March 16, 2012 - 12:04 PM
Pneumonia is one nasty bug but Sabres defenseman Andrej Sekera is over it and had his first full practice today in First Niagara Center. Sekera hopes he can play tomorrow night against the Florida Panthers and the Sabres really need him to with Tyler Myers still on the shelf from his three-game suspension.
"I was short of breath. Even just to go upstairs in my house was tiring," Sekera said. "I couldn't breath very good. as time went on, it got better and better."
Sekera said he lost some weight -- "it wasn't a two-digit number but it was getting close -- but has put most of it back on. Now it's just a case of getting his conditioning back in form. Can he really play the 20-22 minutes we've become accustomed to seeing?
"I will do my best and I will see how it goes from period to period," he said. "I don't promise anything. I just want to get out, skate well and play a hard game to help this team win."
Coach Lindy Ruff took the ice today in a Sabres jacket with a "stop" sign on the back and a "yield" sign on the sleeves. It was a joke outfit made for him by close friend and PGA golfer Dudley Hart.
"That's my on-ice jacket, just a little bit of extra protection," said Ruff, who suffered three broken ribs in practice last month when Jordan Leopold took him out. "Guys notice the stop sign and yield so they don't run me over."
Nathan Gerbe (upper body) is skating on his own and will make the trip. His status is day to day.
Listen to audio from Sekera below.
March 9, 2012 - 6:14 PM
OTTAWA -- The Sabres wouldn't rule Thomas Vanek out of Saturday night's game here after practice Friday but in case he can't go, they have again called up Marcus Foligno on an emergency basis from Rochester.
Foligno is on his fourth recall to Buffalo because he was jet-trotting the continent earlier this week in case he was needed. The only game he's actually played was the 4-1 loss to the Senators here on Dec. 20. He made his NHL debut that night against the team featuring his older brother, Nick, and game two might be another family reunion.
Marcus Foligno is tied for second in scoring on the Amerks with 34 points (14 goals, 20 assists), and has 70 penalty minutes in 55 games.
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 21, 2012 - 11:23 AM
A quiet morning in Sabreland as a only a few players took an optional skate in First Niagara Center prior to tonight's game against the New York Islanders. Ryan Miller will be in goal for Buffalo, and he posted his franchise-record 235th career victory Feb. 4 in the Nassau Coliseum when the Sabres posted a 4-3 shootout win. The Islanders won the first two meetings, 2-1 and 4-2, as Jhonas Enroth started in goal.
The Islanders are coming off Monday's brutal 6-0 loss to Ottawa and enter tonight's game one point ahead of the Sabres in the tight Eastern Conference standings. They struggled in goal in that game as Kevin Poulin got a quick hook after two goals in the first 95 seconds and was replaced by Al Montoya, who beat Buffalo here in November. Starter Evgeni Nabokov has been saddled with the flu since Thursday and did not make the trip.
Islanders coach Jack Capuano did not attend his team's optional morning skate due to the flu and assistant Doug Weight said that Poulin will start in goal again tonight.
Tonight's game is the 150th regular season between the teams. Buffalo leads the series, 72-55-22, and is 40-23-11 against the Isles at home.
February 17, 2012 - 2:51 PM
The Montreal Canadiens will have a big hole on defense tonight in First Niagara Center as they have just traded 6-foot-7 Hal Gill and a conditional fifth round draft pick in 2013 to the Nashville Predators for Blake Geoffrion and Robert Slaney, as well as a second round draft pick in 2012.
Gill had played 53 games, averaging nearly 17 minutes. He had one goal, seven assists and a minus-7 rating. Geoffrion, 24, had no goals in 22 games for Nashville this season. He had six goals for Nashville last year -- including a hat trick March 20 in Buffalo, the game the Predators rallied from a 3-1 deficit with two goals by Geoffrion in the final three minutes and won in overtime, 4-3. Slaney has been in the minor leagues.
Geoffrion is the grandson of Hockey Hall of Famer Bernie "Boom Boom" Geoffrion, and the great-grandson of Hockey Hall of Famer Howie Morenz, both of whom were longtime Canadiens stars. He also was the first player raised in Tennessee to play for the Predators when he made his NHL debut last season.
So far, compensation for trades has been steep so that might bode well for the Sabres if they kick it into sell mode. Nashville gave up plenty for Gill, who will be a UFA. San Jose gave up a second-round pick to Tampa Bay Thursday night for ex-Sabre Dominic Moore (a second-rounder for Dominic Moore??!!), and Philadelphia gave up a second- and third-rounder to Dallas for defenseman Nicklas Grossman.
February 17, 2012 - 1:19 PM
The Sabres didn't skate this morning and instead hunkered down in their locker room for a video session. Pretty standard for the second day of a back-to-back. Would have liked to have been a fly on the wall for that popcorn-less session after last night's collapse in Philadelphia, where a 2-0 lead through 20 minutes turned into a 7-2 debacle.
"We still believe. We've just got to put together 60 minutes," Derek Roy insisted today. "For 20 minutes last night, we looked like a really, really good team. The last 40 we looked terrible."
Sure did. Blown defensive coverages all over the place, missed scoring opportunities, an 0-for-6 night on the power play and even a too many man on the ice penalty during one man advantage. It added up to one of the worst nights in recent team history. The team is so mentally fragile that once bad things happen, they're cooked.
"I don't know if it's mental toughness," said captain Jason Pominville. "They got momentum, they scored on a power play, we took a penalty we shouldn't have taken that led to 4-on-4 play and they scored on the power play again. We gave up opportunities they didn't even have to work for."
"You're in another building, youre up two goals and they go out and score a goal, you just have to go out there and keep making plays," Roy said. "You can't stray away from the game plan. You have to mentally be focused and know what you've got to do out there on the ice."
The Sabres meet Montreal tonight at 7:30 in First Niagara Center and the glass is half-full view is that Buffalo is 3-0 against the Habs this year -- all in the Bell Centre -- and has won six straight games vs. them overall. Montreal, coached by former Sabres player and assistant Randy Cunneyworth, is 4-1-1 in its last six.
The Habs lead the NHL in penalty killing (88.9 percent overall and 91.9 percent on the road). Buffalo is 20th on the power play -- but went 0 for 6 last night, is 1 for 24 in the last nine games and just 4 for 47 since the calendar hit 2012. The Sabres failed twice last night with the man-advantage when a goal would have made it 3-0.
"We ended up having eight chances to put it away and when you don't put them away, it just fits what's been going on," said coach Lindy Ruff. Brad Boyes was point-blank, Thomas [Vanek] hits a post. We had some situations we didn't take advantage of and that was a killer. Special teams was a killer last night."
Ryan Miller will start in goal tonight, with Ruff admitting today he nearly put Jhonas Enroth back in during the third period last night. Cody McCormick and Marc-Andre Gragnani are the scratches.
Hear the full interviews from Ruff, Pominville and Roy 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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