The Sabres assigned defenseman Henri Jokiharju to the taxi squad on Sunday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

‘Sophomore’ slump hurting Sabres’ Henri Jokiharju

Last season, his first in Buffalo, defenseman Henri Jokiharju morphed into the Sabres’ biggest surprise, showcasing a steady style that earned him coach Ralph Krueger’s trust.

So naturally, Jokiharju, 21, wants to advance his game this year and develop his offensive side.

“It’s part of the development for a young defenseman to come in and be very conservative and then try to build a more attacking, offensive game on top of that,” Krueger said on ... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner hadn’t scored a goal since Feb. 29, 2020. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Jeff Skinner finally scores, but Sabres lose seventh straight: ‘Not a fun time’

As their three-game set against the New York Islanders mercifully neared its end Sunday afternoon, the hapless Buffalo Sabres finally started displaying some signs of life.

After falling behind 3-0, winger Jeff Skinner’s first goal since Feb. 29, 2020 jumpstarted the Sabres 5:41 into the third period. Defenseman Colin Miller’s goal at 9:35 moved them within one.

Suddenly, the Sabres were pushing for the tying score inside Nassau Coliseum. And then a sequence that sums ... Read the full article

Henri Jokiharju has struggled this season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres send Henri Jokiharju to taxi squad, recall two players

The reeling Buffalo Sabres this morning assigned defenseman Henri Jokiharju to the taxi squad and recalled forward Casey Mittelstadt and defenseman Brandon Davidson from the practice group.

The Sabres, who have lost six straight games, play a road contest this afternoon against the New York Islanders.

Jokiharju, 21, was perhaps the Sabres’ biggest surprise last season, playing all 69 games. But the Finn has struggled to regain that form this year. He sat out Saturday ... Read the full article

Ralph Krueger’s team has fallen to the bottom of the NHL. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres implode against Islanders, lose sixth straight: ‘Just mental toughness’

The Sabres’ sixth consecutive loss started well enough. Rookie defenseman Jacob Bryson scored his first NHL goal 33 seconds into the game, giving Buffalo a rare lead it would hold the remainder of the period.

But given the Sabres’ recent futility and fragileness, it felt like they would implode following any misstep against the New York Islanders. Sure enough, after Mathew Barzal’s between-the-legs goal tied the game 3:51 into the second period, they fell apart.... Read the full article

Jack Eichel has scored only two goals this season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Kevyn Adams says Jack Eichel hasn’t requested trade

When the Buffalo Sabres hired Kevyn Adams as general manager, he made it a point to develop a relationship with Jack Eichel, his captain and best player.

“Jack is someone that I’ve bounced things off of, he’s talked to me and we have an open dialogue,” Adams said on a Zoom call Friday afternoon.

Given the Sabres’ woes throughout Eichel’s six-year tenure, some believe he could want out of Buffalo. But Adams said Eichel, ... Read the full article

Ramsus Ristolainen was on the ice for every goal scored in Thursday’s game. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres unravel against Islanders, lose fifth straight: ‘It’s a dangerous spiral’

In the waning minutes of first period in Thursday’s 5-2 loss to the New York Islanders, winger Matt Martin grabbed a pass deep in the Buffalo Sabres zone and skated below the goal line, seemingly boxing himself into the left corner.

But Martin decided to shoot from what looked like an impossible angle, and the puck hit goalie Jonas Johansson in the head and bounced in, putting the Islanders up 2-0 16:21 into the game.... Read the full article

Taylor Hall has scored just one goal this season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Despite slow start, Sabres’ Taylor Hall open to contract extension with Buffalo

When Taylor Hall shocked the hockey world by signing a one-year, $8 million contract with the Sabres, he said he was open to staying in Buffalo on a long-term deal.

Twenty-one games into the season, Hall and the Sabres have struggled mightily.

Hall scored his first goal since opening night in Thursday’s 5-2 loss to the New York Islanders. It was his first even-strength goal this season and just his 13th point. The Sabres, having ... Read the full article

Kyle Okposo has scored zero goals this season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Kyle Okposo knows he must start scoring: ‘A results-based business’

Buffalo Sabres winger Kyle Okposo knows he can’t take much solace in feeling he played a good game. Through 15 outings this year, the veteran has scored zero goals.

“This is a results-based business, and I understand that playing good gets you nowhere in this industry if the results aren’t there,” a frustrated Okposo said on a Zoom call following Tuesday’s 3-2 road loss to the New York Rangers.

Okposo, 32, nearly scored his first ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart has scored in two straight games. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres generate more offense, still fall to Islanders for third time in week

Against a tight New York Islanders team knowing for neutralizing the opposition, the Buffalo Sabres finally broke through Monday, pumping 36 shots on goalie Semyon Varlamov.

The Sabres struggled offensively in two home losses to the Islanders last week, scoring just one goal. But Monday inside Nassau Coliseum, they consistently cracked the Islanders’ rigid structure, generating a slew of chances.

Still, the Sabres couldn’t finish their opportunities, and Jean-Gabriel Pageau’s goal 15:08 into the third ... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner has never been a healthy scratch. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Jeff Skinner to be healthy scratch versus Islanders

Buffalo Sabres winger Jeff Skinner will be a healthy scratch for the first time in his 11-year NHL career tonight against the New York Islanders, coach Ralph Krueger said.

Krueger said Casey Mittelstadt will replace the struggling Skinner, who has scored zero goals in 14 games this season.

“We don’t measure players only on statistics,” Krueger said on a Zoom call late this afternoon inside Nassau Coliseum. “It’s part of the mix. Really, it’s a ... Read the full article