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POSTED ON Saturday, 01.18.2014 / 1:14 PM
By Chris Ryndak - Sabres.com (@chrisryndak) / THE MORNING SKATE

The Buffalo Sabres will hope to cool down the surging Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday.

The Blue Jackets come into Buffalo after defeating the Washington Capitals 5-1 at home Friday night. Columbus has won its past five games and is 6-1-0 during the month of January.

Buffalo has gotten some positive results on home ice as of late and will look to keep that going against the Blue Jackets at 7 p.m. They’re 6-1-2 in their past eight games at First Niagara Center.

“It’s one of those things where we have to realize this is our building and we have a good club here,” Sabres center Zenon Konopka said after the team's optional morning skate. “It’s about us, not about the opponents coming in here. We have to expect to win every night here in our building and not hope, but expect. It should be a real good game tonight.”


Blue Jackets forward Nick Foligno has been having a career year so far. He’s scored and 12 goals and recorded 14 assists in 41 games. His play has impressed his younger brother, the Sabres’ Marcus Foligno.

“He’s improved a lot and this year, the points have come for him and the way he’s played every game, he’s been consistent and he’s been pretty gritty,” Marcus Foligno said. “He’s got a couple fights and he’s putting up good numbers. He’s a guy that does it all and when he’s having a great night, he’s really noticeable and he’s a good player.”

“For myself, I want to relate to that. You want to learn off him. He’s the older brother so you want to take after him sometimes. Not all the time, though. It comes with who we are the background that we have.”


Foligno missed Buffalo’s last game with an injury, but will be ready to go against Columbus.

Wing Linus Omark and defenseman Alexander Sulzer will be the team’s healthy scratches.

John Scott will once again be in for Omark again on the team’s fourth line. With Omark being a more offensive-minded player, Sabres interim coach Ted Nolan said Omark will likely have to wait for a spot on the top three lines to open up before he can return to the lineup.

“We just played well last game so we’ll keep the same lineup. There’s not much he can do. He’s just got to continue to work and be patient,” Nolan said.

Ryan Miller is expected to start in goal for Buffalo.

The game will also be Tyler Myers’ 300th in the NHL. He returned from a three-game suspension on Wednesday and recorded an assist in 26:02 of ice time, his second-highest total ice time of the season.


EXPECTED LINEUP

26 Matt Moulson – 63 Tyler Ennis – 21 Drew Stafford
9 Steve Ott – 19 Cody Hodgson – 23 Ville Leino
82 Marcus Foligno – 65 Brian Flynn – 28 Zemgus Girgensons
32 John Scott – 24 Zenon Konopka – 37 Matt Ellis

10 Christian Ehrhoff – 3 Mark Pysyk
6 Mike Weber – 57 Tyler Myers
44 Brayden McNabb – 4 Jamie McBain

30 Ryan Miller
1 Jhonas Enroth

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POSTED ON Friday, 01.17.2014 / 2:56 PM
By Chris Ryndak - Sabres.com (@chrisryndak) / BEYOND THE BOARDS

Marcus Foligno missed the Buffalo Sabres’ last game against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday due to an injury, but was a full participant in practice Friday with at First Niagara Center.

He said he’ll be ready to go Saturday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets when the two teams meet at 7 p.m.

“[It was] a reoccurring injury that just kind of got pinched in the game against Philly [on Tuesday] and it’s all better now,” he said. “The trainers looked after me and it’s something where you just needed to rest it and I’m looking forward to getting back at it tomorrow.”

WATCH: MARCUS FOLIGNO INTERVIEW

Some other familiar faces rejoined the Buffalo Sabres for practice. Henrik Tallinder and Kevin Porter skated with the team.

Tallinder has missed six games with an upper-body injury. He sustained the injury on his first shift of the team’s game against the Washington Capitals on Dec. 29. He ended up playing 21:05 in the game.

“Because you’re so pumped with adrenaline, you don’t really feel it when you’re playing. It’s more a couple hours after the game when everything’s cooling down, that’s when you feel the injury,” he said.

Tallinder practiced with the team the morning they left for their next game in Winnipeg, but ended up not making the trip.

“We thought it was just a bone bruise and I couldn’t even hold my stick,” he said. “So we took a look at the x-ray again and they could spot a little crack in there.”

Tallinder said he won’t be ready for Buffalo’s home game Saturday against the Columbus Blue Jackets but hopes to play next week.

WATCH: HENRIK TALLINDER INTERVIEW


Porter and Cody McCormick skated in red non-contact jerseys. Nolan said they’re both still at least a week away from playing.

