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Buffalo Sabres Need to Be Honest in Their Effort Amid Tough Season

October 31st, 2014 at 11:00 AM
By Paul Lane Sabres 101

Buffalo Sabres fans know they're going to have a rough go of things in 2014-15. The least they deserve is a realistic look at the season from the players.

You'll get one – at least depending on who you ask. Just don't ask Drew Stafford, unless you want a good laugh.

Speaking after Thursday's loss to the Boston Bruins, Stafford sounded like a man in denial:

"It didn't feel like we got outshot by as much as (the scoreboard) said we did," he said. "A couple of the guys thought it was wrong. And then they got a couple circus goals, otherwise we were in it."

The Sabres were only in the game at all because of Jhonas Enroth, who made 34 saves. He did indeed surrender a couple circus goals, but he was more realistic about the situation:

"I thought we played pretty well for three periods, keeping them to the outside," said Enroth, who had to face three shots in overtime because Buffalo couldn't complete a line change. "That's why we're a bad team right now. We can't give up goals like that."

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Buffalo Sabres Would Do Sam Reinhart a Favor by Sending Him Back to Juniors

October 31st, 2014 at 9:00 AM
By Paul Lane Sabres 101

It would be hard for any Buffalo Sabres fan to envision Sam Reinhart to still be on the team when it takes the ice Saturday against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Reinhart seemed overmatched in his first nine NHL games. He went the entire month of October with only one assist, he got bumped to the fourth line and he was a healthy scratch twice. Thursday against the Boston Bruins, he logged a team-low eight shifts and 7:45 of ice time – not nearly enough for an 18-year-old potential superstar to get his game going.

By playing his ninth game Thursday, Reinhart hit the maximum number of NHL games he can play without kick-starting his three-year entry-level contract. Having seen his playing time dwindle, and having dropped from the second line to the fourth line, it'd be hard to imagine the Sabres will let him stick around.

Nor should they. Buffalo's first-round pick in the 2014 NHL draft will gain nothing by grinding out dozens of more games like his first nine. He would build a wealth of confidence by returning to juniors, hopefully coming back in September 2015 ready to take over the NHL (possibly with a new linemate in Connor McDavid). He can hone his game in juniors and – more importantly – not have his will to play sapped by enduring a season like the Sabres are set up to do.

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Buffalo Sabres Suffer Tough-Luck Overtime Loss to Boston Bruins

October 30th, 2014 at 10:24 PM
By Paul Lane Sabres 101

The Buffalo Sabres showed a lot of early energy Thursday night against the Boston Bruins, trying to respond from one of the worst effort in franchise history Tuesday in Toronto.

They couldn't keep it up, for for 55 minutes it seemed as though they might be able to hold on for a win. But the Boston Bruins proved too much, converting one of their 16 third-period shots to force overtime and then scoring in the extra session to leave Buffalo with a 3-2 win.

The Sabres actually briefly were outshooting Boston and managed seven first-period shots. They only got eight more the entire game, though, while allowing the Bruins to test Jhonas Enroth 29 times in the final two-plus periods.

He largely stymied Boston, though, making 34 saves for the game. After a first period that saw Chris Steward fight Milan Lucic before the first minute ticked off the clock and the Sabres apply plenty of pressure, he was the reason they stayed in the game until the end.

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Buffalo Sabres Themed Tim Hortons Now Open at HARBORcenter

October 30th, 2014 at 1:33 PM
By Mike Matisz

The Buffalo Sabres themed Tim Hortons restaurant opened for business Thursday morning and just like that, HARBORcenter is open for business.

Kim Pegula was on hand when the restaurant opened and shook hands with customers as they entered the restaurant that is dedicated to the Buffalo Sabres.

The history of the team is all over the restaurant, telling the story of things such as the Memorial Auditorium to the region's hockey hitory from 1940-1996.

Another section chronicles Tim Horton's life, from playing for the Sabres to opening his first store in Amherst in 1964.

“That is part of what we’ve done, add that special touch and feel to tell the story each and every day,” HARBORcenter President John Koelmel said.

The rest of HARBORcenter will open in sections as the construction completes.

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Buffalo Sabres Looking for Spark After Terrible Start

October 30th, 2014 at 11:00 AM
By Anthony Custode Jr

To say the Buffalo Sabres have stumbled out of the gate would be an understatement, and the team is well aware of its struggles.

Buffalo is 2-8-0 on the season and have been shutout four times in 10 games. Tuesday against the Toronto Maple Leafs, Buffalo registered a franchise-low 10 shots. Head coach Ted Nolan is not pleased.

“I always give our team a 10-game grace period, give them a little bit of rope and maybe someone will hang themselves. What we saw over the last 10 or so games, we saw that,” Nolan told Sabres.com. “Taking it easy is over now. We’ve got to work and I’ll take full responsibility for that. Maybe I didn’t push them hard enough. But today’s the day we have to start. One of my favorite sayings is, ‘If it’s not working, you’re not working hard enough,’ so I was upset about the way we worked and we’ve just got to be better.”

If Nolan hasn't been tough enough on the team, he will be now. Nolan reportedly ran a hard practice yesterday, yelling at players about communication and effort. Zemgus Girgensons says that the message is being received by the team.

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