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Sabres fans really aren't that demanding. Give them effort, give them goals, maybe give them a win once in a while and KeyBank Center can become fun. There probably weren't more than 11,000 in the house for Tuesday night's game against Tampa Bay, with the city's fans voting with their feet that they didn't care to see the NHL's best team -- even for the $6 you could spe…

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Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper has worked with Jack Eichel at the World Cup of Hockey and at last month's All-Star Game in Tampa's Amalie Arena, so he has firsthand knowledge of the talent level of the injured Sabres star. But don't think he's celebrating the fact his team won't have to deal with Eichel tonight or in the Feb. 28 game in Tampa. Eichel will miss his…

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It was a game that started bad and kept getting worse and worse for Rasmus Ristolainen. The absent-minded play of the Buffalo Sabres' No. 1 defenseman left coach Phil Housley no choice but to yank Ristolainen from the ice during 5-on-5 situations for virtually the entire second period of Sunday's 5-4 loss to Colorado. Housley gave Ristolainen his spot back for the th…

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Just as they lose red-hot Jack Eichel from the lineup, the Buffalo Sabres' offense is finding its stride more than at any point all season. The Sabres put together their third straight four-goal game in Sunday's 5-4 loss to Colorado, a first this season. Until late Monday night, they had even climbed out of their seasonlong spot as the NHL's lowest-scoring team. With…

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Frankly, the way Jack Eichel's injury was being portrayed Sunday was quite a bit better than you would have expected. Especially after seeing the gruesome manner in which his right leg caved in Saturday night in Boston. Linemate/roommate Sam Reinhart said Eichel felt better after his latest high ankle sprain than he did when he suffered the same injury on the opposite l…

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Jack Eichel is the best thing going in yet another dreary season for the Buffalo Sabres. And we shouldn't see him again until next season. Such a shame. Tough as it to say – especially with 15 home games left for the team's battered fan base – the only prudent thing for the Sabres to do at this point is shut Eichel down. The kid is going to want to do everything t…

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At this point, putting the Sabres in those beautiful Winter Classic sweaters that they wore Thursday night in half-empty KeyBank Center is akin to putting lipstick on a pig. The Sabres are who they are. They're the worst team in the Eastern Conference and they're just waiting for Jason Botterill to start their teardown in advance of the trade deadline. (Memo to the GM: …

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It will be a tournament going on halfway across the world, in the middle of their season and with games often being played in the dead of night in the United States or Canada. And while many NHL players remain disappointed they won't be playing in the Pyeongchang Olympics, they still think it will be hockey worth watching. Out of sight, out of mind? No way. "More tha…

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This corner did lots of pondering Tuesday that didn't have much to do with the Sabres and Anaheim Ducks. It was game 53 of a season going nowhere, the merciful start of the final 30 games of a campaign where the playoffs were a pipe dream before Thanksgiving. It ended with another bizarre overtime loss to drop Buffalo to a ghastly 14-39 in real math. The bottom line que…

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Bar down and in. Off the toe and out. Off the post and out. That's the trio of talking points everyone trudging out of KeyBank Center will ponder from the Sabres' 1-0 loss Saturday night to the St. Louis Blues, a taut thriller where inches made a world of difference. Bar Down: The Blues won the game on defenseman Carl Gunnarsson's goal with 5:41 left, a snapsho…

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Defenseman Carl Gunnarsson snapped a scoreless tie on a quick snap shot with 5:41 left Saturday night to give the St. Louis Blues a 1-0 victory over the Buffalo Sabres before 18,777 in KeyBank Center. Paul Stastny posted a clean faceoff win over Ryan O'Reilly back to Gunnarsson at the left point and his shot clanked off the crossbar and dropped in the net behind Robin L…

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The New York Islanders will be in KeyBank Center to finish the Sabres' homestand Thursday night and their lone visit of the season comes as they are building one of the most fascinating storylines going in the NHL right now. The Isles entered Saturday in last place in the Metropolitan Division -- but just one point out of a wild-card slot. They announced on Monday they'…

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Get ready for some heavy hockey. That's what you can expect Saturday night in KeyBank Center as the St. Louis Blues hit town to meet the Buffalo Sabres. The Blues are 31-19-3 and third in the rugged Central Division,  just four points back of first-place Winnipeg and two behind defending Western Conference champion Nashville. This is St. Louis' annual fathers' trip and …

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So if you were an empty seat Thursday night in KeyBank Center, you came close to outnumbering live bodies in the stands. The empties, and those who actually did attend a Thursday night affair against the who-cares Florida Panthers, saw a disastrous final nine minutes of the first period followed by a pretty solid showing in the second and third period. And ultimately, a…

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Faceoffs are an interesting talking point among the hockey stats crowd. You can find lots of people who push analytics hard and say they don't matter. The view from this corner has always been that they matter a lot. After all, they lead directly to possession and often directly to goals. Sabres center Ryan O'Reilly entered Thursday as the NHL leader in faceoff percenta…