BUFFALO – Hours before Tage Thompson’s clutch two-goal performance in Saturday’s 4-3, come-from-behind overtime victory, Sabres coach Don Granato gave his struggling center a simple message: relax.
Thompson, fresh off a breakout 38-goal season, admittedly demands a lot from himself. After scoring just once in the first seven games, he began feeling pressure to produce.
So Granato told Thompson, who turns 25 today, to stop trying to score the perfect goal and overthinking things. Just ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Having shuttled between the NHL and minors for four seasons, Sabres newcomer Kale Clague understand his role as a depth defenseman.
Despite enjoying a strong training camp, Clague, 24, started the season with the Rochester Americans as the eighth or ninth defenseman in the organization.
Given the rugged nature of the position, it seemed likely the Sabres would need Clague at some point, and sure enough, the Sabres recalled him on Sunday after ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The Sabres, one of the NHL’s early-season darlings, are suddenly on a two-game skid, having lost to two lightweights.
Three straight road wins last week raised expectations and signaled that perhaps the Sabres had finally arrived as serious playoff contender.
Then in a three-day span, they dropped games to the Seattle Kraken and Montreal Canadiens. Yikes.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – If you’re wondering, following Saturday afternoon’s entertaining 4-3 loss to Matthew Tkachuk and the Florida Panthers, the Sabres don’t play their budding Atlantic Division rival again until Jan. 16.
That three-month wait is too long for coach Don Granato, who loves the grit and tenacity the Sabres displayed while refusing to back down to the Panthers, one of the NHL’s heavyweights.
Saturday’s heated affair at KeyBank Center looked more like a late-season contest ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – In Craig Anderson, Sabres coach Don Granato sees a passionate veteran goalie who understands the end is nearing.
“Craig is a guy that’s very connected to his love of the game, and he sees, hey, my career’s coming to an end, I’m clear and definitively going to miss this, so I’m going to love what I’m going to miss,” Granato said after the Sabres prepared for tonight’s game against the Ottawa Senators ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sabres rookie JJ Peterka stood before the media in his sweat-soaked practice uniform, a smile etched on his face.
On Monday, general manager Kevyn Adams called Peterka, 20, and Jack Quinn, 21, and informed them they had earned a spot in the Sabres’ opening night lineup.
Two years ago, after drafting Quinn eighth overall, Adams moved up to take Peterka with the 34th pick after the German surprisingly fell out of ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – From his perch above the ice last spring at Nokia Arena, Sabres coach Don Granato proudly watched Rasmus Asplund’s exploits for Team Sweden.
Asplund, 24, carried the confidence he generated during his first full NHL season into the World Championship, seizing a starring role in Tampere, Finland.
Over two weeks, he morphed into a first-line winger and his country’s most utilized forward, scoring six goals in eight games.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The Sabres have likely known for months which seven defensemen will comprise their opening night roster.
Jacob Bryson, Rasmus Dahlin, Henri Jokiharju, Casey Fitzgerald, Owen Power and Mattias Samuelsson entrenched themselves on the blue line last season. In signing Ilya Lyubushkin in free agency, the Sabres added a gritty veteran presence they lacked.
But what about the rest of the defense corps? Given the rugged nature of the position, defensemen are always at ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sabres center Tage Thompson pounced on Jalen Chatfield, making the defenseman pay for his open-ice hit on winger Vinnie Hinostroza early in Tuesday’s 4-2 preseason win over the Carolina Hurricanes’ junior varsity squad.
In fighting Chatfield 15:41 into the game, Thompson quickly completed a Gordie Howe hat trick – he scored a goal and recorded an assist earlier in the period – and further illustrated the tight-knit group the Sabres have become.
Thompson, ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Coach Don Granato said it’s only natural that Sabres rookie JJ Peterka might be pressing as he battles to earn a roster spot out of training camp.
So far, Peterka, 20, has had an underwhelming preseason, registering just one assist in three outings.
“I would love to score a little bit more right now,” Peterka said this morning inside KeyBank Center. “But for me, it’s just trying to find my game and getting ... Read the full article