Saturday’s Rochester Coverage

Amerks roll with lift from Olesz (Rochester D&C)

Hall of Famer Gibson likes the ‘new’ rink (Rochester D&C)

Rochester 5, Iowa 2 (AP)

Amerks Rout Iowa (RNews.com)

Amerks shoot down Stars 5-2 (Amerks.com)

Doug Gibson returns to BCA (Amerks.com)

Stars falter in Rochester (IowaStarsHockey.com)

Is anyone in the East even close to the Sabres?

'The bottom line is this. At press time the Sabres are eight points ahead of their closest competition in the Eastern Conference, and it's only November. They are the only NHL team with over 90 goals, let alone 100.'

Sabres in position to get even better

'The Buffalo Sabres have just concluded a stretch in which they played seven games in eleven nights, and they're not out of the woods.'

Campbell is living the dream

‘Being Brian Campbell today is like living in a fantasy world. He’s one of the most popular players on a Buffalo Sabres team that is being embraced by this town like few other teams have. He’s one of the most respected voices in a dressing room filled with leaders. His name is among the NHL’s best in several categories, playing for a team that is the league’s best.’

Nobody even comes close in scoring column

‘Taking away the one goal awarded for each shootout victory, the Sabres have scored 97 times. That’s an average of 4.41 per game, nearly a full goal higher than second-place Anaheim. The Ducks’ 80 goals work out to 3.48 per game. The Sabres have almost 21/2 times the output of the Columbus Blue Jackets, the team with the least offensive might. Columbus has 42 goals for a 2.10 average.’

Sabres vs. Canadiens

‘G Cristobal Huet has won his last four starts, in which he’s allowed only seven goals.’

Early looks, for just a quarter

‘The Buffalo Sabres coach has not always enjoyed Tucker’s alleged tactics, especially last season when he accused the Maple Leaf winger of going after the knee of Jochen Hecht. So, imagine our shock this week when we approached Ruff and asked him who has been the biggest surprise thus far in the young NHL season.’

Defence is key for Habs

‘Playing against the NHL’s best team is a pretty good litmus test a quarter into the season. “Whether you play them in the first game, the 50th game or the last game of the season, it’s always a test when you’re playing the best in the league,” Canadiens assistant captain Craig Rivet said after practice yesterday at the Bell Centre.’

Friday’s Montreal Coverage (Updated 5:00 p.m.)

Defence is key for Habs (Montreal Gazette)

Montreal (12-5-3) at Buffalo (18-3-1) (AP)

High-flying Sabres host Canadiens in Northeast Division clash (Sportsticker)

Montreal Canadiens (12-5-3) at Buffalo Sabres (18-3-1) (The Sports Network)

Game # 23: Montreal @ Buffalo (SabresFans.com)

Off to Buffalo (HabsWorld.net)

Friday’s Rochester Coverage

Younger Amerks following veteran Smith (Rochester D&C)

Getting to know Sabres prospect Mark Mancari (LetsGoSabres.com)

Toronto Maple Leafs take 7-4 loss to Buffalo Sabres in stride

'Still, the endless whistles were still ringing in the ears of some Maple Leafs as they thought about the game in the dressing room afterwards. McCabe took two penalties, including one in the second period that led to a power-play goal by Briere. "We battled a lot of adversity tonight I can tell you that," the defenceman said afterwards. "If that call on me in the second period is a penalty, every defenceman in the league should retire. All I did was lift his stick."'

Vanek comes back stronger this season after being healthy scratch in playoffs

‘We asked him to make a big commitment in the conditioning part of it that would allow him to play a lot better game,” said Ruff. “And you have to give him credit, he came into camp in absolutely fabulous shape. His weight right now is about 20 pounds lighter than he used to be. And he’s stronger. So you figure it out,” continued Ruff. “You’ve got more energy, there’s less downtime in shifts, that’s made a big difference, combined with the strength and quickness he put in. It’s made him a lot better player.”‘

Game # 22: Sabres 7, Maple Leafs 4

'As much as conventional wisdom and the Sabres record in '05-'06 with the opening goal (36-5-4) would say otherwise, the team continues to thrive with the jump-start that an early deficit provides them, going an unblemished 9-0-1 this season when yielding the opening goal.'

Sabres get up to speed

‘”You look at them in the standings, that’s a big swing when we’re looking at them getting two points closer to us,” Ruff said. “But we pushed them two points back.”‘

Depth lifts Sabres to new heights

'Left wing Daniel Paille is looking like he might pull a Jason Pominville and force his way into permanence. He had a pair of assists and played almost five minutes on a penalty-killing unit that faced seven Toronto power plays.'