BUFFALO – Having never experienced this in his 17-year NHL career, Sabres defenseman Erik Johnson acknowledged that, yes, these days he feels a little anxious.
In signing Johnson, 35, to a one-year, $3.25 million contract, the Sabres added a much-needed veteran presence to a blue line filled with 20-somethings. But they’ve stumbled this season, and instead of maturing into a playoff team, they’ve fallen out of the race.
So the graying Johnson could be moved ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sabres center Casey Mittelstadt smiled and laughed. You see, he stole the slick move he utilized to score the shootout winner in Sunday’s thrilling 3-2 victory from teammate Owen Power.
As luck would have it, Power, who tied the game late in regulation, went ahead of him. In stopping the defenseman and two other Sabres, Mittelstadt noticed Carolina Hurricanes goalie Spencer Martin kept coming out of the crease to challenge shooters.
So armed ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Prior to both games during the Sabres’ fathers and mentors trip, Connor Clifton’s dad, Tim, addressed the team and colorfully called for some dirty goals.
In defeating the Columbus Blue Jackets and Montreal Canadiens, the Sabres wreaked havoc on goalies, scoring three times with bodies around the net creating traffic.
Fittingly, Connor Clifton scored Friday’s winner 3:05 into the third period, his first goal in his 55th outing with the Sabres.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin’s instincts tell him to get after it, not to settle for the simplest play.
After all, the Swede possesses the talent to make dazzling moves and take over the ice.
“When he touches the puck, he tries to go, he tries to make the ideal play happen and he competes and fights to make the ideal play happen on each puck touch,” Sabres coach Don Granato said following Tuesday’s ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The Sabres mostly utilize defenseman Henri Jokiharju in a defensive role, meaning other than occasionally quarterbacking the second power-play unit, he rarely gets to display his offensive talent.
“Usually five-on-five through the regular 60 minutes of a game, he’s very responsible and focused so much on defense that you don’t get to see some of his offensive touch,” coach Don Granato told reporters Saturday in Minnesota after Jokiharju scored the overtime winner in ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Perhaps the most of emphatic of the Sabres’ 23 victories this disappointing season served as another reminder of just how dynamically they’re capable of performing.
On Tuesday, the Sabres annihilated the reeling Los Angeles Kings before an excited crowd of 13,292 fans in KeyBank Center, pouncing on them early and never letting up.
They imposed their will on the Kings, embarrassing them all night.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Center Casey Mittelstadt understands the trade speculation. The Sabres, after all, are mired in 14th place, a distant 12 points out of the Eastern Conference’s second wild card spot. Changes will inevitably come.
“I mean, it’s a business, right?” he said of his future being discussed.
In the midst of a disappointing year, Mittelstadt, 25, has emerged as the Sabres’ leading scorer and perhaps their most consistent forward. As a restricted free agent ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – About 14 minutes into Tuesday’s 2-1 loss, Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin grabbed center Casey Mittelstadt’s adroit pass just inside the left circle and quickly unleashed a shot on Dallas Stars goalie Jake Oettinger.
The shaft of Oettinger’s stick nullified a splendid scoring chance, and when the puck fell from the netting above the glass, Dahlin caught it and spiked it in frustration.
“I thought he was like trying to throw it at me ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Losing defenseman Mattias Samuelsson to a season-ending injury and winger Jack Quinn for six to eight weeks could extinguish the Sabres’ faint playoff hopes.
The Sabres, who practiced Sunday in KeyBank Center following their bye week and NHL All-Star break, must erase a 10-point deficit without two of their top talents.
But forget, for a moment, about their on-ice contributions. Suddenly losing two popular teammates could rattle the Sabres’ psyche.
Watching Quinn, 22, ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – When their six-game home stand began, the Sabres had an opportunity to ignite a run and roar into playoff contention. Instead, they blew perhaps their best chance to make up ground against their Eastern Conference foes.
The Sabres finished their longest stint at KeyBank Center this season 3-3-0. Kind of meh.
Overall, having gone 5-3-0 in their last eight outings, they’ve showcased improvement, most notably defensively. Still, they must make up seven points ... Read the full article