the Sabres’ 50th anniversary season opener.
But the decision, of course, wasn’t quite that simple.
Hutton, 33, played a career-high 50 games and started regularly for the ... Read the full article
PITTSBURGH – In almost equal preseason action, Buffalo Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark outplayed Carter Hutton, posting a goals-against average 64 points lower and a save percentage 49 points higher than his partner.
But Hutton, 33, handled the load last season, playing a career-high 50 games.
Sabres coach Ralph Krueger, who said everything was up for competition during training camp, probably wants to show Hutton respect on opening night against the Penguins.
The veteran will ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Only about 10 Sabres forwards have roster spots locked up, meaning in a training camp filled with competition, the best battles might be taking place up front.
Among the players fighting for the four or so remaining slots are journeymen (Jean-Sebastien Dea, for example), NHL veterans (Vladimir Sobotka) and prized prospects (Victor Olofsson).
Then there’s C.J. Smith, an older (he turns 25 on Dec. 1) and often overlooked ... Read the full article