BUFFALO – When captain Kyle Okposo was contemplating returning for another season, he thought about what it would be like trying to lead the Sabres without Zemgus Girgensons, a popular heart-and-soul veteran.
“I didn’t even want to consider that,” Okposo said following Monday’s practice in KeyBank Center. “That’s how important he is.”
Girgensons’ influence has been a huge factor in the Sabres’ recent transformation into a legitimate playoff contender. The winger’s actions and professionalism ... Read the full article
ROCHESTER – In opening up a series lead and putting the Utica Comets on the brink of elimination from the Calder Cup Playoffs, the Americans hadn’t seen the best out of the AHL powerhouse.
The top-seeded Comets only showcased flashes of their slick regular-season form throughout the first three games of best-of-five AHL North Division semifinal. In a do-or-die scenario Tuesday, you figured they would come out roaring.
Well, in Game 4, the Comets gave ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – As the clock ticked down and the Sabres enjoyed a two-goal lead, their three-game losing streak felt like history.
The Sabres’ first home game following their four-game western road trip started ominously, with the Detroit Red Wings scoring 16 seconds into Saturday’s contest.
But they settled down, roared back and held a 3-1 advantage after center Arttu Ruotsalainen scored 6:08 into the third period.
The Red Wings had trouble generating offense. Sabres goalie ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – If Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark had suffered any setbacks in his rehab following double-hip surgery in April, the worst-case scenario would’ve been a return to the ice in January.
But the Swede, 22, recovered quickly enough to join full practices a month ago and earn three starts with the Rochester Americans this month.
Ullmark dazzled in the AHL, making 38 saves in his debut and 43 on Wednesday. Now, just three games into ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Having played in Montreal as a member of the Sabres, forward Brian Flynn knew about the city’s passionate support for the Canadiens.
Then Flynn, 27, really experienced the electric atmosphere inside the Bell Centre after the Sabres traded him to the Habs for a fifth-round pick prior to the March 2 deadline.
“The playoffs last year, I just remember sitting in the locker room and you could hear the whole entire building shaking ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The odds, of course, were stacked against Ted Nolan succeeding in his second run as Sabres coach, which ended with his firing Sunday night, less than a day after a 30th-place finish.
Nolan wasn’t truly Tim Murray’s guy. Sure, the general manager awarded him a three-year contract late last season. But old friend Pat LaFontaine hired Nolan as interim coach early in 2013-14 before leaving months later.
Perhaps Murray felt obligated ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – In a not-so-surprising move, the Sabres fired Ted Nolan tonight, ending the popular coach’s second run here.
The rebuilding Sabres just finished the season 30th overall.
In addition, the team also fired assistant coach Danny Flynn and won’t renew the contracts of assistants Bryan Trottier and Tom Coolen.
Stay tuned for more details.
Update: General manager Tim Murray said he decided to fire Nolan today after six hours of interviews with players.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Given the Sabres’ sorry state these days, it’s almost difficult to remember now. But for a brief stretch earlier this season, they morphed into a young team on the rise, winning a string of exciting games in dramatic fashion.
The rebuilding club triumphed 10 times in 13 games – they have only 20 victories in 75 outings all season – during a rollicking run in November and December, roaring back night after night.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Get ready to see another defenseman play for the Sabres. With Zach Bogosian and Andrej Meszaros injured, the club will likely recall Chad Ruhwedel from Rochester for tonight’s tilt against the Washington Capitals, coach Ted Nolan said.
The 24-year-old Ruhwedel would be the 11th defenseman to dress for the Sabres this year.
Update: The Sabres have officially recalled Ruhwedel.
Bogosian’s lower-body injury hasn’t improved, Nolan said. Meanwhile, Meszaros, who hurt his hand ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Prior to Phil Varone’s 19th NHL game Tuesday, the Sabres center couldn’t find his No. 84 written on the board with the team’s new line combinations.
The 24-year-old looked again and found it an unexpected spot.
“I didn’t see it at the top,” Varone said Wednesday following practice inside HarborCenter. “It was pretty surreal, obviously. I was in the AHL three weeks ago. It’s just pretty special.”
Yes, Varone, who has three ... Read the full article