Ilya Lyubushkin had scored zero goals in his first 41 games with the Buffalo Sabres. In his five-year NHL career, the gritty Russian defenseman had scored just three goals in 252 contests, his last coming 10 months ago.
But when Lyubushkin grabbed the puck from Lightning captain Steven Stamkos in overtime Thursday and set off on a rare short-handed breakaway, Sabres coach Don Granato knew something special was about to happen.
“It was weird in ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – In his previous stops, Sabres defenseman Kale Clague couldn’t always play aggressively. That often neutralized his skating, his greatest strength.
The Sabres, however, want to attack and push the pace. If players make mistakes, coach Don Granato and his staff can live with them.
“The system (here) allows me to be aggressive, whereas maybe some teams prior I’ve been a little bit more on my heels a little bit, based on that,” Clague ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Just nine games in, the Sabres have already dipped deep into their defense reserves. Hours before Monday’s 8-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings, they recalled Jeremy Davies from the Rochester Americans.
Davies, 25, is the ninth defenseman who has been on the roster this season.
“We’re banged up on the back end and that’s the need, pressing need right now,” Sabres coach Don Granato said Monday prior to Davies’ recall.
They summoned ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – In a few weeks, after his dizzying year ends, Sabres rookie Owen Power might finally have a chance to sit back and enjoy a little time to himself.
Power, 19, had endured a grueling season prior to signing his entry-level NHL contract, leaving college to represent Team Canada at the Olympics more than 6,500 miles away in Beijing and at the World Junior Championship in Edmonton.
Even in the NHL, Power still has ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – As Sabres winger Drake Caggiula dropped down the lineup, his confidence in his offensive abilities nearly vanished.
Caggiula, 27, began his NHL career skating on scoring lines and the power play. Having just finished a dynamic college career, he was regarded as an offensive threat.
“I’ve always been an offensive player, all the way up until I got to the NHL,” Caggiula said prior to Tuesday’s 5-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks at ... Read the full article
Having been late-round draft picks, ex-Buffalo Sabres Tim Kennedy and Nathan Paetsch beat long odds to advance and play in the NHL. They possess a unique understanding of a hockey player’s maturation.
Kennedy and Paetsch will now be sharing their knowledge with Sabres prospects. The team on Tuesday hired them as development coaches.
They join Dan Girardi, Seamus Kotyk and Mike Ansell on Adam Mair’s player development staff. Mair was teammates with Kennedy and ... Read the full article
Don Granato has overhauled the Buffalo Sabres’ coaching staff, retaining Matt Ellis and hiring Jason Christie and Marty Wilford as assistants, the team announced Thursday.
In addition, Justin White has been named video coordinator. Assistant coach Mike Bales, who’s charge of the goalies, and video coach Myles Fee will remain with the Sabres this season, according to the team. Both were hired by ex-coach Ralph Krueger.
Dan Girardi, an interim assistant coach last season, ... Read the full article
As the Buffalo Sabres’ interim coach, Don Granato worked with a staff he inherited.
When general manager Kevyn Adams fired coach Ralph Krueger and assistant coach Steve Smith on March 17, he moved Matt Ellis, his director of player development, and Dan Girardi, a development coach, behind the bench.
Ellis replaced Granato, who ran the power play as an assistant under Krueger. Girardi, meanwhile, took over Smith’s role in charge of the defense.... Read the full article
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 – 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