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The Buffalo Sabres have to learn how to walk before they can run. The public proclamations come training camp in September are expected to revolve around climbing into the playoffs for the first time since 2011, but a serious reality check is needed. The Sabres still have lots of work to do with their roster, including the major decision of keeping defensive workhors…

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Travis Yost has been involved in the world of hockey analytics for a decade and is part of TSN's Hockey Analytics team. Prior to joining TSN, Yost was a contributor at the Ottawa Citizen, the Sporting News and NHL Numbers, and he has been a consultant for an NHL franchise. He will be contributing breakdowns on the Buffalo Sabres for The Buffalo News this season. Follow Yos…

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A young boy pressed the paper sign against the glass adjacent to the Buffalo Sabres’ bench inside KeyBank Center to catch Linus Ullmark’s attention as the 25-year-old goalie skated off the ice at the end of a pregame warmup. On the sign, underneath a header that read “Life goals,” the boy listed two items: the Sabres' winning a Stanley Cup and receiving a stick from Ull…

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Linus Ullmark was sitting at his stall in KeyBank Center following practice Friday while Sam Reinhart stood across the home dressing room surrounded by reporters. Reinhart was explaining how he misspoke the previous night when it appeared he blamed Ullmark for a loss to Carolina and called the 25-year-old goalie "already one of the best in the world." While it is lik…

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Lo and behold, the Buffalo Sabres actually can play some defense. In the wake of Saturday's 3-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings in KeyBank Center, the takeaway will be to see if that game is the outlier, the aberration in a group of performances that have been among the franchise's worst defensively in many years. There were plenty of sights for coach Phil Housley's s…

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The Buffalo Sabres’ experiment of separating All-Stars Jack Eichel and Jeff Skinner lasted a little more than two periods. Sabres coach Phil Housley returned Skinner to the top line early in the third period of Tuesday night’s 5-4 shootout victory against the Minnesota Wild at KeyBank Center, and that’s where the team’s leading goal-scorer remained during practice Wedne…

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You start from the top before you dig deeper. Doesn't matter who you want to blame. The Buffalo Sabres are just flat-out giving up too many goals. Tuesday's 5-4 shootout win against Minnesota marked the eighth time in the last nine games opponents have scored at least three times. There's been a pair of seven-goal blowups in there, against Edmonton and Chicago. And the …

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When the Sabres arrived in Columbus to open their post-break schedule, they were the sidelight story to the NHL's biggest ongoing drama. Pity the poor Blue Jackets. They've never won a playoff series since they were born in 2000, topped by the ungodly collapse that changed history last spring. Columbus, remember, won the first two games of its opening-round series in Wa…

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Linus Ullmark is winning like never before. The Sabres’ backup goaltender is up to a career-high nine victories in 13 starts this season after a 4-3 triumph against Florida on Thursday, and Saturday’s game in Boston could be the first time this season coach Phil Housley chooses to start Ullmark in consecutive games rather than a healthy Carter Hutton. Ullmark played …

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So you woke up on the morning of Oct. 4 full of optimism for this Sabres season. Rasmus Dahlin, Carter Hutton and Jeff Skinner were on board with Casey Mittelstadt and Linus Ullmark here full time (OK, Patrik Berglund was here, too, but go with us on this one). Then came that horrible season-opening clunker, a 4-0 loss to the Bruins that looked awfully similar to many o…

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The Sabres recalled goaltender Scott Wedgewood from Rochester on Saturday morning, likely to have him serve as backup to Carter Hutton for the game against the Boston Bruins. Linus Ullmark was sick and missed practice Friday. Wedgewood was the backup for the Dec. 8 game against Philadelphia. Hee is 11-6-1 in 20 AHL games this season with a 2.78 goals-against average …

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BOSTON – When Jack Eichel returns to TD Garden, he pictures himself sitting in one of the arena's gold seats next to his father, Bob, marveling over players such as Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby or Washington's Alex Ovechkin. Eichel was the one fans marveled over Sunday night. The Buffalo Sabres center scored twice and assisted on both Jeff Skinner goals, including the …

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Linus Ullmark has been known to keep his postgame interviews light, no matter the result. He used the term "spicy" to describe the playoff-like atmosphere at KeyBank Center following an overtime loss to Toronto Tuesday night. But the Buffalo Sabres' 25-year-old backup goalie is also quick to give a critical self-evaluation of his play. He kept his remarks short followin…

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Buffalo Sabres goalie Carter Hutton, who is tied for third in the NHL in wins and was a key cog on the team's recent 10-game winning streak, is out of the lineup with an upper-body injury and will not play in Saturday's matinee against Philadelphia in KeyBank Center. Coach Phil Housley said after practice Friday that Hutton is listed as day to day. The injury apparently…

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Martin Biron would go to great lengths to make himself as big as possible on the ice. When a new piece of goalie equipment arrived, Biron would stand in front of the mirror to see how much of the net he could take up. He would add padding to address any possible weak spots. Like goalies across the NHL, Biron, who spent nine years with the Buffalo Sabres, was searching f…