After the Coachella Valley Firebirds advanced to the AHL Pacific Division finals, an excited, sweat-soaked Andrew Poturalski greeted his teammates as they entered the dressing room to begin celebrating their series-clinching victory.
The Firebirds, having fallen behind in a best-of-three play-in round and again in a best-of-five series, had just won their third do-or-die game of the Calder Cup Playoffs.
An injured Poturalski had anxiously watched it all, and after that 5-0 win over the ... Read the full article
ROCHESTER – Dan Bylsma laughed and processed the question a little longer. He started to answer it but stopped again to collect his thoughts.
After three lean years as an assistant coach with the Detroit Red Wings, did the ex-Buffalo Sabres head coach need a new adventure?
“We were in a different spot in Detroit with the team and the players,” Bylsma told the Times Herald on Wednesday following the Charlotte Checkers’ 5-1 loss to ... Read the full article
Ex-Buffalo Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma on Tuesday landed a new job as an assistant coach with the Charlotte Checkers, the AHL affiliate the expansion Seattle Kraken will temporarily share with the Florida Panthers.
Bylsma, 50, left the Detroit Red Wings in May to pursue other opportunities after spending three years as an assistant on head coach Jeff Blashill’s staff.
As part of the agreement between Seattle and Florida, the Kraken provided an assistant coach ... Read the full article
For the time being, Don Granato, a 53-year-old hockey lifer who has spent the last 27 years coaching or scouting in pro, college and junior, is leading the hapless Buffalo Sabres.
The Sabres on Wednesday named Granato their interim coach after firing Ralph Krueger in the midst of a 12-game losing streak.
Granato, who joined Krueger’s staff as an assistant last season, will be behind the bench tonight against the Boston Bruins at KeyBank ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – This is new, you know. Not only is Sabres center Johan Larsson piling up points, he’s also having fun and smiling.
“He wasn’t ‘Angry Larry’ last night,” Sabres winger Kyle Okposo said of his linemate’s nickname. “He’s having a blast. I think you can see it in his face.”
Right now, having compiled two goals and nine points in the last seven games, Larsson is enjoying a career-best stretch entering tonight’s home game ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Instead of offering a short reply, Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen kept talking, going into detail why he enjoys playing for Ralph Krueger, his fifth coach in seven years.
By his standards, Ristolainen, a man of few words, was gushing.
“I like whatever he does,” Ristolainen said Thursday inside KeyBank Center. “I like how he communicates with us. I like the way he talks. He talks really powerfully and everyone listens. He’s kind of ... Read the full article
PITTSBURGH – Throughout training camp, coach Ralph Krueger insisted his Sabres had embraced the new ideas he and his coaching staff brought to Buffalo.
Krueger wants the Sabres to play fast, stay connected and utilize their instincts. It might take sacrificing a little offense, but in the end, he believes they can reap rewards from the aggressive new approach.
Based on Thursday’s 3-1, season-opening win against the Penguins, Krueger’s message is getting through to the ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Since the Sabres drafted high-scoring winger Sam Reinhart second overall in 2014, the team has employed four coaches, a ridiculous number.
Not surprisingly, Reinhart, who has played 331 regular-season NHL games, has never sniffed the postseason.
But last spring, Reinhart, 23, played some meaningful contests as Team Canada captured a silver medal at the World Championship in Slovakia. In 2016, fresh off his rookie season, he won a gold medal at the tournament.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The Sabres have hired Don Granato and Mike Bales as assistant coaches on new head coach Ralph Krueger’s staff, the team announced this morning.
The Sabres also officially announced Krueger will retain assistant Steve Smith, a former NHL defenseman he had on his staff with the Edmonton Oilers.
Granato, 51, has coached at all levels – junior, college, pro and NHL – over his 26-year career. He spent the last two seasons ... Read the full article
The Buffalo Sabres will hire Mike Bales as their new goalie coach and retain assistant coach Steve Smith, according to multiple reports.
Bales, 47, resigned as goalie coach of the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday. The Buffalo News, The Athletic and Sportsnet all reported Bales is bound for Buffalo.
Former Sabres coach Phil Housley hired Smith, a three-time Stanley Cup winner as a player, to run his defense last year. Ralph Krueger, Housley’s replacement, ... Read the full article