February 27, 2012 - 7:31 PM
News Sabres Reporter Mike Harrington and NHL Columnist Bucky Gleason discuss the Sabres' moves on trade deadline day:
February 27, 2012 - 4:18 PM
The Sabres have traded center Paul Gaustad to Nashville, along with a fourth-round pick in exchange for a first-rounder.
Additionally, the Sabres shipped winger Zack Kassian and defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani to Vancouver for center Cody Hodgson and defenseman Alexander Sulzer.
Here is a video of highlights from General Manager Darcy Regier's news conference:
Here is the full audio:
February 27, 2012 - 11:20 AM
BuffaloNews.com and the Sabres Edge blog will provide thorough coverage leading up to and following today's 3 p.m. NHL trade deadline.
It kicks off with The News' Bucky Gleason, John Vogl and Mike Harrington live chatting at 12:30 p.m. A live two-hour video broadcast starts at 1:30 p.m., hosted by Tim Graham and Jay Skurski, with updates from Vogl and Harrington from First Niagara Center. Any news conferences will be carried live as well.
February 21, 2012 - 5:53 PM
New York Islanders coach Jack Capuano is suffering from the same flu bug that forced goaltender Evgeni Nabakov to stay home on this trip, and he has decided to stay back at the team hotel and not direct the Isles in tonight's game at First Niagara Center.
(No truth to the rumor Capuano was completely sickened by his team's no-show Monday against Ottawa.)
Capuano will be replaced tonight by Doug Weight, the longtime NHL veteran who won a Stanley Cup with Carolina in 2006 and wrapped up his career with the Isles last season. By this time, I'm guessing Weight knows who Jason Pominville is.
You may recall that it was Weight's boarding call against Pominville during overtime of Game Six here that set up Daniel Briere's overtime goal that allowed the Sabres to pull even in the '06 Eastern Conference finals. Weight said afterward he didn't even know Pominville's first name, to which the then-Buffalo rookie famously shot back, "He knows my last name because he hit me from behind."
Great memories. And now the Sabres struggle just to climb into -- maybe -- 11th place in the East if things all go the right way tonight. Oh, well.
Be sure to join me here at 7 for tonight's live game blog.
February 15, 2012 - 5:47 PM
The Sabres began a stretch of four games in six nights with Tuesday's loss to the Devils.
Thursday's game against the Flyers starts a run of three games in four days, including a 12:30 p.m. start Sunday against the Penguins in First Niagara Center.
That means Ryan Miller is due for a rest soon. The Sabres' goalie has started 10 straight games.
"It’ll be a conversation I’ll have with Ryan today," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said after practice in First Niagara Center. "But I think if you look at four in less than six [days] and an afternoon game in there with three in less than four [days], Jhonas [Enroth] is probably going to have to play one of these two [either Thursday in Philadelphia or Friday at home against Montreal]."
The complete audio of Ruff's interview is below.
February 15, 2012 - 2:38 PM
The Sabres practiced today in First Niagara Center before leaving for Philadelphia to face the Flyers tomorrow night.
Forward Brad Boyes and defenseman Robyn Regehr were not on the ice, with coach Lindy Ruff saying both got "maintenance days" and should be ready to play Thursday.
Regehr was a little banged up after blocking a couple shots in Tuesday's 4-1 loss to the Devils.
The line combinations were:
Matt Ellis was centering a fourth line with Zack Kassian.
Spoiler alert: Read more about Ville Leino and his return to Philadelphia in Thursday's Buffalo News.
February 15, 2012 - 2:10 PM
The news sounded grim, even frightening, when delivered by Sabres coach Lindy Ruff on Jan. 24.
Veteran forward Jochen Hecht had suffered another concussion -- his second of the season and third in less than a year -- one that left him "really unstable."
Ruff described Hecht as "a mess," said he "couldn't focus" and that the team was worried about him.
"He's in a tough place right now," the coach said.
So the sight of Hecht smiling after a workout today was a welcome one for the team.
