The Sabres Report - March 24, 2017

Sabres’ Tyler Ennis worried about future   

Olean Times Herald:

‘“He’s trying to prove what kind of player he is and where he fits in our lineup right now, and I think that’s something he’s done a little bit better of recently, and going forward, that’s his challenge for the next eight games,” Bylsma said.’

Rasmus Ristolainen’s suspension surprises Sabres   

Olean Times Herald:

‘Sabres defenseman Josh Gorges added: “It’s split-second decisions. That’s all it is, a split-second. If that ended up coming, didn’t get separated, didn’t get separated, it’s a clean hit and we don’t even talk about this. But I think the intentions of the hit were not to be dirty, malicious or hurt anybody.”’

The Sabres aren't happy with Ristolainen's suspension   


‘“I’ve been playing with Risto for two years and he’s a pretty honest player. He had no history, he doesn’t jump, he doesn’t hit his head, it’s a broken play that he reads and he gets three games. There were other things that happened during that game that should’ve been a review too, but it just doesn’t happen, but certain teams in this league get the benefit of the doubt.”’

Lehner on Ristolainen suspension: "If they reverse jerseys I don't think it's three games"   


‘”There were other things that happened during that game that should’ve maybe been reviewed too,” Lehner said. “It just doesn’t happen. Certain teams in this league get the benefit of the doubt. If the jerseys were reversed I don’t think we’d be standing here talking three games.”‘

Sabres react to Ristolainen's suspension

‘”A little bit, I mean, three games is a lot,” alternate captain Josh Gorges, who was Ristolainen’s defensive partner at the time of the hit, said. “It’s a tough decision and it’s tough being those guys making those decisions. It’s never easy … It’s a split-second decision and that’s all it is, a split second.”‘

Saturday's Rochester Coverage


Ristolainen suspended for three games   

Buffalo News:

‘”My understanding is that the nature of the call on the ice, it had to be a phone conversation,” Bylsma said. “From that standpoint, I wasn’t surprised.”‘

After setbacks, William Carrier ready to return to Sabres lineup   

Buffalo News:

‘“Will really added to our lineup with his speed and he’s got a little bite and grit in how he plays,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said. “He played sometimes with Ryan O’Reilly and Kyle and added speed to that line. He played a little bit up and down the lineup but that’s a big part of what he was able to bring to our team. He’s been out for a while so just getting him back, getting him some practice, hopefully he can bring that when he gets back in the lineup.”’

Sabres Notebook: Okposo's views from the stands productive – to a point   

Buffalo News:

‘“You get a different perspective watching,” said Buffalo Sabres forward Kyle Okposo, who missed the last 10 games with a rib injury. “It’s a lot different though. It’s a lot different playing. When you watch, the game is easy. If I’m watching the game, I could score 50 goals in the stands. It’s just easy. But when you’re playing it’s a little more difficult.’

Sabres’ William Carrier, Kyle Okposo healed, ready to contribute   

Olean Times Herald:

‘“They were just scared of it getting worse, and they were scared of me keeping pushing on it,” Carrier said. “And the way I play, I play physical and all that, it just kept getting worse and worse until I couldn’t play anymore.”’

NHL suspends Sabres’ Rasmus Ristolainen 3 games for hit   

Olean Times Herald:

‘“Ristolainen has sufficient time to adjust his path to avoid or minimize this hit, and instead he finishes a hard, forceful body check on a player who is not eligible to be hit,” Burke said. “We acknowledge Ristolainen’s argument that because he is approaching this hit leading with his back he was unable to adjust his path quickly when the puck was deflected.’

NHL suspends Sabres defenseman Ristolainen 3 games   


‘Guentzel got up briefly before stumbling to the ice and didn’t return after being escorted to the locker room. Ristolainen was issued a five-minute major for interference and ejected from the game.’

Sabres D Ristolainen suspended three games   

The Sports Xchange:

‘Guentzel initially attempted to skate to the bench before falling to the ice. He eventually made his way off with the assistance of a trainer but did not return to the game and was diagnosed with a concussion.’

Sabres get three players back to practice   


‘During practice Kulikov played with Jake McCabe while Nick Deslauriers was with Zach Bogosian. Deslauriers used to be a defenseman in the AHL, but Bylsma said he won’t start there during a game, “It would happen in a game for sure if he was playing forward and we get down to three of four defensemen. He has certainly practiced there and that’s his natural position from years ago, so he’s more than comfortable being back there and playing there and would get some consideration. We’ll see.”’

Ristolainen suspended three games   


‘According to Article 18.12 of the NHL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Sabres can appeal Ristolainen’s suspension to the commissioner only. If the commissioner feels the appeal needs to move to a hearing, the process will move forward. If Bettman upholds the league’s decision, then the suspension will stand with no further appeals available.’