Jacob Bryson has played just 52 games with Buffalo. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Jacob Bryson displaying mature game, emerging as Sabres’ best defenseman

PITTSBURGH – For a second or two, it looked like trouble was imminent. Connor McDavid, hockey’s most lethal scorer, had a head of steam as he zoomed toward Buffalo Sabres defensemen Jacob Bryson and Colin Miller late Friday.

After grabbing a 3-2 lead late in the second period, the Sabres endured an offensive onslaught from the Edmonton Oilers over the final minutes. McDavid, who had mostly remained quiet at even strength, seemed ready to explode.... Read the full article

Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl is a lethal scorer. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Leon Draisaitl as dynamic as Connor McDavid; Sabres to make one change

BUFFALO – Forget about Connor McDavid for a moment. The Edmonton Oilers have a player with more points than the superstar. Through 12 games, Leon Draisaitl has amassed a whopping 12 goals and 26 points, both NHL highs.

So far, McDavid, 24, has scored nine goals and 24 points.

Draisaitl, of course, is usually overshadowed by McDavid, a center widely considered hockey’s most dynamic talent.

But coach Don Granato, whose Sabres face the Oilers tonight ... Read the full article

Arttu Ruotsalainen scored at the net again Saturday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Arttu Ruotsalainen developing into different type of scoring threat

BUFFALO – In trying to evolve and score more goals, Sabres center Arttu Ruotsalainen has embraced a saying from his native Finland.

Ruotsalainen, 24, understands he can’t simply rely on his lethal shot from the perimeter. What worked in Europe and during his brief stint in the AHL won’t translate to success in the NHL.

To consistently score, the 5-foot-9, 187-pound rookie knows he must go to the net and battle for “dirty goals.”

“We ... Read the full article

Craig Anderson could return soon. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres make roster moves; Victor Olofsson close to return

BUFFALO – Goalie Craig Anderson is day to day with an upper-body injury, so the Sabres this morning recalled Aaron Dell from the Rochester Americans.

So, does that mean Dustin Tokarski, who has performed splendidly in his four starts this season, will play tonight against the Detroit Red Wings at KeyBank Center? Sabres coach Don Granato said this morning he hasn’t decided on his starting goalie.

Update: Tokarski is starting tonight.

So far, Tokarski has ... Read the full article

Craig Anderson will start tonight. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Don Granato wants Sabres to be true to identity: ‘A lot of potential there’

BUFFALO – A lot has changed since the Sabres last faced the Tampa Bay Lightning on Dec. 31, 2019.

There was a global pandemic. The Sabres changed regimes, plummeted to the bottom of the NHL again and hired a new coach. The Lightning, meanwhile, won two Stanley Cups.

The Lightning, the Sabres’ Atlantic Division rival, have become the NHL’s bellwether franchise.

If the Sabres want to go anywhere, they have to knock off the Lightning.... Read the full article

Buffalo is John Hayden’s fourth NHL team. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres excited to see John Hayden’s gritty presence for first time

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

Don Granato knows the level of play will improve around the NHL. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Don Granato knows stiff challenges await Sabres

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

Rasmus Dahlin led Buffalo in ice time Saturday afternoon. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Don Granato wants to spread around ice time: ‘It’s a necessity’

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 goalie Craig Anderson made his NHL debut in 2002-03. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

At 40, Sabres goalie Craig Anderson earns remarkable achievement

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

Jacob Bryson played 38 games as a rookie last season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Jacob Bryson’s rapping, on-ice play endearing him to Sabres

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