BUFFALO – The Sabres mostly utilize defenseman Henri Jokiharju in a defensive role, meaning other than occasionally quarterbacking the second power-play unit, he rarely gets to display his offensive talent.
“Usually five-on-five through the regular 60 minutes of a game, he’s very responsible and focused so much on defense that you don’t get to see some of his offensive touch,” coach Don Granato told reporters Saturday in Minnesota after Jokiharju scored the overtime winner in ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The confidence Sabres center Peyton Krebs displayed in grabbing the puck in his own zone, roaring up the ice and undressing a defender at the blue line has taken years to develop.
In junior hockey, sure, Krebs’ skill would allow him take over a game like he did in the second period of Thursday’s 4-0 loss to the Florida Panthers. But in the NHL, Sabres coach Don Granato explained, he has been “building ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Remember that recent seven-goal outburst by the Sabres? As suspected, it turned out to be an anomaly.
On Thursday, they reverted back to their regular form, generating plenty of offense but showcasing a stunning lack of finish in their 4-0 loss to the heavyweight Florida Panthers before a crowd of 14,277 fans in KeyBank Center.
Fresh off Tuesday’s 7-0 triumph over the Los Angeles Kings, the Sabres pumped 45 shots on Anthony Stolarz, ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Center Casey Mittelstadt understands the trade speculation. The Sabres, after all, are mired in 14th place, a distant 12 points out of the Eastern Conference’s second wild card spot. Changes will inevitably come.
“I mean, it’s a business, right?” he said of his future being discussed.
In the midst of a disappointing year, Mittelstadt, 25, has emerged as the Sabres’ leading scorer and perhaps their most consistent forward. As a restricted free agent ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sabres center Peyton Krebs spoke confidently, explaining how once he starts scoring regularly, his game will be “lights out.”
“I think I have all the tools to be an elite – a really elite – player,” Krebs said following Monday’s practice in LECOM Harborcenter.
Since joining the Sabres two years ago, Krebs, who turns 23 on Friday, has established himself as their fourth-line pivot, showcasing a high-octane style, usually between Zemgus Girgensons and ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sabres winger Jeff Skinner, out the last five games with an upper-body injury, could return for tonight’s game against the Anaheim Ducks, the start of a three-game road trip.
Skinner, 31, practiced Monday in LECOM Harborcenter in his usual spot at left wing alongside center Tage Thompson and Alex Tuch.
“Skinner went full go in practice, and I’ll find out exactly what that means,” Sabres coach Don Granato said Monday in KeyBank Center. ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – When their six-game home stand began, the Sabres had an opportunity to ignite a run and roar into playoff contention. Instead, they blew perhaps their best chance to make up ground against their Eastern Conference foes.
The Sabres finished their longest stint at KeyBank Center this season 3-3-0. Kind of meh.
Overall, having gone 5-3-0 in their last eight outings, they’ve showcased improvement, most notably defensively. Still, they must make up seven points ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – These days, you rarely hear about that hefty contract Sabres winger Jeff Skinner signed five years ago. The 14-year veteran has not only recaptured his scoring prowess under coach Don Granato, he has evolved into a consistent, multi-faceted threat.
In averaging 34 goals and 73 points over the past two seasons, the struggles Skinner, 31, endured three and four years ago – he mustered six goals and 11 points during a wretched 66-game ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Early in Monday afternoon’s 3-0 win, Sabres coach Don Granato shuffled his lines to give them more directness.
Most notably, he shifted Casey Mittelstadt from left wing on the top line, where he had been subbing for Jeff Skinner, to center, his natural position, between Jordan Greenway and captain Kyle Okposo.
To replace Mittelstadt alongside center Tage Thompson and Alex Tuch, he promoted 18-year-old rookie Zach Benson, who began the game playing with ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen’s run as the Sabres’ starting goalie this season lasted about a week.
Shortly after he grabbed the No. 1 job, he got sick and missed about 10 days. When he returned, rookie Devon Levi had re-established himself following a brief trip to the minors, and the netminders mostly alternated starts about the next month.
But since Dec. 30, Luukkonen, who posted a 28-save shutout in Monday afternoon’s 3-0 win over the ... Read the full article