Buffalo Sabres possess a deep pool of late-rounders at the NCAA level

‘The Sabres can retain the rights of players drafted from the NCAA or Europe for much longer than their CHL peers. It allows players to develop over a longer period of time, and even though most late-round draft picks never turn pro, a bit of patience comes at no extra cost to the Sabres.’

Sabres score late, Coyotes Triumph in OT

‘Buffalo would finally net the equalizer with less than 5 minutes remaining in the third as Shane Doan turned the puck over right to the stick of Brian Gionta who blasted it home on the power play to tie the game. The Sabres would get a fabulous chance with just over a minute left as Zach Bogosian moved in on the breakaway, but Mike Smith stoned the backhand attempt and we remained tied.’

Atmosphere in the arena was disappointing

‘Pat Kaleta got right back into the swing of things in his first game back. He threw a solid body check right in front of Rob Ray down there and B.J. Crombeen took excpetion and gave Buffalo a power play. I get so tired of players having to answer for clean hits.’

Seven Days in Spring

‘In the next week the Sabres will play four games against teams that sit at the bottom of the standings. Buffalo will play two games against the Coyotes, one with the Avalanche, and one with the Leafs. It’s not crazy to think about Buffalo snagging eight points in this stretch, effectively pushing up the standings and moving out of the guaranteed “McEichel” spot. Let’s leave the tanking debate out of this, and just look at what this could mean for the NHL.’

Gagner, Coyotes defeat Sabres in overtime

‘”I felt good,” Hackett said. “I thought I battled pretty hard. (I’m) pretty sore. That one’s pretty frustrating.”‘

Sabres come away with point against Coyotes

‘“It was a back-and-forth thing. We battled back and it’s a tough loss,” Gionta said.’

Friday’s Rochester Coverage

Now in spoiler mode, Amerks are test-driving collegians (Rochester Democrat and Chronicle)
Amerks sign Hart and Prapavessis to ATO contracts (Amerks.com)

Winning’s the only thing, say Sabres, Coyotes players

‘“Nobody wants to be in the position our two teams are in. Not one player,” Coyotes forward Shane Doan said. “You’re embarrassed. You have to be. Nobody ever wants to be considered the worst. Obviously, both teams are considered the two worst teams in the league. That’s not a good feeling.”’

Kaleta, set to return, deserves better than this

‘“You can’t really hide from it. You just focus on what you have to do,” Kaleta said after practice Wednesday. “I’m a guy that takes pride in how he plays. I don’t know what’s going to happen. You just feed off the crowd regardless.”

Hackett hurting but could go Thursday

‘“I always want to play but with the knee and where it’s at, I have to take my rest when I can and it’s just too difficult in this league to play back-to-back,” Hackett said. “I just keep icing it.”’

The ethics of losing

‘And when they went on a 14-game losing streak in December and January, management sat on its hands. The Sabres neither waived nor traded any of their players. They didn’t fire coach Ted Nolan.’

Ted Nolan believes Buffalo wants Sabres to win

‘“I can’t control what other people think and what other people do,” Nolan said Wednesday. “The only thing I know is what I feel. I’m not speaking for anyone else. I’m just speaking for myself. Who wants to finish last? I never went into anything my entire life wanting to finish last.”‘

Sabres goalie Matt Hackett ready for start, must deal with soreness

‘“It’s going to be sore right now,” he said. “I just got to get used to it.”’

Thursday’s Phoenix Coverage

Coyotes-Sabres Preview (AP)
Arizona Coyotes (22-44-8) at Buffalo Sabres (20-46-7) (The Sports Network)
Sabres could get Bogosian, Kaleta back vs. Coyotes (NHL.com)

Last-place-rooting Sabres fans have message to team: ‘Lose!’

‘The compound name “McEichel” has become a popular hashtag reference among Sabres fans on Twitter. Some have written letters to the editor imploring the Sabres to lose. And several hosts on the team’s flagship radio station are on board by providing daily updates on the bottom end of the standings.’