Kyle Okposo has scored eight goals this season. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres captain Kyle Okposo enjoying offensive resurgence, among NHL’s hottest scorers

BUFFALO – The zero attached to Sabres captain Kyle Okposo’s name wouldn’t go away, looming larger and larger as the weeks went on.

Two weeks quickly turned into a month and then five weeks. On Thanksgiving, at the 19-game mark, nearly one-quarter of the season, Okposo hadn’t scored a goal.

“It’s not a fun feeling, for sure, that zero,” the veteran winger said following Friday’s practice in KeyBank Center.... Read the full article

Buffalo’s Owen Power, Jeff Skinner (middle) and Connor Clifton celebrate a goal in Thursday. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres showcase emphatic response, annihilate Maple Leafs: ‘We took last game really personally’

BUFFALO – In the aftermath of the ugliest defeat of Don Granato’s tenure as Sabres coach, his players defended him more vigorously than they had their opponent that night.

But until they displayed more passion on the ice, showcased the pace and tenacity Granato demands, their words would carry some hollowness.

“We wanted to do more than just say we have his back, we wanted to go out there and prove it, and I think ... Read the full article

Alex Tuch scored twice Saturday. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

Alex Tuch breaks loose late in Sabres’ win over Maple Leafs; Dylan Cozens misses game with injury

TORONTO – No, it wasn’t quite a piano off Alex Tuch’s back. The Sabres winger had scored this season before his two third-period goals Saturday secured a 6-4 win over the Maple Leafs. He said he believes he had been skating well.

Piano’s too heavy for the expression.

“Monkey more than piano,” said Tuch, bringing the weight he was carrying early this season down about 700 pounds.

Fresh off a breakout 36-goal campaign, Tuch hadn’t ... Read the full article

Gabe Perreault has packed on weight over the past two years. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

Team USA star Gabe Perreault could be intriguing NHL Draft choice for Sabres

NASHVILLE – The genesis of NHL Draft prospect Gabe Perreault’s recording-breaking season for Team USA’s Under-18 squad began a year earlier.

In 2021, Perreault arrived in Plymouth, Michigan, a skinny 16-year-old. Dan Muse, his former coach at the National Team Development Program, said the high-scoring winger weighed just 130 or 140 pounds.

So Perreault took advantage of the resources the program offers and reshaped his body.... Read the full article

Alex Tuch celebrates a goal in his return Monday. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

Alex Tuch scores twice in return, helps Sabres roar back to beat Maple Leafs

TORONTO – Realistically, if the Buffalo Sabres couldn’t defeat the Maple Leafs on Monday, their faint playoff hopes were likely over.

They had been reeling, and the same team that briefly grabbed the Eastern Conference’s second wild card spot late last month fell seven points behind as it lost four straight games and six of its last seven.

The Sabres must go on a late-season run, and in a hurry. Well, Monday’s 4-3 come-from-behind victory ... Read the full article

Jimmy Snuggerud enjoyed a breakout season in 2021-22. ©2022, Rena Laverty, USA Hockey

Jimmy Snuggerud’s shot could make him attractive draft pick for Sabres

MONTREAL – Nick Fohr looked down the ice that day early in the 2020-21 season and had no idea who was shooting pucks at the other end.

“I’m like, ‘What is that down there?’” recalled Fohr, then an assistant coach at the U.S. National Team Development Program.

The mechanics – the compact, quick release – looked familiar, just like Auston Matthews, a phenom he had coached years earlier.

... Read the full article

Don Granato frequently receives text messages from Bills coach Sean McDermott. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Don Granato grateful for visit from Bills coach Sean McDermott

BUFFALO – When Bills coach Sean McDermott arrived at the rink prior to Thursday’s game, coach Don Granato asked him if he would talk to the Sabres before they went on the ice.

Granato said at first, McDermott wasn’t sure if he wanted to address them.

“But after he went around and met the guys and saw what we do for a couple hours, he’s a natural, obviously,” Granato said following Friday’s practice at KeyBank ... Read the full article

Tage Thompson has enjoyed a breakout season. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Tage Thompson faces Blues as one of NHL’s rising stars

BUFFALO – Sabres center Tage Thompson acknowledged that, yes, the Stanley Cup that Ryan O’Reilly won in 2019, his first season in St. Louis, is always in the back of his mind.

“But at the same time, it doesn’t change my objective,” Thompson said prior to Thursday’s 6-2 loss to the Blues, his former team, at KeyBank Center. “My objective is to come here and help our team win and help any way I can ... Read the full article

Buffalo defensemen Henri Jokiharju (10) and Owen Power (25) battles for position Tuesday in Toronto against Auston Matthews (34) and Michael Bunting (58). ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

Owen Power, Sabres’ young defense turning heads: ‘Bright future’

BUFFALO – Winger Alex Tuch figures the Sabres set some sort of record in Tuesday’s 5-2 road win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

“It’s got to be the youngest D corps to ever step on the ice tonight, I feel like,” Tuch said after defenseman Owen Power, 19, made his NHL debut in Scotiabank Arena. “The oldest guy’s Casey Fitzgerald at 25.”

Incredibly, the average age of the Sabres’ defense in Tuesday’s contest ... Read the full article

Auston Matthews has already scored 58 goals this season. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

Auston Matthews’ dominant season no surprise to Sabres coach Don Granato

TORONTO – Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews has ascended to a new level of superstardom this season, scoring an NHL-high 58 goals in 68 outings.

Matthews, who was held pointless in Tuesday’s 5-2 loss to the Buffalo Sabres, recently became the first player since Mario Lemieux in 1995-96 to score 50 goals over a 50-game stretch. Matthews is on pace to score 66 times this season, a number that hasn’t been reached since Lemieux scored ... Read the full article