BUFFALO – In his four full NHL seasons, Sabres winger John Hayden has never played more than 54 games, meaning he’s used to sitting for a week.
During the Sabres’ 3-0 start, Hayden, 26, has served as the extra forward, quietly preparing for an opportunity coach Don Granato said would come.
With center Cody Eakin injured, Hayden will be making his season debut tonight against the Boston Bruins at KeyBank Center.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Coach Don Granato understands in the big picture, the Sabres’ strong start means little. Sure, it’s nice to begin the season 2-0 at home. But they have 80 games left, starting with tonight’s contest against the Vancouver Canucks at KeyBank Center.
Early-season hockey often lacks structure as teams struggle to grasp their systems. In the coming weeks, the level of play will rise significantly.
“It was really nice to start at home and ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sabres coach Don Granato doesn’t see a large talent gap in the 20 players he dresses each game. A first-line forward or top-pair defenseman isn’t much better than a fourth-liner or third-pair defender.
“We don’t have any wide range in discrepancy in our player pool,” Granato said prior to Saturday afternoon’s 2-1 shootout win over the Arizona Coyotes at KeyBank Center.
So Granato utilized every skater throughout the first two games this season, ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Nine months ago, as Craig Anderson’s 40th birthday approached, it appeared his long career could be over. Eventually, the veteran goalie parlayed a tryout with the Washington Capitals into a one-year contract.
Still, Anderson was their third netminder, spending most of the season on the taxi squad and playing just six games, including two playoff appearances.
Tonight, Anderson will be the Sabres’ opening night starter against the Montreal Canadiens, a remarkable late-career ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Jacob Bryson’s Sabres teammates wanted to hear a joke from him last season, so he figured, what the heck, why not write a funny rap about some of them?
The defenseman took 30 minutes, typed some lyrics and returned with a “song” to perform for them.
Bryson poked fun at Rasmus Ristolainen’s long goatee, Cody Eakin’s “orange” hair and Casey Mittelstadt’s penchant for using an ARP machine, which aids in recovery.
“I would ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Tonight’s lineup resembles one the Sabres could use during the regular season. At least 16 of the 20 players will likely be on the opening night roster.
But among all the established talent the Sabres will dress, three rookies – goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen and wingers J-J Peterka and Linus Weissbach – earned a spot.
Sabres coach Don Granato said Luukkonen, 22, will start tonight and play the entire preseason game against the Columbus ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sabres newcomer Robert Hagg knew the Philadelphia Flyers would aggressively overhaul their roster. Instead of contending for the Stanley Cup last season, they imploded after a hot start, finishing a disappointing sixth in the East Division.
“The year we had last year was awful with Philly,” said Hagg, who was acquired July 23 in exchange for defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen and two high draft picks. “So we kind of knew that something was going ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Ten Sabres – much of their established talent – will be making their preseason debut tonight at KeyBank Center.
So some of the line combinations and defense pairings the Sabres will be showcasing against the Pittsburgh Penguins could be utilized in the regular season.
Top center Casey Mittelstadt pivoted Jeff Skinner and Victor Olofsson this morning. On defense, Rasmus Dahlin skated beside Henri Jokiharju, his partner late last season.
Coach Don Granato said ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Aaron Dell smiled as he recalled his unlikely journey. Having started at the bottom in the now-defunct Central Hockey League, the Sabres newcomer beat long odds to play just one game in the big leagues.
Today, Dell, 32, is a five-year NHL veteran who has made 114 appearances. Early in his career, he was one of the league’s best No. 2 goalies with the San Jose Sharks, compiling a 26-11-5 record over his ... Read the full article
The Buffalo Sabres are heading outdoors this season.
The NHL today announced they’ll be playing in a Heritage Classic game March 13, 2022 against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton, Ont. Word of the Sabres’ participation in the outdoor contest spread late last month.
Despite playing 63 miles from KeyBank Center, the Sabres will be considered the “home” team for the 3 p.m. game, which will be broadcast nationally on TNT. ... Read the full article