BUFFALO – At times this season, Sabres winger Victor Olofsson has battled adversity and the perception he’s too one-dimensional.
For stretches, he has struggled at even strength and lost ice time, doing little to dispel the belief he’s simply a power-play guy who possesses a lethal shot.
Still, 45 games into the campaign, Olofsson has already registered a career-high 21 goals.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – At 6-foot-4 and 207 pounds, Connor Hellebuyck can be an imposing presence in net. The Winnipeg Jets goalie, the 2019-20 Vezina Trophy winner, plays even bigger than his hulking size might indicate.
Just ask Sabres coach Don Granato.
“Hellebuyck looked like a sumo wrestler with athleticism,” Granato said following Hellebuyck’s stellar 39-save effort in Thursday’s 4-2 loss to the Jets. “He was good. He was big and solid.”... Read the full article
BUFFALO – By the end of one of the most brilliant performances by a Sabres defenseman in their 53-year history, Rasmus Dahlin was exhausted.
Dahlin, having surpassed a minute on the ice, desperately wanted to get to the bench for a breather late in Saturday’s frantic overtime against the Minnesota Wild.
“I was going to, but I have to play defense,” Dahlin said following his dynamic two-goal, five-point performance in the Sabres’ thrilling 6-5 win. ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The symbolism wasn’t lost on coach Don Granato. In Thursday’s emotional 6-3 victory over the Detroit Red Wings, the Sabres’ first game since a devastating blizzard ravaged the region, captain Kyle Okposo led the way, scoring a hat trick.
Okposo, the Sabres’ heart and soul, has embedded himself and his family in the community, Granato said, making his year-round home here.
“This is life and lots of people in life and death situations, ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Casey Mittelstadt said he panicked a little bit. Having returned home to Minnesota to celebrate Christmas as a blizzard began walloping Buffalo last week, the Sabres winger needed to find a way back.
The ferocious storm forced the Buffalo/Niagara International Airport to close, and the Sabres had a game scheduled for Tuesday in Columbus against the Blue Jackets.
Of course, Mittelstadt, 24, wasn’t alone. The inclement weather had a few Sabres scrambling to ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sabres winger Casey Mittelstadt’s gig on the top line is only temporary.
Center Tage Thompson and wingers Jeff Skinner and Alex Tuch form one of the NHL’s most lethal scoring trios. When Skinner returns from his three-game suspension for cross-checking, he will likely assume his regular role as the left wing beside Thompson and Tuch.
“I don’t think I’m taking Skinny’s spot,” Mittelstadt joked following Monday’s practice at KeyBank Center.... Read the full article
PITTSBURGH – With the Buffalo Sabres trailing by one goal in the waning minutes of Saturday’s 3-1 loss, winger JJ Peterka set up a splendid scoring chance for linemate Jack Quinn at the top of the right circle.
But instead of unleashing a shot on goalie Casey DeSmith, the rookie quickly passed to center Dylan Cozens, who couldn’t handle the puck in the left circle.
“Everybody watching wishes Jack Quinn would have taken that shot ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The edge Jeff Skinner possesses makes him one of the NHL’s most unique talents. Not only is the Sabres winger a top scorer, he’s also willing to go hard after opponents.
To wit: with 22 seconds left in the third period of Friday’s 4-3 overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, Jake Guentzel hit Sabres goalie Craig Anderson’s hand as he froze the puck. Skinner took umbrage and went after Guentzel.
Guentzel slashed Skinner ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Forget about Dylan Cozens’ skill set for a moment. What makes the Sabres center such a unique talent and one of the NHL’s burgeoning young stars are the intangibles he possesses.
Cozens, 21, plays a mature, tenacious style that belies his limited experience.
“He competes for the right reason being in a team sport,” Sabres coach Don Granato said following Tuesday’s practice at KeyBank Center. “He brings guys in with him, he drags ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The Sabres inserted center Peyton Krebs for Thursday’s 5-4 loss to the Colorado Avalanche, just his second appearance in the last six games.
To make room for Krebs, a healthy scratch the previous three contests, the Sabres sat out winger Vinnie Hinostroza.
That Krebs, 21, had been bumped out of the lineup wasn’t surprising. He sat out two games in late October when the Sabres briefly began rotating forwards. He had mustered zero ... Read the full article