Kukla's Korner Hockey
BUFFALO, N.Y. (October 31, 2014) --- The Buffalo Sabres today announced the team has assigned forward Sam Reinhart to the Kootenay Ice of the Western Hockey League.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
It’s not a matter of if, but rather when the Buffalo Sabres flip pending UFA Chris Stewart.
There’s nothing imminent as far as we can tell. We reported earlier that the Boston Bruins have him as one of their targets and another Atlantic Division team the Ottawa Senators had talks earlier this month with the Sabres. The Senators tried to trade for him before the trade deadline last spring. They spoke again to Buffalo a few weeks back but nothing came of it for now.
The Bruins, meanwhile, have been hammered on defense by injuries, so perhaps their need would be best served there, but a source said Thursday that Boston’s plan right now is to ride this out, knowing that within a month or so most of their injured blueliners will be healthy. No panic trade in store.
more hockey topics including the Kings' salary cap issues and the Carolina Hurricanes...
from John Vogl of the Buffalo News,
There have been some horrible, downright despicable performances by the Sabres since they were founded in 1970. Pity anyone who watched one worse than Tuesday’s outing.
Buffalo’s 10th game of 2014-15 had folks looking to the calendar to see when this season will be over. Only 24 weeks and 72 games left!
Pity anyone who stays with this train wreck the whole way.
Goaltender Michal Neuvirth was the only player to show up for the Sabres, who slept from the opening faceoff to the merciful horn in a 4-0 loss to Toronto. Buffalo had just 10 shots, the fewest in franchise history, and looked worse than the peewee team it was compared to earlier in the season.
“It’s embarrassing,” right wing Drew Stafford said. “There’s no other way to describe it. I don’t know how we expect to win games let alone be competitive with that going on. We need to just wake up.”
from Ryan Dixon of Sportsnet,
The ultimate success of Buffalo’s complete reboot will largely be determined by the high-end picks the Sabres have either already made (Sam Reinhart, second overall last June) or are on target to make in the next year or two. That said, players like (Cody) Hodgson, Tyler Ennis and Marcus Foligno will be huge factors in determining just how fast Buffalo turns the corner, and how far it can go upon getting properly directed.
Hodgson has been a particular point of interest for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the fact he was part of an out-of-the-blue, one-for-one trade between Buffalo and the Vancouver Canucks that sent ruffian Zack Kassian the other way in February, 2012. While Kassian has developed into a rugged third-liner capable of chipping in offence with Vancouver, there remains no doubt that Buffalo made off with the more skilled player. Two years ago, during the lockout-shortened 2013 campaign, Hodgson posted the rough equivalent of a 25-goal season on a team that was just starting to crumble. And while his production dropped last year, Hodgson still registered 20 goals on a last-overall squad that was the only outfit in the league that failed to average at least two tallies per game.
from David Pollak of Working The Corners,
The tone in the room depended on who was doing the talking. Nobody wanted to label the Sabres one of the NHL’s weak franchises, though that’s undoubtedly true. Points don’t lie.
“The fact that they’re 1-7 when they came in? If you look at their lineup they’re a pretty good lineup. A lot of skill and a lot of speed,” Marc-Edouard Vlasic said. “If you look at their record, obviously it’s embarrassing that we lost but they play well. Just by looking at their record, 1-7, we shouldn’t have lost this game. But, they’re a hard-working team and they play a good system, and we were too late on waking up in the third.”
Likewise, Logan Couture wanted to focus more on the Sharks than the opposition when asked if it stings more because that fourth consecutive defeat involved Buffalo.
“I think it stings that we lost four in a row. I could care less what the Buffalo Sabres are doing right now,” he said. “The San Jose Sharks have lost four straight games, two at home, and haven’t played well.”
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
As first reported by TSN, the Bruins have been chasing Chris Stewart as a replacement for Jarome Iginla. The wide-shouldered forward scored 15 goals for St. Louis last season before he was shipped to Buffalo in the Ryan Miller trade.
Several factors, however, stand in the Bruins’ way of acquiring the free agent-to-be: cost and competition.
