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POSTED ON Friday, 01.06.2012 / 2:21 PM
By Scott Miner - Manager of Digital Media / THE MORNING SKATE
After missing the past 19 games with a broken wrist, Sabres blueliner Tyler Myers returns to action tonight when Buffalo takes on the Carolina Hurricanes at the RBC Center in Raleigh North Carolina. Myers rejoins the team at a critical time as Buffalo finds themselves sitting four points out of the eighth and final placeoff spot in the Eastern Conference.  After a 19-game absence, conditioning should not play a factor in tonight’s game as Myers was able to keep in game shape during his time off.

“He’s had a lot of good conditioning,” commented head coach Lindy Ruff. “We’re hoping he can lead our D in ice time. That is really my goal. I said we weren’t going to hold back. We have to evaluate it as it goes but the goal is to get him right back into the groove. “

Prior to the injury, Myers had played in 19 games and totaled six points (2+4) and was a plus- -4 and wants to contribute right away for the blue and gold. “It’s always frustrating when you’re not doing as well as you want to, but I’m not going to stand here and say that they need me to win. I’m just happy to be back and help the team as much as I can but they were doing just fine – we just know that we have to be better.”

Tyler is a big part of this team and he will be for many years. He logs a lot of minutes whether it is 5-on-5 or special teams so seeing him back and his energy out there is a nice boost for everyone. - Forward Jason Pominville
The Hurricanes find themselves sitting in the basement of the Eastern Conference. Eleven points out of the final playoff spot, the ‘Canes brought in Milwaukee Admirals coach Kirk Muller to try and spark the franchise. However a 5-8-3 record in his first sixteen games has the new head coach searching for a way to spark his club.

Forward Ville Leino skated with the team during this morning skate as he continues to rehab a lower body injury. Cody McCormick and defenseman TJ Brennan also skated extra following the workout leaning towards them being scratched for tonight’s contest.
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POSTED ON Saturday, 12.03.2011 / 1:54 PM
By Scott Miner - Manager of Digital Media / THE MORNING SKATE
A struggling Buffalo team caps off their sixth back-to-back series of the season when they take on the Nashville Predators tonight at Bridgestone Arena. The Sabres are 1-4-1 in their past six games and have scored just 13 goals. Injuries continue to plague the blue and gold, and a 4-1 loss last night to the Detroit Red Wings has left a sour taste in the mouths of the Sabres. Forward Thomas Vanek has just one goal in this stretch of games and head coach Lindy Ruff knows his top forward needs to convert on his opportunities.

“The opportunities are there and I thought he’s stayed with it. There wasn’t any of that stomp and hang your head, he just kept working and if you keep working than good things will happen."

Gerbe
The injury bug continues to bite the Sabres as forwards Patrick Kaleta and Nathan Gerbe did not make the trip to Nashville. The most concern lies with Gerbe who received a cut across his face during last night's game. During a third period faceoff, fellow Sabre Paul Gaustad cut Gerbe as he was tripped by Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk. Gerbe promptly skated off the ice and was attended to by the Buffalo trainers. He was unable to travel with the team.

Click here for the Lindy Ruff podcast

“He’s not doing well so we left him at home so he won’t play. He received a lot of stitches and doesn’t feel too well and didn’t get any sleep last night. Not sure how many stitches he received but it was enough.”

With Gerbe set to miss time, Buffalo has recalled Rochester Americans forward Corey Tropp. The recall will be Tropp’s third of the season and he has two points (1+1) in 10 games with the big club.

Miller
The good news on the injury front is that goaltender Ryan Miller is set to return to action. Miller has been out the past nine games with an upper body injury courtesy of Boston's Milan Lucic. The Sabres managed only three wins since losing Miller and Ruff knows that goaltending is one of the keys to getting his club back on track

“On 95 percent of the occasions your goaltender has to be a difference maker. For a long time Jhonas (Enroth) was, but he’s struggled a bit. We need Ryan to step in and play well and obviously this is a great opportunity for him.”



Mueller
West Seneca native Chris Mueller will be in the line-up for Nashville. Mueller signed as a free agent with the Predators in 2010 and spent time with their AHL affiliate in Milwaukee. This is Mueller’s first recall of the season, after playing 15 games for them last season. He is quite excited to take on his hometown team.

Click here for the Chris Mueller podcast.

“It’s always exciting when you’re recalled, whether it’s your first game or your one hundredth. When I found out it was against the Sabres it was like my first game all over again.”



