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Ralph Krueger insisted on his opening conference call with Buffalo reporters Wednesday that the 2019 Sabres are ahead of the Edmonton Oilers he coached in 2013, who were mired in the "rebuild phase completely." The Sabres, of course, have big-name talents Jack Eichel, Rasmus Dahlin and Sam Reinhart, as well as the promise of many younger players on the NHL roster and in…

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Jason Botterill and his staff won't be paying close attention to the Western Conference Final because of a matchup between former Buffalo Sabres players Evander Kane and Ryan O'Reilly. The Sabres will receive the first-round draft pick of whichever team wins the seven-game series between Kane's San Jose Sharks and O'Reilly's St. Louis Blues. The loser's first-round pick…

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

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When another loss seemed inevitable, the Buffalo Sabres awakened the KeyBank Center crowd with five glass-wobbling hits in a span of 27 seconds late in the third period Sunday night. With the game slipping away again in the 3-on-3 overtime, Carter Hutton delivered six crucial saves. And when their fate was determined in the shootout, Sam Reinhart scored in the third rou…

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There was no tribute video or roaring ovation for Ryan O'Reilly during his first game back in KeyBank Center. All the former Buffalo Sabres center received was a "welcome back" message on the video board, which provoked a mixed reaction from the crowd Sunday evening. That would be the highlight of his return to Buffalo. O'Reilly and the St. Louis Blues roared back to er…

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HAZELWOOD, Mo. – Ryan O'Reilly is in the middle of a playoff race, just as he hoped he would be in Buffalo but never got to experience with the Sabres. But when he got to St. Louis this season, things started out just as poorly as they ended in the 716. On Nov. 28, the Blues were tied for last overall in the NHL at 8-12-3 and had already fired coach Mike Yeo. The Sabres…

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The World Cup of Hockey won't happen in 2020 and that's a shame. There were plenty of skeptics 2 1/2 years ago who said it was simply a cash grab, and the merchandise and marketing end of things was admittedly a huge part of the 2016 tournament in Toronto. But more important was that it gave us great, memorable hockey in September, and that's rare. The '16 World Cup pro…

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ST. LOUIS -- You can't accuse the Buffalo Sabres of too much holiday cheer. Not the way they played in the first period Thursday night. The Sabres were skating well, hard on the puck and dominating play in the St. Louis Blues' zone. But they went to the locker room in a scoreless tie and any momentum they had was gone. St. Louis, the underachieving 13th-place team in…

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ST. LOUIS – Take back the Christmas presents. Give the Buffalo Sabres lots of coal for the second period Thursday night. In a scoreless tie at the first intermission, the Sabres got blitzed for three goals in the first 11 minutes of the middle period and couldn't catch up in a 4-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues in Enterprise Center. It was the Sabres' seventh straight l…

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ST. LOUIS – Ryan O'Reilly doesn't feel down on his luck. Not for a second. After spending three mostly losing seasons with the Buffalo Sabres, the veteran center was traded to the St. Louis Blues on July 1 in what seemed to be an escape from NHL purgatory. It hasn't worked out that way. The Sabres had just finished 31st in the NHL, last in the league for the third ti…

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ST. LOUIS – There was lots of talk about life on the other side Thursday in Enterprise Center as the Buffalo Sabres and St. Louis Blues got back into gameday mode after the Christmas break. The teams meet in an 8 p.m. Eastern start that will feature former Sabres stalwart Ryan O'Reilly playing for the Blues and former St. Louis players Carter Hutton and Tage Thompson in…

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ST. LOUIS – Ryan O'Reilly will be in a familiar spot Thursday night in Enterprise Center, albeit against an unfamiliar opponent. He's on another losing team and again putting up big numbers. When O'Reilly's St. Louis Blues meet the Buffalo Sabres for the first time since the team's blockbuster July 1 trade, they'll do it with O'Reilly leading a club that has to be consi…

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There are teams that are completely organized, there are teams where you sometimes wonder what they're up to and then there are the Carolina Hurricanes. What in the world is up with these guys? New owner Tom Dundon and new coach Rod Brind'Amour are not distinguishing themselves this season. Same for General Manager Don Waddell. The Canes' playoff drought stretches to…

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Sabres coach Phil Housley made it pretty clear after practice Monday that his starting goaltender will be back sometime this week, and Carter Hutton continues to progress toward a return to the crease. Hutton skated again Tuesday morning in KeyBank Center and will back up Linus Ullmark Tuesday against Los Angeles. He might play here Thursday night against Arizona. "H…

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So we're just over a week into the season and because it's only October, there's no need for any massive overreactions. Logic dicates that's true. But the season's first month is nonetheless a time to start drawing some conclusions and watching for trends. Remember the caveat we presented in our Sabres preview section through the math of Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman: S…