Porter has been out since Dec. 23 with a lower-body injury. McCormick last played 12 games ago, on Dec. 17.

Since Tallinder, Porter and McCormick are on injured reserve, the organization would need to make roster moves in order to activate them for game action with the Sabres.


Drew Stafford had missed four games with an upper-body injury, but played against Toronto. He was put on the top line with Matt Moulson and Tyler Ennis to start the game.

WATCH: TED NOLAN PRESS CONFERENCE

Zemgus Girgensons, who had been playing on the right wing with Ennis and Moulson skated with Ville Leino and Brian Flynn on the third line.

“Whatever line Girgensons plays with, I think you’re going to get the same effort. Whether he’s with Ennis or with Flynn or whoever’s he with, he’s going to do the same thing,” Nolan said. “With Drew, we just need a little bit more from him.”

When Matt D’Agostini went down with an upper-body injury, the coaching staff was forced to juggle the lines a bit. Nolan said D’Agostini will miss about a week.

WATCH: DREW STAFFORD INTERVIEW

Stafford finished the game with 19:46 of ice time and two shots on goal.

“It was good to get back in. It was a little tough we lost a forward right away, double-shifting a couple times and we were rolling three lines,” Stafford said. “I was kind of thrown right into the fire. They’re a pretty physical team so it was a pretty good test. I felt all right. Nice to have a day to recover and looking forward having a good one tomorrow.”


26 Matt Moulson – 63 Tyler Ennis – 21 Drew Stafford
9 Steve Ott – 19 Cody Hodgson – 23 Ville Leino
82 Marcus Foligno – 65 Brian Flynn – 28 Zemgus Girgensons
32 John Scott / 17 Linus Omark – 24 Zenon Konopka – 37 Matt Ellis
Red Non-Contact: 8 Cody McCormick – 12 Kevin Porter

10 Christian Ehrhoff – 3 Mark Pysyk
6 Mike Weber – 57 Tyler Myers
44 Brayden McNabb – 4 Jamie McBain
20 Henrik Tallinder – 52 Alexander Sulzer

30 Ryan Miller
1 Jhonas Enroth

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POSTED ON Wednesday, 01.15.2014 / 5:43 PM
By Chris Ryndak - Sabres.com (@chrisryndak) / THE MORNING SKATE

TORONTO – Tyler Myers, Drew Stafford and John Scott are back in for the Buffalo Sabres. Alexander Sulzer, Linus Omark and Marcus Foligno will not play against the Toronto Maple Leafs at 7:30 p.m. at Air Canada Centre.

Sabres interim coach Ted Nolan revealed in his pregame press conference this evening that Foligno is day-to-day with an injury and is out for the game on Wednesday. Sulzer and Omark will be healthy scratches.

Myers is back, having served a three-game suspension handed down by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety for an illegal check to the head of New Jersey Devils forward Dainius Zubrus on Jan. 4. He’s looking forward to playing again and will try to continue to be a physical presence.

“I don’t think I need to be changing my game. I’m not the type of guy that’s reckless or looking to injure somebody,” the 6-foot-8, 219-pound defenseman said. “I think on that play, I was just trying to be aggressive and I think at my height and with my size, I think it’s going to happen sometimes. You have to be aware of it for sure, but I don’t think I want to change my game.”

WATCH: TED NOLAN INTERVIEW

The coaching staff doesn’t want him to lose his edge either.

“We really like that mentality and I’m glad he said that. We don’t want him to lose that. We actually want him to be a little bit more aggressive,” Nolan said. “And when I say ‘aggressive,’ it’s aggressive carrying the puck, it’s aggressive shooting, it’s aggressive skating, it’s those type of things. If he play’s aggressively, he’s going to be a great, great player.”


Stafford returns to the lineup after missing four games with an upper-body injury.

WATCH: CODY HODGSON INTERVIEW

John Scott, who scored when the two teams last met on Dec. 27, has been a healthy scratch for Buffalo’s past two games.

“We need a different look here tonight so we thought John would be better suited for a fourth line position versus Linus, putting him down in that position,” Nolan said.

Ryan Miller is expected to start in goal for Buffalo.

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 01.14.2014 / 1:24 PM
By Chris Ryndak - Sabres.com (@chrisryndak) / THE MORNING SKATE

Jhonas Enroth is expected to start in goal for the Buffalo Sabres. The team hopes the goals to support him will follow.

Coming into the game Tuesday night against the Philadelphia Flyers at 7:30 p.m. at First Niagara Center, Enroth has posted a .916 save percentage and a 2.46 goals against average. He’s looking for his second win of the season and the players in front of him will look to drum up the goal support needed to get him that victory.

