Larsson rolling as Amerks hit First Niagara

‘Larsson, who can play left wing or center, was expected to compete for a forward spot in Buffalo until suffering the concussion against Toronto in the fourth exhibition game.’

Another ugly loss for Sabres

‘“I don’t know who we think we are, what kind of team we think we are, what we’ve accomplished to be playing like that,” Sabres defenseman Josh Gorges said. “We haven’t done nothing to be out there playing a cute game. We don’t deserve to play a cute game, and until we figure out that we have to work and scratch and claw and dig in order to give ourselves a chance to win, then we’re going to have nights like this.”’

Sabres embarrassed with performance against Maple Leafs

‘In order not to enrage our friends on the other side of the Peace Bridge, let’s make one thing clear — we have far too much respect for the Buffalo organization to suggest that they are losing on purpose. But man, the optics surrounding this once-proud franchise certainly are so bad, there surely will be allegations from the outside that, yes, that’s exactly what they are doing.’

Josh Gorges happy not to wear a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey

‘Gorges said after the shock of being turned loose by Montreal, he phoned his agent and asked for “time to think things over.” He understood the Leafs option, but his heart told him he couldn’t take the Leafs off his list of 15 teams he didn’t want to be traded to.’

Toronto Maple Leafs should envy the Buffalo Sabres who are (at least) losing with a purpose

‘But at least the Sabres recognize who they are. At least they have a plan, which they began to execute last season by trading Ryan Miller and Thomas Vanek for a pair of first-round picks in the upcoming 2015 draft. The players might not like it (“losing stinks, regardless,” said longtime forward Drew Stafford). But as a fan, you can buy into the process because there is a clear direction.’

Sabres’ start sets course for draft lottery

‘The Sabres appear to be a lock for the upcoming draft lottery. And despite other poor performances around the league, it’s growing increasingly difficult to see them finishing anywhere other than dead last – although Carolina is winless and two points behind Buffalo. Few will accuse them of outright tanking, but the organization has certainly done an excellent job of stripping away most of the talent at the NHL-level, using this year to develop a litany of younger players. The team might not be actively trying to lose, but the roster has been carefully assembled to the point where it’s going to be almost impossible for Ted Nolan’s lineup to sustain any kind of success, even over short periods of time. It’s a rebuild, by the harshest of designs.’

Road to McDavid, Eichel paved with embarrassment

‘The toughest part of this is that it’s the unspoken plan from management and ownership. McDavid and Eichel are generational talents and a team has to finish dead last to guarantee that it will land one of those prospects. With a tenth of the season now in the books, the 2-8-0 Sabres seem well-positioned to take advantage of that opportunity.’

Hodgson key to Buffalo’s future

‘The ultimate success of Buffalo’s complete reboot will largely be determined by the high-end picks the Sabres have either already made (Sam Reinhart, second overall last June) or are on target to make in the next year or two. That said, players like Hodgson, Tyler Ennis and Marcus Foligno will be huge factors in determining just how fast Buffalo turns the corner, and how far it can go upon getting properly directed.’

Wednesday’s Toronto Coverage

Maple Leafs skewer Sabres (Toronto Sun)
Maple Leafs line dance pays off (Toronto Sun)
Sabres embarrassed with performance against Maple Leafs (Toronto Sun)
Facing woeful Sabres exactly what the Maple Leafs needed (Toronto Sun)
Maple Leafs sharp in shutting out Sabres (Toronto Star)
Leafs finally put up game they can be proud of (Toronto Star)
Josh Gorges happy not to wear a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey (Toronto Star)
Photo gallery (Toronto Star)
Leafs keep hostile fans at bay with dominating win over woeful Sabres (Toronto Globe and Mail)
The Buffalo Sabres are truly terrible (Toronto Globe and Mail)
Toronto Maple Leafs should envy the Buffalo Sabres who are (at least) losing with a purpose (National Post)
Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf leaves game vs. Sabres with apparent right leg injury (CP)
Leafs ease building pressure with rout of lowly Sabres (TSN)
Sabres’ start sets course for draft lottery (TSN)
Road to McDavid, Eichel paved with embarrassment (Sportsnet)
Hodgson key to Buffalo’s future (Sportsnet)
A Much Needed Win (MapleLeafs.com)
Photo gallery (MapleLeafs.com)
Photo gallery (Sabres.com)

Maple Leafs set record for fewest shots allowed in rout of Sabres

‘Buffalo goaltender Michal Neuvirth stopped the first 28 shots he faced before the dam burst. Tyler Bozak, Phil Kessel and James van Riemsdyk scored three goals within a span of seven minutes, and Jake Gardiner added another, to improve Toronto’s home record to 2-4-0 this season.’

Gorges saying no to Leafs creates domino effect on Franson, Habs and Sabres

‘But by refusing to remove Toronto from his no-trade list, Gorges not only changed the course of history for himself but at least three other players and a trio of franchises. Had Gorges agreed to go, it’s likely the Canadiens wouldn’t have signed Tom Gilbert and possible the Leafs wouldn’t have signed Stephane Robidas.’

Toronto 4, Buffalo 0

‘Michael Neuvirth stopped 33-of-37 shots for Buffalo, which fell to 2-8-0 on the season.’

Leafs dominate Sabres

‘The Sabres (2-8-0) entered Monday’s contest averaging 1.1 goals per game. They were shut out for the fourth times.’

Leafs Dominate Sabres 4-0

‘For as much difficulty as Toronto had finding the back of the net in the first two periods, it was as simple for them in the final stanza. It started off with Phil Kessel’s fourth of the season as he banked one off of Michael Neuvirth to make it 2-0 less than 5 minutes in. That was followed up exactly one minute later by a James Van Riemsdyk tally as he was left alone in front of the net to make it 3-0 Leafs. The Leafs would continue to put pressure on Buffalo throughout the period, and were rewarded again midway through, as Jake Gardiner roofed one over Neuvirth to make it 4-0.’

The Sabres very sluggish after their west coast trip

‘This game was as pathetic as it gets as other than Neuvirth it was a no-show from top to bottom. The west coast excuse applies for this game and this game only. They have to be ready to play Thursday.’