Buffalo GM Tim Murray is hungry for draft picks. Murray’s wish list would include Philadelphia’s 2015 second-round pick, which the Bruins received from the Islanders as part of the Johnny Boychuk trade....
Through seven games, the Flyers were 2-3-2 while allowing 3.71 goals per game. Part of that is on Steve Mason (.878 save percentage after five starts). But the goalie’s defense has not played with structure. They’re without MacDonald and Braydon Coburn, who are out for the next four weeks because of lower-body injuries. Points will be hard to come by for the Flyers. Their second-round pick could be in the low 30s.
The Bruins also have company in the Stewart hunt, just within the division. Ottawa has been interested in Stewart before. The Senators could use a No. 2 right wing (formerly Ales Hemsky) behind Bobby Ryan. Tim Murray was formerly an assistant in Ottawa to GM Bryan Murray, who is his uncle. Tim Murray knows the Ottawa system firsthand.
Columbus could also enter the mix.
more plus other topics including the shrinking fighters club...
from John Vogl of the Buffalo News,
If there's one thing Jordan Nolan learned through the years, it's that he can't slack off when his dad is around. Working hard means the world to Ted Nolan. The Sabres' coach believes an honest effort can lead to great things.
Jordan Nolan is living proof.
The 25-year-old forward has two champion rings with the Los Angeles Kings. Though not the most talented player on the Stanley Cup-winning roster, Nolan gets by with size and a determined work ethic -- two things he got from his dad.
"He’s pretty honest," Jordan Nolan said today. "He’s pretty black and white, but he’s also always pushing me to get better and always there to support me if I have something to talk about. If I’m not working hard, that’s his main thing. He’ll let me know."
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com who answers some questions from fans...
They've been targeting defensemen since the summer and I wouldn't count on general manager Ken Holland stopping until he gets one. They wanted Dan Boyle, but he went to the New York Rangers. Christian Ehrhoff was another one, but he went to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Now it's going to have to happen in a trade, and you've probably heard Buffalo Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers come up in rumors with the Red Wings. TSN's Bob McKenzie and Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman recently reported the Red Wings interest in Myers....
Detroit has other prospects that should interest most teams, including forward Landon Ferraro, defenseman Ryan Sproul, Xavier Ouellet and Alexey Marchenko, and goalie Petr Mrazek. Myers could cost the Red Wings one, two or even three of those players, plus draft picks, but the Sabres might not go for that.
Either way, the Red Wings need a right-handed shooting defenseman, but they also need to be careful about what they pay to get one.
more on the trade talk plus Avs, Jets and other topics too....
BUFFALO, N.Y. (October 20, 2014) --- The Buffalo Sabres today announced the team will officially retire the jersey of goaltender Dominik Hasek, one of the most prolific goaltenders in NHL history, in a ceremony scheduled to take place Jan. 13, 2015, prior to the team’s home game against the Detroit Red Wings at First Niagara Center. Hasek, who was the fifth and final Sabres player to wear No. 39, will be the seventh player in franchise history to receive the honor of having his jersey retired to the rafters. He was inducted into the Buffalo Sabres Hall of Fame on March 29 and will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Nov. 17.
from Justin Bourne of The Score,
When everyone says your team is going to suck and you’re hoping to prove them wrong, getting outshot 131-57 and outscored 14-4 en route to a 0-3-0 start is kind of the opposite of what you need. Just sayin’.
The Buffalo Sabres were never going to be a playoff team this season, but there were certainly people who thought they’d be better than last year when they tallied 52 points, the lowest total in the NHL since 2000-01. I’m sure some of those people are in their dressing room.
In fairness, they still very well might. But something happens when you realize you’re on a trainwreck of a team that kills your chances of even looking respectable. Players understandably change their focus from “team” to “player.” That’s less than ideal three games into the season.
When you’re on a squad that’s not going to out-talent anyone, your best chance to hang is to play tight hockey as a unit. If you can at least rely on one another to be positionally sound - something that doesn’t take talent, just a functional thinking machine - you can minimize the damage against.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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