“He’s been unlucky and he’s been playing great all year,” Sabres forward Ville Leino said. “Certainly guys are on his side here and want to give him a win here.”

The game can be seen nationally on NBCSN.

In Enroth’s 13 starts this season, Buffalo has scored only 17 goals and has been shut out three times. Enroth has given up three goals or less in each of his past six starts, but has a 0-3-3 record including two shootout losses to show for it.

“We have a lot of trust in both goaltenders and unfortunately for Jhonas, we just haven’t scored too much for him,” Sabres interim coach Ted Nolan said. “He’s played some great games so we’re just going to let him do his thing and hopefully we’ll get a couple for him.”


Other than in goal, no lineup changes are expected for the Sabres. On the defensive front, Tyler Myers will serve the final game of a three-game suspension for a high hit on Devils forward Dainius Zubrus on Jan. 4.

Right wing Drew Stafford is not yet ready to return from an upper-body injury that has sidelined him for the past three games. Nolan said it might be possible for Stafford to play Wednesday night in Toronto.


Leino returned to the lineup Sunday afternoon after missing three games with a lower-body injury. He played 15:49 against the Capitals in his return and said that while it took him a little bit to get re-adjusted, he’s felt better in the days since.

“Yesterday’s practice was better and today and the morning skate, I felt really good,” he said. “So hopefully I can continue that today at the game.”

He centered a line that including wings Linus Omark and Brian Flynn.


The Sabres have earned points in eight-straight home games, going 6-0-2 over that stretch. It’s the first time they’ve earned points in eight straight since they went 7-0-2 at home from Feb. 17 to March 24, 2012.

Sabres center Zenon Konopka said that success has stemmed from the team starting to build some chemistry and it’s really starting to show on a consistent basis, especially at First Niagara Center.

“You have to find your identity as a team and I think as a team, and some individuals, we’re starting to find an identity, which is nice to see,” he said. “Now we have to grow off that, which is easier said than done because it’s a real good League to play in.”

In the Sabres-Flyers rivalry, being at home has had its advantages as of late. The home team has won the last six games played between these two teams, with all six games ending in regulation. Philadelphia won its first game of the season against Buffalo 4-1 at Wells Fargo Center on Nov. 21.

The Sabres are looking to win their third consecutive home game against the Flyers for the first time since they won three straight home games against Philadelphia from Oct. 17, 2006 to Dec. 21, 2007.

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POSTED ON Monday, 01.13.2014 / 2:29 PM
By Chris Ryndak - Sabres.com (@chrisryndak) / BEYOND THE BOARDS

After Ville Leino and Cody Hodgson made their returns to the Buffalo Sabres lineup on Sunday, at least one more player is close to making a comeback.

Drew Stafford skated with the team Monday morning at First Niagara Center for the first time since sustaining an upper-body injury against the Minnesota Wild on New Year’s Day. He skated in a red non-contact jersey but thinks he might be able to play soon.

“It’s more [of a] day-to-day kind of thing. I’ve been feeling really good the last couple days,” Stafford said. “I had a really long day today, hard working day today. We’ll see how it responds later today and tomorrow morning. That’s pretty much where we’re at.”

WATCH: DREW STAFFORD INTERVIEW

Cody McCormick, also in a red non-contact jersey, isn’t as close to coming off injured reserve as Stafford may be, but is happy to be back on the ice as a part of a team practice. He’s missed 11 games with an upper-body injury. He made his return to practice on Saturday.

“There’s still time, but getting back with the guys and being able to participate in practices, it’s a welcome change to what I was doing,” McCormick said. “You want to practice with the guys, you want to be around the guys and when you’re hurt, you’re doing the things on the side and working to get back into practice. It feels good to get out there.”

Henrik Tallinder and Kevin Porter, who are also on injured reserve, have been skating on their own and interim coach Ted Nolan said that they, like McCormick, will still be out for a little while longer.

Steve Ott was given a maintenance day and did not practice. John Scott, a healthy scratch in the team’s 2-1 shootout win in Washington on Sunday, took Ott’s spot on a line with Cody Hodgson and Matt D’Agostini.


The Sabres announced late Sunday night that 19-year-old center Mikhail Grigorenko had decided to accept his assignment to the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

“We can’t control what people do and what they say, but we certainly can control how we’re going to try to run this organization and what we feel is necessary for the development of young players,” Nolan said. “The tail can’t wag the dog. The dog wags the tail.