Game time is 8 p.m. and can be seen on MSG. Make sure to tune in at 7:30 p.m. for Tops Game Night.
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POSTED ON Saturday, 10.22.2011 / 2:44 PM
By Scott Miner - Manager of Digital Media / THE MORNING SKATE
MORNING SKATE PODCASTSM
Lindy Ruff Interview
Paul Gaustad Interview
Luke Adam Interview
With a four game road trip coming to an end, Buffalo is in Tampa Bay to take on the Lightning at 7:00 pm. Since dropping their home opener to Carolina, Buffalo has gone on the road and captured all six possible points. Victories over Pittsburgh, Montreal and Florida are no small feat, but Buffalo will have to play their best tonight if they want to leave Florida with a win.

Forwards Paul Gaustad and Drew Stafford did skate this morning for Buffalo and head coach Lindy Ruff did say that yesterday’s absence was simply a maintenance day for the two. Jochen Hecht participated heavily but still remains day-to-day.

Look for the lines to remain the same tonight and Miller to start in goal. Ruff stated that while he initially wanted backup netminder Jhonas Enroth to start this game, Miller would get the nod. Miller has given up just one goal in the past two games including his 23rd career shutout Thursday night against the Panthers.
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POSTED ON Friday, 10.21.2011 / 1:31 PM
By Scott Miner - Manager of Digital Media / BEYOND THE BOARDS

I’ve been with the Sabres for three seasons now, and I can’t count the number of times people make the comment “that is so cool” or “you’re so lucky.” They’re right. Working for an NHL franchise is a unique opportunity that only a few may get the chance to have. What has made this experience better is the fact that I am from the area (Crystal Beach, Ont.) and grew up a Sabres fan.

Since the change in ownership, an emphasis has been placed on new media and making this website a place for all Sabres information. For that to happen, the road games needed a voice and I raised my hand for the opportunity. However I am constantly asked what I saw, what I did and where did I go when I was on the road -- sometimes more than I am asked about the team. Rather than crank out another typical practice blog, I thought I would give you an insight into what life on the road with the team is. I’ll use last Saturday's game in Pittsburgh as an example.

Press Box @ the Consol Energy Center

Following the home opener against Carolina on Friday, I drove directly from First Niagara Center to the airport and hopped the team charter to Pittsburgh. Our short flight landed roughly a little after Midnight. From there it was a bus ride to a downtown Pittsburgh hotel, where I got online and posted the information from Friday night's game. Since I had been awake since 7 a.m. prepping for the home opener, I passed out pretty quickly. The next morning I woke up again around 7 a.m. and prepped Sabres.com for that night's game, making sure all the necessary information was online and ready for the fans. Then it was on to a bus and over to the Consol Energy Center for an 11:30 a.m. morning skate, where a couple of quick interviews later, I was back on the bus, back to the hotel and back in my room editing audio files, writing a blog and uploading video files to Sabres TV. By this point it’s around 3 p.m. and I was starved.

Genoa Salami w/Peppers & Onions

After a quick lunch at Primanti Bros. (if there is such a thing) and a walk back to the hotel, I was back on the bus and heading to the arena to prep for the game itself. I found my press box seat and double-checked that all information for that game was online. It’s around 6 p.m. at this point so I grabbed a coffee and settled in for the game.

(Check out the AFTERMATH of that game for my take on that.)

As the game is ending, I start to run across the press box and down to the locker room for more audio clips and interviews. From there it’s back on the bus, over to the airport and a 45-minute flight back to Buffalo. Around 1:30 a.m., I stroll through my door, inevitably waking my dog up who decides he wants to play. I grab a frosty beverage from my fridge and hop back online to post the plethora of information that I have compiled, finishing up around 2:15 a.m., and promptly asleep.

I had a pleasant Sunday (up until the Bills lost) relaxing with my dog, and getting everything packed up since I was flying out the next day at 3 p.m. for the three-game road trip that started in Montreal.

My Basset Hound Mush

Throughout the course of the game day, I had about two hours to myself where hockey wasn’t consuming my thoughts. I’m not complaining that this is a hard life, but it is far from easy. For all those asking their questions of what did you see and what did you do, the answer is usually: a hotel room, a rink, a locker room and the inside of a plane. Workdays of 15-18 hours are pretty much a given 82 times a year (but the preseason is a lot easier). A strict diet of black coffee and sarcasm holds you in check, while battles with local media, PR representatives, and wireless internet snafus are bound to happen throughout my day.

