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
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
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
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 – 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
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
TORONTO – A lot has changed in the 30 days since the Buffalo Sabres and Maple Leafs met at the Heritage Classic.
The Sabres signed defenseman Owen Power, the first overall pick who will be making his highly anticipated NHL debut tonight. The Leafs, meanwhile, have morphed back into one of the league’s heavyweights, having won seven of their last eight games (7-0-1). They’ve scoring a whopping 43 goals in that stretch.
Since ... Read the full article
TORONTO – Prior to Owen Power’s arrival, Buffalo Sabres defensemen Rasmus Dahlin and Henri Jokiharju both let it be known they’d love to play with the rookie, the first overall pick in 2021.
The problem? Well, Dahlin and Jokiharju were partners at the time.
“Owen’s not here and they’re already talking about, ‘When Owen gets here, I want to play with him! And I want to play with him!’” Sabres coach Don Granato said ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The poise Mattias Samuelsson possesses belies his experience. Barely 30 games into his NHL career, the Sabres consistently utilize the rookie against the opposition’s top talent.
On Thursday, Samuelsson faced Edmonton Oilers superstar Connor McDavid. In Sunday afternoon’s 5-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs, the defenseman was often tasked with shutting down Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner, one of the NHL’s elite duos.
At one point Sunday, with Marner roaring toward him, ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Dylan Cozens only remembers Terry Pegula mentioned the cross-check on Rasmus Dahlin. The rest of his interaction with the Sabres owner following his ejection from the Heritage Classic is a little fuzzy.
“I’m gonna be honest, I had a lot of adrenaline going so I don’t really remember too much,” the center said following Tuesday’s practice at LECOM Harborcenter.
The maturation of a young team is often filled with seminal moments, and the ... Read the full article