“So we feel as an organization, it’s best for him to develop in junior hockey and that’s not taking anything away from him. He’s got some skills and he’s got some ability, but in order for him to play at this level, we just need a little bit more.”


With Tallinder out with an upper-body injury and Tyler Myers serving a three-game suspension, the Sabres coaching staff has been rotating the second “A.” Mike Weber served as an alternate captain on Thursday against Florida and the letter was given to Matt Moulson for the game on Sunday.

WATCH: MATT MOULSON INTERVIEW

“It’s an honor to have a letter on your jersey,” Mouslon said. “I don’t think it changes the way you act or the things I would do. Who knows how long I’ll have it for, but it is always an honor to be looked upon as a leader.”


In his last 10 games, Ryan Miller has a save percentage of .950. That’s the best save percentage he’s posted in any 10-game stretch of his career.

He made a highlight-reel save with the blade of his stick on Mikhail Grabovski with 2:14 to play in the third period that Nolan called “one for the ages.”

After the game, Nolan said he was looking down to see which line to call out next and had to watch the save on replay.

“I was looking down at my papers for the next line combination and the guys said I missed the save of the year,” Nolan said Sunday night.

How would Nolan describe Miller’s play of late?

“Out of this world, maybe,” he said. “I don’t know. His last two starts and every game he’s played here since I’ve been here have been outstanding.”

WATCH: TED NOLAN PRESS CONFERENCE

Miller’s teammates have noticed his strong play all season.

“He’s one of the best goalies in the world and sometimes when you do have breakdowns, he’s obviously there to bail you out much like he’s done all year,” Moulson said. “You have a world-class goalie like that, I think it instills a little more confidence in the team. He’s been playing tremendous.”


The win over the Capitals marked the team’s first win on the road since Nov. 5 in San Jose. They snapped an 11-game losing streak away from First Niagara Center.

“It’s nice to win any time, but I didn’t realize we didn’t win on the road for that long,” Nolan, who was hired on Nov. 13, said. “The guys sure knew. It’s not where we won, but how we won last night.

“I thought it was a real total team effort from the 20th guy to our goaltenders, right through the lineup, everybody contributed. Since I’ve been here, it was probably the best win as a team that we had.”

BUY TICKETS FOR TUESDAY NIGHT VS. PHILADELPHIA

The Sabres next take on the Philadelphia Flyers at home on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast on NBCSN. After the game, Buffalo will travel to Toronto for a Wednesday night match against the Maple Leafs at 7:30 p.m.


26 Matt Moulson – 63 Tyler Ennis – 28 Zemgus Girgensons
32 John Scott – 19 Cody Hodgson – 27 Matt D’Agostini
17 Linus Omark – 23 Ville Leino – 65 Brian Flynn
82 Marcus Foligno – 24 Zenon Konopka – 37 Matt Ellis

10 Christian Ehrhoff – 3 Mark Pysyk
6 Mike Weber – 52 Alexander Sulzer
44 Brayden McNabb – 4 Jamie McBain
57 Tyler Myers

30 Ryan Miller
1 Jhonas Enroth

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POSTED ON Sunday, 01.12.2014 / 1:42 PM
By Chris Ryndak - Sabres.com (@chrisryndak) / THE MORNING SKATE

WASHINGTON Sabres interim coach Ted Nolan’s career is rooted in junior hockey. His head coaching career started when he took over the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League during the 1988-89 season. There, he ended up winning two OHL Championships and the Memorial Cup in 1993-94.

Between NHL coaching stints, he was also been behind the bench for the Moncton Wildcats of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and won a QMJHL championship in 2005-06.

So when he, Sabres president of hockey operations Pat LaFontaine and new general manager Tim Murray made the decision to loan 19-year-old rookie center Mikhail Grigorenko to the Quebec Remparts of the QMJHL, they saw it as being the move that would be most beneficial to Grigorenko's development and future success.

However, multiple media outlets have reported that Grigorenko has refused to report to Quebec and his status with the Sabres remains unclear.

Before the Sabres’ afternoon game against the Washington Capitals at Verizon Center, Nolan spoke with the media and addressed the situation.

“We knew obviously players would be disappointed when things like that happen, but [we had] no indication that he wouldn’t report,” Nolan said. “It’s one thing that you learn what you can control, what you can’t control. Tim and Pat will take care of that. I’ve got this group of guys to worry about that are here.”

Nolan stressed the importance he places on development, particularly at the junior level and cited Norris Trophy-winning defenseman P.K. Subban as a great example of patience with development paying off.