Could I trade this all in for a cushy 9-5 job, running websites and systems for different company? Absolutely. Would I? Not a chance.

This was the first time in my four years with the Sabres that I have written something this off-the-cuff and non-hockey. I had the opportunity to go to the NHL Premiere Series as well as this current road trip to Montreal, Ft. Lauderdale and Tampa Bay. I wanted to shed a bit of light on the other side of things.

If you want to hear about any of those trips in a non-hockey sense, drop me a line at scott.miner@sabres.com. I’ll be more than happy to write about those.


The team skated at the Ice Sports Forum without forwards Paul Gaustad and Drew Stafford. Gaustad suffered a hip flexor in last night’s game against the Florida Panthers and Stafford sat out with an undisclosed injury. Head coach Lindy Ruff commented that both players were given a maintenance day but there shouldn’t be any issues with them for tomorrow night’s game.

Hecht

Jochen Hecht returned to the ice after taking yesterday off. Ruff said while he isn’t ready to play just yet, he is getting pretty close. With the truncated list of forwards on the ice, Hecht was on a line with Matt Ellis and Cody McCormick. Brad Boyes moved up the depth chart for the day playing wing along side Derek Roy and Tyler Ennis while Ville Leino found himself playing alongside Nathan Gerbe and Patrick Kaleta.

Buffalo takes on Tampa Bay tomorrow night at 7 pm. Make sure to tune into MSG at 6:30 p.m. for Tops Game Night, the official pregame show of the Sabres.


The Sabres head into the St. Pete Times Forum on Saturday looking to complete the ninth "Sunshine Sweep" in franchise history. Since 1993, the Sabres have made 26 trips to Florida for back-to-back games against the Lightning and Panthers. They’ve swept eight of them, including five of the last eight trips. There have also been 11 splits, and they have been swept just four times. Two other sets ended in win/tie, with another finishing loss/tie.  

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POSTED ON Thursday, 10.20.2011 / 1:49 PM
By Scott Miner - Manager of Digital Media / THE MORNING SKATE
We need to make sure that we are more disciplined because they have scored quite a few power play goals these last couple of games. We need to build on things we did in Montreal and make sure that our execution is good. - Forward Drew Stafford
Since dropping their home opener against the Hurricanes, the Sabres have won their last two road games and are looking to make it three in a row tonight when they take on the Panthers in Sunrise, Florida. A 3-1 win over Montreal on Tuesday was highlighted by the play of Ryan Miller who stopped 40 shots in the win.

Today’s morning skate had a more intense feel to it as the team spent time working on their special teams. This is an area that is need of a spark as Buffalo has only mustered three goals in 16 attempts and given up two shorthanded goals. Forward Drew Stafford knows the team needs to tighten up to make sure they can handle a surging Florida unit that is tied for second in the NHL with eight power play goals.

“We need to make sure that we are more disciplined because they have scored quite a few power play goals these last couple of games. We need to build on things we did in Montreal and make sure that our execution is good.”



MORNING SKATE PODCASTSM
Lindy Ruff Interview
Luke Adam Interview
Drew Stafford Interview
A revamped Florida team is playing like they are already in the playoffs. The offseason additions of forwards Tomas Fleischmann, Scottie Upshall, Kris Versteeg, Sean Bergenheim, Tomas Kopecky and Marcel Goc have combined for seven of Florida’s 13 goals through the first five games of the season.

The Panthers also steadied their defense with the acquisition of veteran Ed Jovanovski and Brian Campbell, who leads the team in assists with seven. This new-look Panthers team has the ability to produce on the ice, and head coach Lindy Ruff knows that.

“They’ve proven that they are very competitive through the first few games and I don’t think that is going to change,” commented Ruff. “I think they (Florida) like where they’re at and I think they are just looking to improve, so I think they can be a winner.”



Hecht
Forward Jochen Hecht did not participate in today's skate. Head coach Lindy Ruff mentioned that this is not a reflection of the head injury that Hecht has been suffering but rather he just wasn’t feeling well.

Puck drop is set for 7:30 p.m. and can be seen on MSG. Don’t forget to tune into MSG at 7 p.m. to check out the Tops Game Night pregame show.


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POSTED ON Wednesday, 10.19.2011 / 2:29 PM
By Scott Miner - Manager of Digital Media / BEYOND THE BOARDS
Buffalo left Montreal with a 3-1 win over the Canadiens however that game could be described as a steal. The team managed only three shots in the first period and seemed to be constantly under fire from a pressing Habs team. If not for the stout play between the pipes of Ryan Miller, the outcome could have been a different story.

