BUFFALO – Sabres winger Rasmus Asplund said his first taste of the NHL last season exhausted him mentally. The Swede couldn’t let go of what transpired during games. He even had trouble falling asleep.
“I felt last year that I started off my first five games really good but then I got really tired mentally,” Asplund said on a Zoom call following Wednesday’s optional practice.
So in the offseason, Asplund, 23, began developing what he ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – In the early days of the season, the Sabres’ potent power play carried them, accounting for a whopping 50% of their goals over the first 17 games.
But since that scorching start – the Sabres scored 19 times and converted an NHL-best 36.4% of their chances – they’ve been downright awful, mustering just two power-play goals in 38 tries in the last 21 outings.
That’s just 5.3%, the league’s worst number over that ... Read the full article
Over the last week, Rasmus Dahlin has morphed into a dynamic defenseman again, shaking off three dreadful months to help ignite the Buffalo Sabres.
Dahlin, 20, enjoyed his best night this trying season in Tuesday’s 5-3 win over the New Jersey Devils inside Prudential Center. After tying the game in the second period, he corralled a bouncing puck inside the blue line and deftly created center Casey Mittelstadt’s game-winning power-play goal 10:20 into the third.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – In barely a week, the Sabres have transformed from the NHL’s laughingstock into a team that plays a fast, active brand of hockey.
Right now, they’re creating offense, limiting chances against and – believe it or not – are pretty exciting to watch. They look nothing like the hapless team that just endured an embarrassing 18-game winless streak.
Interim coach Don Granato has the Sabres playing to their strengths and feeling confident. After ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – There was no wild celebration. Not even a fist pump.
When Sabres winger Steven Fogarty scored his first NHL goal on Wednesday, he reacted as if he had done it 100 times. A smiling Fogarty simply raised his stick, pointed to defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen and shared a few fist bumps with his teammates.
By the time he started skating back to the bench, his grin had disappeared.
“It just happened so quick and ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Instead of addressing the Sabres during Wednesday’s second intermission, interim coach Don Granato left his players alone.
No words of encouragement. Not even a tactical point or two.
The game was playing out eerily similar to Monday’s. Granato, whose Sabres also held a three-goal that night over the Philadelphia Flyers, wanted his players to take over.
“I wouldn’t have handed it off to them if I wasn’t confident that they could do it ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Instead of letting the Sabres rest and recover in the midst of their grueling schedule, interim coach Don Granato said he has “overworked” his players.
“We’re trying to push them harder to develop harder,” Granato said on a Zoom call prior to Wednesday’s 6-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers at KeyBank Center. “We know we have to get better. The focus has to be on that. And we have to trust that wins ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Shifting Casey Mittelstadt to center wasn’t simply a result of the hapless Sabres trading Eric Staal or Jack Eichel suffering a lower-body injury.
Yes, injuries and Staal’s departure have decimated the Sabres at center. The four who practiced Tuesday inside KeyBank Center – Mittelstadt, Cody Eakin, Curtis Lazar and Riley Sheahan – have combined to score 10 goals and 25 points this season.
Interim coach Don Granato, whose Sabres host the Philadelphia ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – After morphing from a first-liner into a healthy scratch earlier this season, Tage Thompson could enjoy regular duty under interim coach Don Granato.
Thompson needs consistent action to buoy his development. The 6-foot-7, 219-pound winger has played only 17 NHL games in a more than two-year stretch.
Monday’s 4-3 overtime loss to Philadelphia Flyers at KeyBank Center was the Sabres’ 18th straight defeat. They have nothing to lose by playing him.
“It’s ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sabres captain Jack Eichel, who has missed the last 10 games recovering from an upper-body injury, could play again this season, interim coach Don Granato said.
Granato said he spoke to Eichel late last week.
“He said he felt good, he was feeling better,” Granato said on a Zoom call this morning. “I don’t think it would be season-ending. So I know we’re all working to get him back. (I) do not ... Read the full article