“I come from the junior background. P.K. Subban played four years in Belleville [of the Ontario Hockey League] and he turned out pretty good,” he said. “There are different leagues for different players. Some guys turn out better playing college hockey. Some guys turn out better playing junior hockey. It’s just one of those situations that whatever’s a good fit but junior hockey’s a good place to develop.”

Neither LaFontaine nor Murray traveled with the team to Washington, so they were unavailable to comment on what they plan to do next in regards to Grigorenko.


The last time the Sabres and Capitals met, Ryan Miller made a career-high 49 saves in a 2-1 shootout win at First Niagara Center.

Capitals captain Alexander Ovechkin had 12 shots, but didn’t record a point in 21:40 of ice time.

Nolan said that while he was pleased his team was able to keep most of Washington’s 50 shots to the outside, they likely won’t be able to come out of the game Sunday afternoon with two points if they once again surrender that many shot attempts.

“He’s too dynamic,” Nolan said. “You eventually give that much, something’s going to go in eventually. We’re going to hopefully limit his shots to maybe half of that today.”


Cody Hodgson and Ville Leino are expected to return to the lineup after missing time with injuries. John Scott will be the team’s healthy scratch. Ryan Miller, who hasn’t played since Jan. 4 due to scheduling changes, is expected to start in goal for the Sabres.

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POSTED ON Saturday, 01.11.2014 / 2:51 PM
By Chris Ryndak - Sabres.com (@chrisryndak) / BEYOND THE BOARDS

Buffalo Sabres interim coach Ted Nolan broke the news after the team's practice Saturday morning at Riverside Ice Arena that the organization has loaned rookie center Mikhail Grigorenko back to the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Nolan said he was part of the discussions along with president of hockey operations Pat LaFontaine and new general manager Tim Murray. He also said they believe the move is the best thing for Grigorenko’s long-term success.

“We’re not looking at what he can do for us now. We’re looking at what he can do for us down the road and when he develops. He’s only 19,” Nolan said. “…Development is crucial. In talking with Tim and Pat, that’s what we really want to do, is develop.”

After speaking with Grigorenko, Nolan hopes the young center will see playing in the QMJHL as a good opportunity.

“He was a little bit upset, I would imagine, but this is non-negotiable,” Nolan said. “It’s one of those things that has to be done.”


Cody Hodgson and Ville Leino were full participants in the Buffalo Sabres’ practice at Riverside Ice Arena on Saturday and are expected to play Sunday afternoon against the Washington Capitals at Verizon Center.

Hodgson has missed the past eight games with an upper-body injury and was officially activated from injured reserve after practice.

“I’m really excited. It’s great,” Hodgson said. “The team’s been getting a lot of points, especially at home, so it’s good to watch and learn some things about the team and how I can fit in a little better.”

Leino has been out for three games with a lower-lower body injury.

“You don’t want players to get hurt, but once in awhile when they do and they have to rest their bodies, they come back with some renewed energy,” Sabres interim coach Ted Nolan said. “They seem both ready to go today.”

With Hodgson and Leino ready to return, the Sabres returned center Johan Larsson to the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League.

“He played really well for us,” Nolan said. “He’s going to be a good player for us but we just need him to get on a consistent basis.”

Sporting a red non-contact jersey, center Cody McCormick practiced with the team for the first time since sustaining an upper-body injury on Dec. 17. He’s currently on injured reserve and has missed the past 10 games.

Kevin Porter, Drew Stafford and Henrik Tallinder, the other players who are on injured reserve, skated on their own before the team hit the ice.

Defenseman Brayden McNabb was also back with the team after being sent down Friday to play a game with the Amerks.


Ryan Miller is looking forward to getting back between the pipes for Buffalo. Jhonas Enroth was supposed to start Tuesday night against the Carolina Hurricanes, but when that game was postponed to Feb. 25 due to inclement weather, Enroth started the team’s next game on Thursday against Florida.

Miller hasn’t played since Jan. 4.

“That was a little strange. It’s kind of why I wanted to get some work in today,” Miller said. “I was actually trying to find some ice yesterday and couldn’t find anything. A little too much time around the house, just trying to get everything going and get ready for an afternoon game.

[It was] kind of an odd week for me, but these are things you prepare for and you look ahead for and just be ready to go.”


Nolan said he has not yet had any direct conversations with Murray about removing the interim tag from his title. For now, he’s focused on his day-to-day duties of coaching the team.

