John Vogl

Editor

This is my 15th season writing about the Sabres for The Buffalo News.

Ryan O’Reilly made it sound so simple and easy. He skated down the ice, got the puck instead of the other guy and luckily put it in the net. Now let some other Sabres describe the play that tied the game and propelled Buffalo to a 3-2 overtime victory against Detroit: “Willed it,” coach Dan Bylsma said Friday night. “It was a big-time play from a guy wantin…

The Sabres' penalty killers came up big. The power play was even better. Kyle Okposo scored with 26 seconds left in overtime Friday, giving Buffalo a 3-2 victory over Detroit. The win was the Sabres' fourth straight in KeyBank Center. The Red Wings earned a power play with 3:19 to play in overtime. Thomas Vanek forced the Sabres' Kyle Okposo into a hooking penalty af…

Yes, Robin Lehner admires Donald Trump. Lehner is also a husband to a Persian wife who sees the problems in the Middle East firsthand. He's a father who holds his 2-year-old son’s hand when they skate together. He’s a dog lover. He’s an NHL player who has lived through a crippling concussion and a tough-love childhood. Lehner is a lot of things, but he’s lear…

TORONTO – Robin Lehner was ready to make a statement. He was starting on consecutive days for the first time with Buffalo. He had a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes, enough to point him toward a third straight victory. Instead, he ended up on the Sabres’ bench midway through Tuesday’s game, throwing equipment and dirty looks. “I don’t like to give up,” Lehner sa…

TORONTO – The road hasn't been kind to the Sabres. Of course, they are making it hard on themselves. For the third straight road game, Buffalo came out strong and took the lead. This time, it was a 2-0 advantage after one period in Toronto. The lead disappeared in the second. The Maple Leafs stormed back to earn a 4-3 victory in Air Canada Centre. The Sabres suffer…

Before Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart even left the house, they knew it was going to be a good day. They were going to play on the same line. “We’ve wanted to be moved back together,” Reinhart said Monday. “We were excited yesterday in practice. We were excited this morning coming to the rink.” It showed. The roommates combined for two goals and three points …

It didn't take long to see which Sabres team was playing Monday. It was the good one. Buffalo scored with just 19 seconds off the clock, propelling the home team to a 4-1 victory over Dallas. Buffalo has won three straight in KeyBank Center, with the latest easing the sting of two straight losses on the road. The Sabres improved to 17-17-9 overall and 8-3-2 against t…

After more than two months away from the Sabres, Tyler Ennis appears ready to return to the lineup. Dan Bylsma just needs to decide where to put him. Buffalo’s coach contemplated putting Ennis alongside center Jack Eichel for Monday’s matinee against Dallas. Ennis once had a preseason hat trick as Eichel’s winger. But based on Sunday’s practice, Ennis will skate…

The way Robin Lehner sees it, the Sabres aren’t holding up their end of the bargain as professional athletes. “When you lose games out of not doing our job – it’s what we get paid for, you know? – it’s time to accept that,” the goaltender said Sunday. “This is our job, and we’ve got to buy into what we’re supposed to do and do it.” The Sabres’…

Tyler Ennis can’t say for sure if he’s playing in the Sabres’ next game, but it sure sounds like it. Ennis practiced on a Buffalo scoring line and the second power-play unit Sunday. He appeared ready to be on the ice Monday when Dallas visits KeyBank Center. “I’ve got to treat it like a clean slate and go out there and do my thing,” Ennis said. “I’ve …

It’s an unfortunate thing to do, but it’s time to send out the SOS. Same Old Sabres. Few things get Buffalo fans more agitated than hearing about not playing for 60 minutes. They’ve heard it a lot through the years, and they’ve heard it often this season. Here’s just a sampling: *“We can't have a period on and a period off. When you see we have it ther…

After six games with the Sabres, including one in which he scored his first NHL goal, Justin Bailey is headed back to Rochester. Buffalo announced Saturday that it has sent Bailey and goaltender Linus Ullmark to the Amerks. Ullmark served as the backup to Anders Nilsson for three games because Robin Lehner was out with an illness. Bailey scored immediately after bein…

The movie “Animal House” turns 39 years old this summer, but its central theme makes it timeless. As long as there are college campuses, there will be students who struggle to find their way. Which brings us to the Sabres’ midterm analysis. It has not been the finest semester at Sabres University. Buffalo has been at or near the bottom of the standings most of …

Every time the Sabres play at home, they honor a kid attending his first NHL game. The team puts the child on the scoreboard and hands over a cupcake to commemorate the occasion. Desserts are great, but Ryan O’Reilly would rather deliver victories and good times. The sugar rush doesn’t wear off for those. “It’s something that’s important, too, just for grow…

The first time Anders Nilsson played a game for the Sabres, he had a 3-0 lead over the Philadelphia Flyers. Buffalo lost, 4-3. There was no way that was going to happen twice. Nilsson shut the door Tuesday, making 39 saves to backstop the Sabres to a 4-1 victory over the Flyers. The goaltender made 13 saves in each of the three periods. Brayden Schenn ended the shuto…