"I feel good," Hecht said in his first meeting with reporters since being hurt. "I rode the bike the last couple days. Now I’m at that point where I can start working out again and pump the intensity up slowly."
That's a point Ruff wasn't sure would come this season, or maybe ever.
"I really felt he was in a bad place when we left Jersey, that he may not bounce back from this one. But it seems with some of the treatment he's had that he's on the right track to coming back and skating again and may play."
Hecht had a non-surgical procedure done last week that he said involved the use of needles being placed in his back. It's worth noting that acupuncture has been used to treat post-concussion symptoms, although Hecht did not explicitly describe the procedure as that.
"It was pins and needles they put in the back, and medicine, and it took away some of those sensations I had," he said.
No timetable has been set for Hecht's return to the ice, but he's confident that will come this season.
"That’s why I’m working out and doing all the rehab again," he said, as sweat dripped from his forehead. "I still have to go through the bike rides where they monitor my heart rate and look that I’m symptom-free and I’m just going to go from there.
"It was a very tough day on me mentally, in New Jersey [when] I realized that all that came back again. I feel pretty upbeat now that I can go on the bike again, do some workouts, -- even though they’re light workouts -- do something and still feel good about myself and the rest of the day."
Hecht is in the final year of a contract that pays him $3.5 million this season. While there's no guarantee the 34-year-old German will be back with the Sabres, he's got a long life to live once he decides his playing days have come to an end.
That was certainly on his mind Wednesday as he talked about how happy he was to be free of symptoms.
"Even the long-term effects 20 years from now, it makes it a lot better that I don’t have scrambled eggs and I’ll still be able to spend time with the kids and do all that fun stuff," he said.
The audio from Hecht's interview is below.
February 8, 2012 - 11:45 AM
Lindy Ruff will not be behind the First Niagara Center bench tonight for the Buffalo Sabres for the first time since March 20, 2006, and James Patrick will be in charge as the Sabres meet the Boston Bruins.
Patrick will move from changing the defense pairs to changing the forward lines and Kevyn Adams, who has been on the bench all season, will change the defense. First-year assistant Teppo Numminen will move down from the press box to the bench for the first time since his playing career ended here in 2009.
Patrick said Ruff is "hoping to be here" but it's certainly up in the air if the head coach if will be in the building tonight. Patrick said he could be in the press box or could simply stay in the coaches' suite in the locker room area and watch the game on the big-screen TV.
Patrick said it a little unusual to be calling forward lines but will try to keep things business as usual.
"The helpful thing is there's a lot of veteran guys with Pommer [Jason Pominville] and Gaus [Paul Gaustad] and Derek Roy," Patrick said. "It's a pretty veteran lineup. And they communicate on the bench and I don't expect any problems.
"It is a new voice but at the same time, the game plan will be the same," Pominville said. "The systems will be the same. Not much is going to change besides the person speaking and talking to us in intermission. Our focus has to remain the same. No matter who's there, we have the trust and confidence in what they're capable of doing."
"It's the ebb and flows of hockey. You can't predict how you're going to play the game either," said defenseman Jordan Leopold, whose collision with Ruff Monday caused the coach's three broken ribs. "It's one of those things. We're plenty prepared either way. If Lindy were back there, great. If not, we'll make do and stick with our system. He's made sure everything is implemented. It's just a matter of us going out there and doing it."
Patrick had a brief on-ice meeting with the team at end of the morning skate and said his message was to continue to be hard on the puck as the club has been during its 3-0-1 run. He said his first foray as a head coach should be interesting, especially if he needs to make his case known to the referees.
"Usually Lindy has to tell me to stop yelling at the referees so I've had a lot of practice at that," Patrick said. "You get answers or get a little more respect whhen you're the head coach. Hopefully that's not an issue."
Thomas Vanek skated with the team today and Patrick said he's improving. Vanek confirmed he's hoping to play this weekend, either Friday against Dallas or Saturday against Tampa Bay.
Hear Patrick's session with reporters below:
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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.
About Sabres Edge
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.
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.
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