“Like I’ve mentioned before, one of these days, I hope it [is lifted], but it’s not one of my things I’m thinking about,” Nolan said. “It’s trying to get this team better right now and coaching this team to the best of my ability. Whatever happens down the road will happen and I feel confident in my ability, but we’ll see.”

The Sabres announced Thursday morning that they had hired Murray and in the few days he’s gotten to know him, Nolan said he’s been impressed by the new boss.

“I really like him. He’s direct. He knows people, he knows hockey players,” Nolan said. “As a coach, you want a person who’s going to load your arsenal up with some good talent. The only thing we have to do down the road is just open the gate and let them go.”


26 Matt Moulson – 63 Tyler Ennis – 28 Zemgus Girgensons
9 Steve Ott - 19 Cody Hodgson – 27 Matt D’Agostini
23 Ville Leino – 65 Brian Flynn – 17 Linus Omark
82 Marcus Foligno – 24 Zenon Konopka – 37 Matt Ellis – 32 John Scott

10 Christian Ehrhoff – 3 Mark Pysyk
6 Mike Weber – 52 Alexander Sulzer
44 Brayden McNabb – 4 Jamie McBain
57 Tyler Myers

30 Ryan Miller
1 Jhonas Enroth

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POSTED ON Thursday, 01.09.2014 / 2:35 PM
By Chris Ryndak - Sabres.com (@chrisryndak) / THE MORNING SKATE

Coming off a bronze-medal performance with Team Russia in the IIHF World Junior Championship, Mikhail Grigorenko was back on the ice with the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday at First Niagara Center.

He won’t play Thursday night against the Florida Panthers at 7 p.m., but the 19-year-old rookie center was excited to return. He led Team Russia with five goals and three assists in seven games in the tournament.

“I think this year, I was more of a leader on the team,” Grigorenko said after Buffalo’s optional morning skate. “I was leading by example and pretty much all the players on the team knew that I was from the NHL and they were just looking up to me. I was really happy about my experience there. ”

This was Grigorenko’s third time playing in the World Junior Championship. While he would have liked to win gold, he believes he gained a lot more experience this year. He was put in situations that he believes have helped his all-around game.

“Maybe previously, I was playing more offensively. I didn’t really think about defense or little details like faceoffs or winning battles,” he said. “This year, I played a really good two-way game. I thought I played good defensively and I also played on the penalty kill. I thought I was more of a complete player. I was doing a lot of good stuff for the team offensively and defensively.”

WATCH: MIKHAIL GRIGORENKO INTERVIEW

Grigorenko hopes to stick with the Sabres, but it’s uncertain how long he will be in Buffalo, however. He could be returned to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and Sabres management will meet as soon as after the game on Thursday to discuss his future.

Making a decision is a priority for new general manager Tim Murray.

“He just came back from Europe,” Murray said. “And in all honesty, I got here last night and started talking about scenarios and we’re past the point of having four different scenarios. There are two scenarios and we’ll decide one of those two here very quickly.”

The team announced that Murray had been named the new GM in a press conference Thursday after practice.


Jhonas Enroth is expected to start in goal.

He’ll make up for his missed start Tuesday night when the team’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes was postponed due to inclement weather. That game has since been rescheduled for Feb. 25 at 7 p.m.

Ville Leino and Cody Hodgson both took part in the skate, but neither is quite ready to play.

Hodgson wore a red non-contact jersey for the second day in a row. He’s been out since Dec. 21 with an upper-body injury.

GREAT SEATS STILL AVAILABLE FOR TONIGHT'S GAME

Leino, in a normal yellow jersey the forwards wear on game days, worked with the assistant coaches after the skate. Sabres interim coach Ted Nolan said they were going to push him pretty hard and then see how he responds.

Leino has missed two games with a lower-body injury.


The Sabres will be without two of their top defensemen. Alternate captain Henrik Tallinder is out due to an upper-body injury and Tyler Myers will serve the first game of a three-game suspension handed down by the NHL Department of Player Safety.

In the team’s last game, Myers hit New Jersey Devils forward Dainius Zubrus in the head and received a two-minute minor. After a phone hearing Monday, the League decided to suspend Myers for three games.

WATCH: MIKE WEBER INTERVIEW

Tallinder has missed three games and Myers has worn an “A” in his place. Now with Myers out, Nolan announced that Mike Weber will serve as an alternate captain.

“It’s a huge honor and it kind of makes you a little bit speechless. I’ve tried to be a leader without it for a long time,” Weber said. “I’ve always tried to play the same way, play a hard game and be hard to play against. The most important thing is be a good teammate in the locker room.”

