BUFFALO – A month ago, recalling defenseman Mattias Samuelsson and giving one of their top prospects a taste of the NHL wasn’t an option for the Sabres.
They were in the midst of their marathon 18-game winless skid, and the defense corps, like every aspect of the team, was struggling. They couldn’t expose a rookie to that environment.
But the defense has been thriving under interim coach Don Granato and interim assistant Dan Girardi, ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sabres rookie center Dylan Cozens has quickly reached another phase of his development, adding slick playmaking to his repertoire.
Since Cozens, 20, returned from an upper-body injury Sunday, he has recorded four assists, two more than he compiled in his first 25 games.
Thursday’s 5-2 win over the Washington Capitals was arguably Cozens’ best NHL outing. The Yukon native registered two primary assists, creating goals for wingers Sam Reinhart and Anders Bjork.... Read the full article
In his three-year career, Rasmus Dahlin has never experienced the NHL postseason. But in Tuesday’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Boston Bruins, the Buffalo Sabres defenseman received a taste of what heavy playoff hockey feels like.
“I haven’t been in a playoff game, but it didn’t feel like a regular-season game,” said Dahlin, whose goal 11:53 into the third period tied the game at 2.
Tuesday’s game inside TD Garden was the Sabres’ most physical ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Barely a year after Henri Jokiharju established himself as one of the Sabres’ top defensemen, he started struggling so badly he was demoted to the taxi squad.
Jokiharju, 21, sat out 10 games earlier this season. At times, he looked nothing like the steady defender from 2019-20.
But Jokiharju has settled down under interim Sabres coach Don Granato, showcasing more confidence beside Rasmus Dahlin, his partner over the last eight games.
Jokiharju ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – A few weeks ago, an early two-goal deficit like the Sabres experienced Thursday against the New Jersey Devils would’ve been insurmountable.
They would’ve folded and gone down meekly.
But over the past week or so, the Sabres have morphed into, well, a somewhat normal team. Yes, they’re still one of the NHL’s lightweights, but they’re much more competitive.
While Thursday’s 6-3 loss inside KeyBank Center ended their two-game winning streak and five-game point ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – In the early days of the season, the Sabres’ potent power play carried them, accounting for a whopping 50% of their goals over the first 17 games.
But since that scorching start – the Sabres scored 19 times and converted an NHL-best 36.4% of their chances – they’ve been downright awful, mustering just two power-play goals in 38 tries in the last 21 outings.
That’s just 5.3%, the league’s worst number over that ... Read the full article
Over the last week, Rasmus Dahlin has morphed into a dynamic defenseman again, shaking off three dreadful months to help ignite the Buffalo Sabres.
Dahlin, 20, enjoyed his best night this trying season in Tuesday’s 5-3 win over the New Jersey Devils inside Prudential Center. After tying the game in the second period, he corralled a bouncing puck inside the blue line and deftly created center Casey Mittelstadt’s game-winning power-play goal 10:20 into the third.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – In the last week, Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin has finally settled down and started showcasing a sturdier game under interim coach Don Granato.
Dahlin, whose ghastly minus-34 rating ranks last in the NHL, hasn’t suddenly recaptured his old form. Still, he has looked much more comfortable playing for Granato than he did under Ralph Krueger, who was fired March 17.
Simply playing a calmer, more composed style – Dahlin, 20, has ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – After 34 days, more than 1,000 minutes of hockey and one coaching change, it appeared the Sabres would finally halt their winless skid Monday.
Instead, they suffered the most gut-wrenching loss of their 18-game streak, blowing a 3-0 third-period lead and falling to the Philadelphia Flyers 4-3 in overtime inside KeyBank Center.
Good grief. What happened late? How did the Sabres suddenly start chasing the game after dominating it for 40 minutes?
“Panic ... Read the full article
Interim Sabres coach Don Granato keeps learning how badly struggling winger Victor Olofsson wants to break out of his season-long funk.
Whether it’s the Swede’s behavior as he prepares for practice or his attentiveness during a conversation or a meeting, Granato said he sees a player “searching for the answer, searching for the direction within himself.”
“Which is great,” Granato said on a Zoom call Tuesday. “And he’ll get there, there’s no doubt in my ... Read the full article