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Simple games: Notes from Sabres Practice

by Amy Moritz

Slow starts have plagued the Buffalo Sabres and to try and combat that trend, the team started practice with a three-on-three game which sparked high energy from the get-go of the hour-long workout at First Niagara Center this morning.

"We’ve talked about it a lot," coach Ron Rolston said of the slow start. "I think everyone’s aware of it. Now it’s just being able to go out early on and do it. We talked about it today. Even at the start of practice, that’s why we started with a game today in practice. It’s been a focus of ours and it’s a mindset that guys have to have."

The focus in today's practice was on the offensive end. With a 1-8-1 start and a league-worst 1.2 goals-per-game average, getting back to some fundamentals is one way to refocus.

"You know when things aren’t going well, really the most simple solution is to make everything easy, make everything something you’re comfortable doing," goaltender Ryan Miller said. "We talked about it for a while, but we really have to harp on it and lean on getting pucks deep and getting to work. We see a big difference in our offense when we get pucks deep. It’s going to help out our back end, too. Our ‘D’ will have a little bit less pressure and will be able to jump up and help a little bit more."

Tuesday's line charts:

Everyone was on the ice at practice today with the forward lines breaking down like this:

The defensive pairings:

McCormick, Leino, Tropp and Kaleta also skated.

HaborCenter announces hockey programming

Clarence native Kevyn Adams was named vice president and director of the HarborCenter Academy of Hockey, a premier hockey training and development program to be housed at the new facility. The academy will have a full-time staff of coaches to lead both on and off-ice programs for both players and coaches.

Also announced was the expansion of the Buffalo Junior Sabres Youth Organization. The Junior A team, which plays in the Ontario Junior Hockey League will have dedicated space at HarborCenter where it will practice and play its home games. The organization will expand to include a total of seven teams across multiple age groups – two teams at the Pee Wee level (minor/major), two at the Bantam level (minor/major) and teams at the 16U and 18U level.

Larry Playfair was named the president of the Buffalo Junior Sabres while Michael Peca the general manager and coach of the Junior A team.


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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl |

About Sabres Edge

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz |