BUFFALO – For years, the Sabres had company at the bottom of the Eastern Conference in the New Jersey Devils.
A season ago, when the Sabres missed the playoffs for an NHL-record setting 11th consecutive season, they earned 12 more points than the Devils.
But the Devils, who are coached by old friend Lindy Ruff, have roared past the Sabres this season, establishing themselves as one of the league’s heavyweights.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sabres captain Kyle Okposo, out the last six games recovering from a lower-body injury, will play tonight against the New Jersey Devils, his first action since Nov. 10.
“Just some wear and tear I’ve been dealing with and had to give it some time to calm down,” Okposo said this morning at KeyBank Center. “But feeling better, ramped it up over the past few days.”
Okposo, 34, recently began skating on his ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The first quarter of Sabres rookie Jack Quinn’s season can be broken down into three parts.
In the early going, Quinn, 21, looked overwhelmed. So he embraced sitting out two games as part of the Sabres’ forward rotation, using it as an opportunity to catch his breath and study the game from a fresh perspective. The time helped him develop a better understanding of the team’s system and the intensity needed to ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Casey Mittelstadt likes to extract positives from difficult experiences. So the Sabres forward believes a trying, injury-riddled season in which he has missed 42 games and scored just four goals has also featured personal growth.
Recovering from two upper-body injuries has helped him develop patience – “That’s probably one of the things I struggled with most, I’m pretty impatient,” he said – and evolve as a person.
Mittelstadt, 23, had to do something ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The result doesn’t matter. That the undermanned Sabres lost 4-3, even to the reeling New Jersey Devils, wasn’t surprising. The rebuilding team has six players in the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol and played its first game in 12 days.
Wednesday was about the debuts of Alex Tuch, Peyton Krebs, JJ Peterka and what their presence represents for the Sabres’ future.
After a decade of futility, the Sabres finally seem to be adding the right ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Of all the coaches the Sabres’ Matt Ellis could’ve faced in his first game filling in for Don Granato, it turned out to be the one he knows best, Lindy Ruff.
These days, Ruff, 61, coaches the New Jersey Devils, the Sabres’ opponent Wednesday at KeyBank Center.
Ellis, 40, played under Ruff for parts of five seasons, growing from a forward the Sabres plucked off waivers into an NHL regular. ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Make that four. In addition to forwards Peyton Krebs, JJ Peterka and Alex Tuch, it appears another player, defenseman Ethan Prow, will be making his Sabres debut tonight.
Like Peterka, Prow, 29, has never played in the NHL. Ironically, Peterka and Prow were teammates last season with Red Bull Munich, a Deutsche Eishockey Liga team.
The Sabres this morning recalled Prow to the taxi squad and Casey Fitzgerald to the active roster because ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The Sabres this morning placed defenseman Jacob Bryson in the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol and recalled defensemen Casey Fitzgerald to the active roster and Ethan Prow to the taxi squad.
The depleted team, which host the New Jersey Devils tonight at KeyBank Center, now has six players and coach Don Granato in protocol.
Defenseman Colin Miller, who left Tuesday’s practice early, isn’t skating this morning, so Prow could be elevated to the roster later.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – In the Sabres’ recent history, games as significant as tonight’s can be counted on one hand. How often have three highly regarded young players – in this case, forwards Peyton Krebs, JJ Peterka and Alex Tuch – all made their debuts together?
Their presence illustrates that after a decade of futility, maybe – just maybe – a franchise known for dysfunction is starting to get things rights.
In less than a year, the ... Read the full article
As coach Don Granato watches Dustin Tokarski move around his crease aggressively challenging shooters, he sees a goalie comfortable in the Sabres’ system.
Tokarski, 32, has quickly established himself as a trusted option for Granato, stopping 57 of the 60 shots he has faced through two starts.
“He’s reading where and when and how shots are coming,” Granato said on a Zoom call following Saturday’s 2-1 overtime loss to the New Jersey Devils. “… When ... Read the full article