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POSTED ON Wednesday, 01.08.2014 / 3:38 PM
By Chris Ryndak - Sabres.com (@chrisryndak) / BEYOND THE BOARDS

The Buffalo Sabres will be without Tyler Myers for the next three games. The defenseman received a two-minute penalty on Saturday for illegally checking New Jersey Devils forward Dainius Zubrus in the head. The NHL Department of Player Safety then scheduled a phone hearing with Myers for Monday and later announced that they had handed down a three-game suspension.

He received two for the hit and an extra game for being a repeat offender. He was suspended three games in March 2012 for boarding.

Initially, Myers didn’t think he would receive three games this time around.

“I was pretty surprised but there was a conversation after the phone call where he explained that it doesn’t matter what type of hit it is anymore. If there’s any contact to the head, it’s going to be 2-5 games,” he said after practice Wednesday at First Niagara Center.

“I liked the fact that on the phone call that everyone recognized that it wasn’t my intention to target his head. After I saw the video, it’s clear that there is contact to the head. Fortunately he’s OK and came back into the game and there are no problems there.”

WATCH: TYLER MYERS INTERVIEW

Buffalo will also be without Henrik Tallinder on Thursday when the Florida Panthers come to town.. Myers plays an average of 21:46 per night, second on the team. Tallinder is sixth, playing 19:20 each night on average, so other defensemen will have to play bigger roles for the Sabres.

Defenseman Mike Weber said they’ll have to look down the lineup to play key minutes on the penalty kill as well.

“Those are two guys that play a lot of minutes so guys are going to have to step up and play those minutes,” Weber said. “I think with that, stepping up in the right situation, you’re not going to replace a [Myers] with the offensive abilities that he has. Someone’s got to step up and just play solid minutes."


Center Cody Hodgson skated with the team for the first time since sustaining an upper-body injury on Dec. 19 albeit in a red non-contact jersey.

Sabres interim coach Ted Nolan hopes Hodgson will be able to return to the lineup soon.

“Right now it’s up to Cody. We’re going to see how he feels,” Nolan said. “Today was the first day he practiced with the team. He said he felt great some hopefully he feels like that for a couple days in a row. And if he does that then hopefully we’ll get him in.”

Ville Leino, who has missed two games with a lower-body injury. “Also skated in a non-contact jersey and the Sabres staff will continue to evaluate in throughout the week.


The Sabres were back on the ice after having their game Tuesday night against the Carolina Hurricanes postponed due to incliment weather.

"You don’t want to put anyone in danger. Fans coming to the game, the workers coming to the arena to work, all those [people]," Nolan said. "The game of hockey is nice to watch, but we need to make sure we do it where everybody can get there safely."

A make-up date as yet to be announced.

Jhonas Enroth was expected to start that game and Nolan said he will play Thursday night against Florida.


Ryan Miller will have some company at the Winter Olympics in Sochi next month. Miller was named to Team USA on New Year’s Day and on Tuesday, three of his teammates were announced to national rosters.

Tallinder and Enroth will represent Sweden. Zemgus Girgensons will play for Team Latvia under the guidance of Ted Nolan, who also coaches the Latvian team.

WATCH: JHONAS ENROTH INTERVIEW

Miller was especially happy to hear his fellow netminder had been named to the Swedish team and said he would look forward to a potential goaltending duel against Enroth and Sweden.

“It’d be cool. It’d be definitely unique,” Miller said. “It’s not something many teams that I’ve seen have a chance to do. We’ll see how it works out, but it’d be nice.”


26 Matt Moulson – 63 Tyler Ennis – 28 Zemgus Girgensons
9 Steve Ott – 22 Johan Larsson – 27 Matt D’Agostini
17 Linus Omark – 65 Brian Flynn – 82 Marcus Foligno
32 John Scott – 24 Zenon Konopka – 37 Matt Ellis
Red (Non-Contact) Jerseys: 23 Ville Leino – 19 Cody Hodgson

10 Christian Ehrhoff – 3 Mark Pysyk
44 Brayden McNabb – 4 Jamie McBain
6 Mike Weber – 52 Alexander Sulzer
57 Tyler Myers

30 Ryan Miller
1 Jhonas Enroth

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POSTED ON Monday, 01.06.2014 / 2:08 PM
By Chris Ryndak - Sabres.com (@chrisryndak) / BEYOND THE BOARDS

Tyler Myers is waiting for the phone to ring.

The 6-foot-8, 219-pound Buffalo Sabres defenseman faces a phone hearing Monday afternoon with the NHL Department of Player Safety for a hit on New Jersey Devils center Dainius Zubrus in Buffalo’s 2-1 win Saturday night.

