Hope and questions face 2015 Sabres

‘Murray went on to “tank” the ship in Buffalo to draft Sam Reinhart and then Eichel. Since then, Murray has called in all the help he can get to raise that ship from the depths of the standings.’

There is hope in Sabre-land

‘Sure, the defense has the potential to be a giant sieve and Robin Lehner has a whopping 86 games of NHL experience between the pipes. If nothing else, at least the Sabres will be fun to watch.’

Eichel, Kessel are keys for Sabres, Pens

‘This club isn’t evolving into an instant winner simply because Eichel has arrived. The Sabres have enough question marks, and are deficient in enough areas, to remain a work in progress for a few more years. But Buffalo finally has a face for this franchise, one who personifies the city with his blend of work ethic and swagger. The future is brighter because of him.’

Thursday’s Ottawa Coverage

Senators-Sabres Preview (AP)
Ottawa Senators will put friendships aside for victory versus Buffalo (CP)
Sabres open Eichel era by hosting Senators (NHL.com)

What to expect from every Sabre in 2015-16

‘How will each player perform this year? Using Hockey Prospectus’s VUKOTA projection system mixed with some common sense adjustments based on likely playing time, linemates etc., we look at what to expect from every player on the opening roster. (Here is a look at last year’s article, which had some hits and *cough Cody Hodgson* misses)’

Sabres Gionta is injured

‘Gorges said last week he thought he’s be ready for game number one. On Wednesday after practice he said, “I feel really good. I think we’ll reevaluate things in the morning and we’ll know more tomorrow, but I don’t think there’s any reason why I wouldn’t be able to go, but we’ll find out.”’

Sabres’ Reinhart has a mentor on the team

‘“He’s a great guy and there are a lot of them in this dressing room. This team coming in, there’s no question that it’s a lot closer and for a guy like him there’s no question he’s a reason why the team’s close,” Reinhart said.’

Gionta day-to-day as Sabres hold final practice ahead of opener

‘Brian Gionta sustained a lower-body injury late in practice on Tuesday and is day-to-day, Sabres coach Dan Bylsma announced following Wednesday’s practice. Sam Reinhart filled in for Gionta on the right wing on a line with Evander Kane and center Jack Eichel.’

Thursday’s Rochester Coverage

Don Cherry reflects on Rochester Amerks’ 1960s dynasty (Rochester Democrat and Chronicle)

Sabres’ Murray taking cautious approach

‘“That’s what I said to our coaches, ‘I want everybody to be positive. I’m the only guy in the organization allowed to be negative.’ That’s the way I wanted it. If I’m the most negative guy in the city about the team, that’s pretty good.”‘

Eichel’s rite of passage: He’s officially No. 15

‘“A lot of family and friends coming in, so it’s going to be a special moment for me,” Eichel said. “It’s something I’ve dreamed of my whole life, stepping foot on the ice. You’ve made the NHL.’

Sabres launch art contest to spruce up HarborCenter loading dock doors

‘That will make the artwork very visible from Canalside across the street.’

Sabres captain Brian Gionta still going strong at 36

‘“I can’t say this unequivocally because I haven’t had him as a captain,” Bylsma said, “(but) in looking at him, in terms of the leadership, both in how you play and how you act and what you’re able to say, Brian is … one of the best choices for a captaincy.”’

Jack Eichel still wearing No. 41; Sabres roster set

‘When will the second overall pick switch to the No. 15 he chose in July? “Thursday night maybe?” Eichel said. “I don’t know.”’

Puck dropping on the Eichel Era Thursday

‘Eichel will center Buffalo’s second line Thursday and his play away from the puck has pleased coach Dan Bylsma, according to reports.’