BUFFALO – Barely two years ago, Sabres newcomer Christian Wolanin figured more NHL success would follow his standout rookie season. After morphing into a dominant AHL defenseman, he forced his way up to Ottawa, becoming one of the Senators’ regulars.
Then Wolanin tore his labrum preparing for training camp in 2019 and underwent surgery. The injury sidelined him until early March. Days after he returned, the COVID-19 pandemic ended the Senators’ season.
Last year, the ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – It can be easy to feel sorry for Carter Hutton these days.
Three months ago, Hutton ranked among the NHL’s best goalies. His superb netminding – he began the campaign 6-0-0 – helped buoy the Sabres’ terrific October.
But Hutton’s season started falling apart months ago. Incredibly, he hasn’t won a game since Oct. 22.
Saturday afternoon’s 6-3 loss to the Vancouver Canucks dropped Hutton’s record to 0-7-4 in his last 11 starts.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Long before he developed into a terrific net-front presence in the NHL, Sabres winger Sam Reinhart operated from the circle on the power play.
“It’s a pretty normal spot,” Reinhart said after scoring a power-play goal from the left circle in Saturday afternoon’s 6-3 loss to the Vancouver Canucks inside KeyBank Center.
After moving back there earlier this month, Reinhart has looked comfortable, scoring on two one-timers.
Those goals, believe it or not, ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sabres goalie Carter Hutton, who hasn’t won a game since Oct. 22 and has backed up Linus Ullmark the last eight contests, will start this afternoon against the Vancouver Canucks, coach Ralph Krueger said.
Hutton, 34, has struggled since starting the season 6-0-0, compiling a wretched 0-6-4 record with a ghastly 4.19 goals-against average and an .867 save percentage in his last 10 games.
He made his last appearance Dec. 19, making ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – After enduring a 20-game goal drought to start his Sabres career, winger Jimmy Vesey has scored five times in his last 21 outings.
“Which is about where I want to be,” Vesey said Friday after practicing on the top line beside center Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart.
Having averaged 17 goals over his first three NHL seasons with the New York Rangers, Vesey’s recent numbers are in line with his normal production.
“The ... Read the full article
Justin Bailey figured he fit in the Flyers’ plans. After arriving via a trade from the Buffalo Sabres organization in January, the Williamsville native shuttled between Philadelphia and the minors, playing 11 NHL games.
“Chuck Fletcher just traded for me in January,” Bailey told the Times Herald. “I got my games, I thought I showcased myself to the best of my ability with the opportunity that was given to me.”
But Fletcher, who took over ... Read the full article
VANCOUVER – The Buffalo Sabres were expected to take a goalie this year, and sure enough, they selected Erik Portillo 67th overall today in the third round at the NHL Draft.
Portillo spent last season at home in Sweden with Frölunda’s under-20 junior team, compiling a 1.90 goals-against average and a .931 save percentage.
The 6-foot-6, 209-pound Portillo could play in North America next season. The junior United States Hockey League’s Dubuque Fighting Saints own ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Who would’ve thought the Sabres, the NHL’s laughingstock a year ago, would suddenly become such a resilient bunch?
Just 17 games into the season, coach Phil Housley has already developed trust among his players, helping the upstart Sabres build an identity and mature.
Take, for example, Saturday afternoon’s wild 4-3, come-from-behind shootout win against the Vancouver Canucks, a game in which the Sabres rallied from a two-goal deficit in the final 2:27 of ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sam Reinhart and Jack Eichel have been Sabres teammates for 263 games over the last three-plus seasons.
In that time, Reinhart, 23, has compiled 67 goals and 151 points. On two occasions, the winger enjoyed a three-goal outing. In five other games, he recorded three points.
But Saturday afternoon’s 4-3 come-from-behind shootout win against the Vancouver Canucks might’ve been Reinhart’s best performance ever, according to Eichel.
“I thought Reino played awesome,” Eichel said. ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Over the past three weeks, the Sabres have taken a different approach to winger Tage Thompson’s development.
Instead of sending the youngster to the AHL, they’ve kept him and scratched him seven out of the last nine games, including four straight.
But they don’t want Thompson, 21, to sit for too long, so they’ve occasionally been working him in.
In Thursday’s 6-5 overtime win in Montreal, coach Phil Housley thought the play ... Read the full article