I thought we skated well at practice this morning and for whatever reason we didn’t skate well last night so hopefully we can push through it and get back to game speed we were at the previous games. - Head Coach Lindy Ruff
Goaltending has been the major reason why the Sabres are sitting at 4-1-0 through five games. In their four wins, Buffalo netminders have surrendered an average of 1.5 goals per game. Last night the Sabres allowed 41 shots to get through to Miller who turned all but one away, making a number of key saves late in the game that gave the Sabres an opportunity to win the game.

Prior to boarding a plane for Florida, the Sabres took to the ice at Montreal’s practice facility. Head coach Lindy Ruff drove his team hard in the morning session after last night’s flat performance in the first period.

“I thought we skated well at practice this morning and for whatever reason we didn’t skate well last night so hopefully we can push through it and get back to game speed we were at the previous games”



ADDITIONAL LINKSM
Lindy Ruff Interview
The one change that did stand out at practice today was the lines as Ruff paired the lines back up from last nights’ game. Luke Adam continued to center the line between Jason Pominville and Thomas Vanek, while Derek Roy centered Drew Stafford and Tyler Ennis. The line of Paul Gaustad, Patrick Kaleta and Nathan Gerbe returned and Cody McCormick was flanked with Ville Leino and Brad Boyes.

Since signing a six year deal with the Sabres, winger-turned-center Leino has struggled to mesh with the system, however Ruff knows this won’t be for vary long.

“I think there is a little frustration but it takes time to fit in. It takes time to find the right guys to play with. We’re trying to hang in their and develop a little bit of chemistry, but it may take 20-30 games, it may take longer. But it does not surprise at all that a new guy coming in struggles a little bit with the guys he’s playing with



The Sabres play in Florida tomorrow night before heading to Tampa to cap off this four game road trip.
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POSTED ON Tuesday, 10.18.2011 / 1:26 PM
By Scott Miner - Manager of Digital Media / THE MORNING SKATE
Luke Adam
Not even ten games into the 2011 season, a number of surprises have popped up in the NHL. Not too many people would have thought that Toronto would be 3-0-1 and leading the Northeast Division or that Colorado would start the year off with five road wins. And not too many people would have thought that a rookie center for the Sabres would be second on the team in points with six and tied for the lead in goals with three.

Forward Luke Adam started training camp fighting for a spot on the roster and managed to make the team when veteran center Jochen Hecht went down with an injury. He moved up the depth chart and has been centering a line of Jason Pominville and Thomas Vanek since the season kicked off. Picking up his third goal of the year in Pittsburgh this past Saturday, Adam has found chemistry with his line-mates and hopes to keep generating offense tonight when the Sabres take on the Canadiens in Montreal.

The team skated this morning at the Bell Centre in preparation for the game and with Montreal still struggling to find their identity Buffalo can jump out and take a quick lead in the Northeast Division. Goaltender Ryan Miller knows exactly what it takes to beat the Canadiens. The goalkeeper is 19-8-5 in 32 games against the Canadiens and looks for his 20th win tonight.

“They’re a division rival, and I want to beat everyone I can” Goaltender Ryan Miller on playing the Canadiens.



MORNING SKATE PODCASTSM
Lindy Ruff Interview
Ryan Miller Interview
Luke Adam Interview
Gragnani Interview
Defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani is set to play tonight. The blueliner has struggled since returning from the NHL Premiere Series and most notably in Pittsburgh this Saturday night. Gragnani knows he needs to play his game and be better if he wants to remain in the lineup for Buffalo. “If you look at the guys we have on this team, it’s a hell of a D-corp. So if I’m not performing like I should be, it’s only right that I shouldn’t be in the line-up.” Gragnani will have the opportunity to bounce back tonight when he takes the ice in front of his hometown fans.



All is calm on the injury front for the Sabres. Jochen Hecht continues to progress and is listed as day-to-day. Puck drop is set for 7:30 p.m. and can be seen on MSG. Don’t forget to tune into MSG a half hour before game time to check out the Tops Game Night pregame show.

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POSTED ON Saturday, 10.15.2011 / 1:12 PM
By Scott Miner - Manager of Digital Media / THE MORNING SKATE
Jhonas Enroth
For the second time this year, the Sabres are on the road playing the second half of a back-to-back series. Buffalo traveled to Pittsburgh last night and took the ice this morning for a quick session at the Consol Energy Center. A little more than half the players took part in the optional session, most notably goaltender Jhonas Enroth who was confirmed as the starter for tonight’s game against the Penguins. Head coach Lindy Ruff made it a point to say during his morning press conference that in back-to-back scenarios, goaltenders would need to share the workload.