Myers received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head at 7:02 of the third period. Zubrus remained in the game and practiced with the Devils on Monday.

“I don’t want to say too much until I have my phone call, but it’s one of those plays where [I was] being aggressive and I came out of it with a phone call,” Myers said after practice Monday at First Niagara Center. “So we’ll see what happens.”

Myers was suspended three games in March 2012 for checking Scott Gomez into the boards from behind.

The Department of Player Safety retains the right to make adjustments to the infraction upon review.

With Henrik Tallinder already out with an injury, the Sabres will have to lean on their depth on the blue line to eat up some minutes if Myers is suspended for any length of time.

“Every team has injuries and every team has to cover up for one another,” Sabres interim coach Ted Nolan said. “But when you lose big parts of your team, it means players have to play that much smarter.”


Sunday was a good day for Rochester Americans defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen. He scored the game-winning goal in overtime to give Team Finland the gold medal over host Sweden at the World Junior Championship.

It’s the first time Finland has won the tournament since 2006.

“They’re probably pretty excited. It’s a big, huge thing for our country,” Sabres forward Ville Leino, a native of Finland, said.

READ KRIS BAKER'S WJC RECAP

Members of the Sabres organization were obviously pleased to see Ristolainen, the team’s top pick in 2013 (eighth overall) step up to decide the game.

“Ristolainen, that’s a pretty big goal for him. When you’re that age and when you score a big goal with your peer group, you get to the next level. He did his country proud and did us proud,” Nolan said. “When you’re a big player, you make big plays. Now the fans here and the organization have something to really look forward to.”

Nolan said that Ristolainen will return to the Amerks now that the tournament is complete.

Mikhail Grigorenko and Nikita Zadorov won the bronze medal. Grigorenko led Russia in points, recording five goals and three assists in seven games. He scored to help the Russians beat Canada in the third-place game.

What did Nolan think of Grigorenko’s performance at the World Juniors?

“There were some mixed reviews. That’s the problem with some young players – that consistent factor. He played great at moments and not so well at other moments,” Nolan said. “Certain players take a little bit longer to get that [consistency]. We have some players in this League that are like that so that’s what development’s all about. Once he gets that [consistency as part] of his arsenal, he’ll be a great player for us.”

WATCH TED NOLAN'S PRESS CONFERENCE

Grigorenko will return to Buffalo, but may not suit up for the Sabres in a game anytime soon. Nolan and president of hockey operations Pat LaFontaine will meet to discuss Grigorenko’s future once the 19-year-old center returns to North America.

Nolan said they’re leaning toward sending Grigorenko back to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League so that he can work on developing the consistency that may be lacking from his game.

“It’s up to our organization to try to correct that. You don’t correct it by just giving things to players like that,” he said. “You make them earn it and you watch them do it on a consistent basis for a consistent amount of time. You don’t just do it for a week and say, ‘Hey, we’re all fixed now.’ It’s going to take some time to correct it.”

Zadorov will return to the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League, where he will compete for the Memorial Cup later this year.


Leino has missed the past two games with a lower-body injury but practiced with the team again on Monday. He worked as a member of the fourth line with John Scott, Zenon Konopka and Matt Ellis.

“I was pretty good. Going day-to-day, but I’m feeling better every day,” Leino said. “Tomorrow, we’ll see in the morning how it feels, but I’m feeling good and as long as it’s like that, I’m happy with it.”

There’s a chance he may not be ready for the team’s home game Tuesday night against the Carolina Hurricanes at 7 p.m. Nolan said the coaching staff isn’t going to rush Leino back into the lineup.

“For only his second time in about seven days, eight days skating, he looked pretty good today but we didn’t push him to a point where we’re going to really going to aggravate his injury a little bit,” Nolan said. “We’ll give him one more day, we’ll push him a little bit tomorrow and we’ll see how he reacts to it. But he’s more on a day-to-day basis now than before.”


26 Matt MoulsonTyler Ennis – 28 Zemgus Girgensons
9 Steve Ott – 22 Johan Larsson – 27 Matt D’Agostini
17 Linus Omark – 65 Brian Flynn – 82 Marcus Foligno
32 John Scott – 24 Zenon Konopka – 23 Ville Leino – 37 Matt Ellis

10 Christian Ehrhoff – 3 Mark Pysyk
6 Mike Weber – 57 Tyler Myers
44 Brayden McNabb – 4 Jamie McBain
52 Alexander Sulzer

30 Ryan Miller
1 Jhonas Enroth

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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