BUFFALO – There’s nothing fancy about the line. A no-frills style has made the trio of center Cody Eakin and wingers Zemgus Girgensons and Kyle Okposo highly effective since Sabres coach Don Granato recently reunited the veterans.
“We just seem to play the game the right way and do all the cliché things that you talk about, get pucks in, get pucks out and we win some battles,” Okposo said prior to Friday’s 4-3 shootout ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen’s stay here figured to be short. In the midst of a goaltending crisis, it appeared the Finn might play a few games before the Sabres returned him to the minors, where he would continue his development.
But Luukkonen, a prospect considered the Sabres’ goalie of the future, has been making a very strong case to stay put when some netminders are ready to play.
Luukkonen, 22, performed superbly in three starts ... Read the full article
For weeks, there was speculation the Buffalo Sabres would pass on tendering defenseman Brandon Montour a qualifying offer as a restricted free agent.
Considering former general manager Jason Botterill traded a top prospect and a first round pick for Montour in 2019, the thought of letting him go seemed outrageous. But the belief was the Sabres, who have tightened their belts during the COVID-19 pandemic, did not want to pay Montour big money.
Well, Wednesday’s ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – It was in 2016, after Keith Aucoin returned home following a championship season overseas, when he called a friend in the scouting business and asked if he had heard of a young, undersized center turning heads in Germany.
The 20-year-old’s name? Dominik Kahun.
The scout knew nothing about Kahun, who had grabbed Aucoin’s attention during their first year as teammates with Red Bull Munich.
“I’m like, ‘Well, you guys might want to ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – In their first days with Pittsburgh, ex-Sabres Evan Rodrigues and Conor Sheary experienced more losing. The forwards joined the powerhouse Penguins during what would become their longest losing streak since the 2011-12 season.
Rodrigues quickly learned more than talent separates his new team, which won three Stanley Cups over a nine-year stretch, from the Sabres.
“They just have such a calming presence, there’s no real panic in the room,” Rodrigues said prior to ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Face it, the Sabres are playing for pride. Their four-game losing streak has kicked them out of the playoff chase.
So expect them to evaluate and even experiment a bit over the final 16 games, starting tonight against the Pittsburgh Penguins at KeyBank Center.
That means rookie goalie Jonas Johansson will start tonight, his second nod in three games.
Under normal circumstances, goalie Carter Hutton would likely face the Penguins. The veteran has ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – In a little less than two seasons with the Sabres, Conor Sheary rarely played beside top center Jack Eichel. Instead, the winger often shuffled between the second and third lines as he struggled to score goals.
But in the four games since the Sabres traded him back to the Pittsburgh Penguins with forward Evan Rodrigues on Feb. 24, Sheary has received a plum assignment, skating beside superstar Sidney Crosby.
Sheary has gone from ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sabres newcomer Wayne Simmonds has a reached a critical point in his career. The 12-year veteran needs to play meaningful games. Staying another six weeks with the hapless New Jersey Devils wouldn’t have helped him much.
Simmonds, 31, has endured the worst season of his NHL career. Given his age and declining production – just eight goals in 61 games this season – he needs to demonstrate he still possesses the skills that ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Dominik Kahun experienced an unconventional path to the NHL. In 2012, the Sabres forward left Germany for North America, hoping a stint in junior would help him get drafted. Two years later, he went home without a team.
“I came to the OHL, my goal was to get drafted and play in the NHL, but I didn’t get drafted there,” Kahun said on a conference call Tuesday.
So Kahun, who was acquired from ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The Sabres’ core group of young players has never played a meaningful late-season NHL game. This upcoming stretch will be a new experience.
A perfect weekend moved the Sabres to within six points of the Atlantic Division’s final playoff spot with 20 games remaining. A team given up for dead has roared back into the postseason hunt.
So Sabres general manager Jason Botterill dealt aggressively before Monday’s trade deadline, acquiring winger Wayne Simmonds... Read the full article