“We plan on using Jhonas a fair amount, so in back-to-back situations, we are definitely going to use him. The overall plan for him is every 3-to-4 games to get him in.”

The Sabres will need to see an improvement on their special teams in the wake of last night’s 4-3 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. The teams power play was 0-6 on the night and gave up 2 short-handed goals… trends that Ruff knows cannot continue.

“We played some situations to aggressively, gambled, and talked about that as a team and it is definitely something we have to clean up.”

MORNING SKATE PODCASTSM
Lindy Ruff Interview
Jhonas Enroth Interview
Pittsburgh is on an early season roll, currently unbeaten in regulation and sitting in first place in the Atlantic division. Sidney Crosby still remains out of the line-up and the Pens will be without another key player as Evgeni Malkin will sit for the third time in four games as he rests his surgically repaired right knee. Mike Weber, Matt Ellis and Jochen Hecht all appear to be out of the lineup for the four-consecutive game.

Game time is 7:00 P.M. and can be seen on MSG. Don’t forget to tune into MSG at 6:30 for the Tops Game Night pregame show featuring an exclusive interview with Christian Ehrhoff and follow along with the game on Twitter with @SabresDotCom.
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POSTED ON Wednesday, 09.28.2011 / 10:16 AM
By Scott Miner - Manager of Digital Media / THE MORNING SKATE
Hey Sabres Fans!

Welcome to the the morning skate blog! Each game day, this blog will be updated to give you the latest information from Lindy Ruff and company. Pregame podcasts, videos, lines, photos and more will be housed here so you have all the information you need for that nights game.

Talk to you all soon!
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POSTED ON Friday, 04.22.2011 / 3:12 PM
By Scott Miner - Manager of Digital Media / THE NEW ERA

With the series tied at two, the Sabres are back in Philadelphia for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. The focus of the series has swung toward a physical style of play, and the Sabres have certainly shown a willingness and an ability to increase the intensity.  Buffalo collected 24 hits on Wednesday night with Tyler Myers leading the charge with five.

Head coach Lindy Ruff knows that intensity and physical play are what will lead his team to a victory.

“The emotion in this series has been great,” said Ruff. “I think it got ramped up a little bit, and I think it will be the guys on the ice who dictate who wins this series.”

4/22 - Lindy Ruff Pre-Game

The Sabres spent the majority of their morning skate working on the power play. Buffalo’s special teams are on opposite sides of the spectrum with its penalty kill at 90.5% for the series while the man-advantage units are producing at a 15.8% (3-for-19) rate.  Perhaps the most frustrating moment of the series, in terms of special teams, was the five-minute power play that Buffalo had in the third period of Wednesday night’s game. The Sabres started the final period with the man advantage after Flyers captain Mike Richards was assessed a major penalty for elbowing. The Sabres struggled to get anything going, managing just two shots during the power play and had trouble gaining entry into the Philadelphia zone for stretches of time. 

Look for defenseman Jordan Leopold to make a return to Buffalo’s power play. Ruff stated this morning that Leopold would get an opportunity to make a return to the special teams tonight.

Flyers forwards Andreas Nodl and Jeff Carter are listed as day-to-day with injuries according to NHL.com.  Defenseman Chris Pronger did participate in the morning skate for Philadelphia and remained on the ice for several minutes after, shooting pucks at the empty net. His status still remains day-to-day as Head Coach Peter Laviolette refused to comment on any changes to his lineup.

4/22 - Peter Laviolette Pre-Game

The game is set for 7:30 p.m. and can be seen on MSG, TSN and Versus. Follow all the play-by-play with Twitter.com/SabresDotCom and check back after the game for post-game reactions from players, coaches and more!

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SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Hodgson 72 20 24 -26 44
T. Ennis 80 21 22 -25 43
D. Stafford 70 16 18 -19 34
C. Ehrhoff 79 6 27 -27 33
C. Stewart 63 15 11 0 26
C. Conacher 79 7 19 1 26
T. Myers 62 9 13 -26 22
Z. Girgensons 70 8 14 -6 22
M. Foligno 74 7 12 -17 19
J. McBain 69 6 11 -13 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Neuvirth 4 8 2 .921 2.78
J. Enroth 4 17 5 .911 2.82