Grading every Sabre’s 2015-16: Defensemen edition

‘ The Sabres’ 8th overall pick in 2013 has emerged as a legitimate No. 1 defenseman, playing in all situations and posting 41 points, which was good for 24th in the NHL, just behind Duncan Keith. Dan Bylsma and the coaching staff have praised Ristolainen’s growth as a physical presence. He had memorable battles with Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby. The only negative on Risto’s record is that he had poor Corsi Percentage and Goals For Percentage. At 21, it is expected that these numbers will improve as he grows into the No. 1 role, especially if Tim Murray can provide the Finnish D-man with a puck-moving partner.’

Despite down year in Rochester, Kaleta holding on to his NHL dream

‘“When I was in there, I did what I needed to do,” Kaleta told Rochester media Monday as the Amerks cleaned out their lockers and looked toward the offseason. “It’s just going to be focusing on getting back to the NHL. I’m pretty hungry. I have a chip on my shoulder, and I really think I can help out hopefully with the Sabres the younger group of guys with creating some space and knowing they have a little bit of backup.’

Popular Amerks veteran Matt Ellis pondering future

‘“I’ve thought about it this year more than I’ve ever thought about it,” he said. “There’s a lot of days where I had a lot of time to kind of chew on things. Physically, I still feel good.”’

Tuesday’s Rochester Coverage

For the Amerks, it was a season of unfulfilled promise (Rochester Democrat and Chronicle)

Eichel and Reinhart a dynamic duo in the making for Sabres

‘“On-ice chemistry starts off the ice, and your personal relationship with someone can definitely help the way you play on the ice,” Eichel said. “I think that’s the case here. Sam and I have a really good relationship off the ice. We do a lot together. We room on the road together. It seems like we’re always together.’

Goalie Andrey Makarov likely done with Sabres organization

‘“I don’t know what’s going to happen next,” Makarov said.’

Monday’s Rochester Coverage

Amerks close the season with a 4-2 loss (Rochester Democrat and Chronicle)
First-place Marlies have targets on their backs for AHL playoffs (Toronto Star)
Amerks fall to Marlies in 2015-16 finale (
Marlies Win Final Game of Regular Season (

Former Sabre John Scott and his odyssey of extremes

‘The three-team trade Jan. 15 made little sense, involving journeymen and broken prospects. Two weeks later, Darcy Regier left the Coyotes’ front office for personal reasons he hasn’t divulged publicly. Many around the league say Regier, the former Buffalo Sabres general manager who brought Scott to Buffalo in 2012, was mortified about the trade.’

Patrick Kaleta frustrated by Amerks stint

‘Despite a full year away, Kaleta believes he has a future with the Sabres, the team he grew up rooting for and took great pride in representing. “I think I do,” he said. “I think I can help out that team. I think they can benefit from someone like me and what I bring and maybe create a little bit more space for those young guys to do what they do.’

Sunday’s Rochester Coverage

Amerks fall in Toronto, 3-1 (Rochester Democrat and Chronicle)
Marlies goalie Antoine Bibeau made the most of Sparks’s absence (Toronto Star)
Guhle scores as Amerks drop first of two with Marlies (
Marlies Top Americans (

Sabres Ryan O’Reilly is a classic leader by example

‘O’Reilly is in the perfect spot to hold others accountable for two reasons. First, his seven-year, $52.5 million contract kicks in this summer, making him the highest-paid Sabres player ever. Secondly, no one is harder on themselves than O’Reilly. If the team’s leader doesn’t get a pass, no one should.’

Sabres’ Tyler Ennis confident he’ll regain old form

‘“He knows he has to prepare more before practice,” Murray said. “When he hits the ice, practice with a purpose, practice seriously. He’s come to these conclusions through this injury and watching our team play from the sideline. So this may make him a better, more serious hockey player, and we hope so.”‘

Wisconsin Rapids native makes his NHL debut

‘”When I stepped out on the ice for my first shift it was surreal,” said Nelson, who played his college hockey for Minnesota State University-Mankato. “It was an unbelievable feeling to be skating in the NHL. It’s what you dream about as a kid.’

Saturday’s Rochester Coverage

Amerks home finale was a lot like the entire season (Rochester Democrat and Chronicle)
Danis sets shutout record as Devils win in Rochester (Albany Times Union)
Amerks blanked by Devils, 5-0 (
Photo gallery (
Danis Ties Record As Devils Hit 100 Points (

Sabres’ Girgensons blames his down year on man in the mirror

‘“It’s definitely on me how I played. It’s just bearing down on chances I had, more focus, more drive, more passion for the goals and offense I should have.”’