Tag: Buffalo Sabres

Buffalo Sabres v New Jersey Devils

Gorges says it’s a ‘joke to even think about’ Sabres tanking


Buffalo’s in a tailspin right now — 1-8-1 over its last 10 games — which has renewed chatter of the club getting back into the Connor McDavid-Jack Eichel sweepstakes for this June’s draft.

Josh Gorges, though, doesn’t want to hear it.

“Our focus since the start of the year hasn’t been on trying to get the top draft pick,” the Sabres’ alternate captain said, per WGR 550 Radio. “Never in my life have I ever heard of losing on purpose.

“That’s a joke to even think about.”

The Sabres currently 28th in the NHL with 31 points, three up on another team right in the mix of the “McEichel” derby — Carolina, who the Sabres play tomorrow (hence the recent tank talk.) But go back three weeks, and the conversation was very different; on Dec. 15, Buffalo beat Ottawa for its fourth straight victory and ninth in 12 games. That left the Sabres with a 13-16-2 record and 28 points, four back of the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference, which led us to ask the following:

We’re curious — are Sabres fans happy or frustrated about the 9-3-0 stretch?

Fans appeared split on the issue, with most replying along the lines of “players play to win and it’s impossible to ask ’em to lose… but it might cost us a generational player.”

Then there’s Gorges, who has an entirely different take on that last stretch of good results. He sees it as a example of how well the Sabres can play, and how frustrating it makes this current slide.

“We’ve shown that when we want to do the right things, when we want to play together, when we want to compete hard, we can play,” he said. “And we’re not going to win every game, but we can compete.

“We’ve beat some of the top teams in the East and we’ve beat L.A. and some good teams out West. The potential is there. So when you don’t have it and we don’t play the way we’re supposed to, that’s frustrating.”

Get your game notes: Bruins at Penguins

Milan Lucic, Simon Despres
1 Comment

Tonight on NBCSN, it’s the Pittsburgh Penguins hosting the Boston Bruins at 8 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:


• Boston’s struggles: Since the start of December, Boston has won just 5 of 16 games (5-6-5).

• The B’s enter having dropped 4 of their last 5 games (1-1-3), including their last 3 – all in OT/SO.

• The Bruins (44 points) are 5th in the Atlantic Division, and trail TOR by 1 point for the 2nd Wild Card spot. On Tuesday, new Bruins CEO Charlie Jacobs had critical remarks for the team’s performance this season: “I’d say without question this has been a very disappointing year. It’s unacceptable the way this team has performed given the amount of time, money and effort that’s been spent on this team. To see it deliver the way it has is unacceptable.”

• BOS is coming off a 2-1 (SO) loss at CAR on Sunday.

• Patrice Bergeron netted the lone goal for Boston.

• Tied 1-1 after 2 periods, the Bruins managed just 2 shots in the 3rd period, and finished with 20 in the game for their 3rd-lowest total of the season (BOS was outshot 36-20).

• BOS has not allowed more goals than it has scored in a season since 2007-08. That season, the Bruins qualified for the playoffs as the 8th seed in the East and lost in the Conference Quarterfinals.

• Pittsburgh also hitting a snag: The Pens have just 2 wins in their last 7 games (2-4-1)…

• PIT is coming off a 4-1 loss vs. MTL last Saturday.

• David Perron – acquired from EDM last Friday for Rob Klinkhammer and a 2015 1st round pick – scored the lone PIT goal in his Penguins debut.

• PIT (53 points) is tied in points with NYI for the Metropolitan Division lead (with one game in hand) – those two teams trail only TB and MTL in the Eastern Conference.

• The Pens have won their division each of the past 2 seasons

• Of key players, currently forwards Patric Hornqvist (lower-body), Blake Comeau (wrist), Pascal Dupuis (blood clots), and defensemen Olli Maatta (shoulder) and Paul Martin (undisclosed) are all on IR.

• Martin practiced on Tuesday and coach Mike Johnston said the trainers believe Martin is “really close” to returning. He hasn’t played since Dec. 18.

• The Penguins are 15-1-1 when scoring on the power play this season, but just 1-for-15 in their last 6 games with the man-advantage.


• Nov. 24 at BOS: PIT def. BOS 3-2 (OT)

• Evgeni Malkin tied the game at 2 with a power-play goal midway through the 2nd period before scoring the OT-winner 32 seconds into the extra frame.

• Sidney Crosby had a goal and assisted on both of Malkin’s tallies.

• Milan Lucic and Joe Morrow scored 28 seconds apart early in the 2nd for BOS.

• This game was the 300th career victory for Pens goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, making him the 3rd-fastest and 3rd-youngest goalie to reach the milestone.


• Patrice Bergeron leads the Bruins in assists (20) and points (28). He scored the lone Bruins goal in the loss to Carolina, and has 6 points (2G-4A) in his last 6 games.

• Bergeron: “We’re halfway in, and we’re not in the playoffs. It’s definitely unacceptable.”

• Loui Eriksson has played well of late, with 10 points (4G-6A) and a +6 rating in his last 9 games.

• Overall, Eriksson is 3rd on the team with 25 points (9G-16A).

• Career vs. PIT: Eriksson has 11 points (5G-6A) in 10 GP.

• Brad Marchand leads the Bruins in goals (11), and he is the only Bruin with 10+ goals this season.

• Vancouver (Radim Vrbata – 16 goals) and Buffalo (Zemgus Girgensons – 11) are the only other NHL teams that have just one 10+ goal scorer this season.

• Milan Lucic scored 24 goals in 80 games last season, but he has just 6 in 39 GP so far this season.

• Lucic is in the middle of an 8-game goal drought, and he has just 1 goal in his last 15 games.

• David Krejci will play in his 10th game since returning to the lineup following a month-long absence (groin).

• Krejci led the Bruins in scoring in October (9 points), and has 4 points (1G-3A) in his last 4 games.

• Zdeno Chara is also trying to find his stride since returning to the lineup last month from a knee injury that sidelined him for 19 games.

• Chara has 5 points (all assists) in the 12 games since returning, but is without a point in his last 4.

• Career vs. PIT: Chara has 16 goals vs. PIT – his most vs. any NHL opponent – along with 15 assists.

• Tuukka Rask has made 4 straight starts for Boston, getting at least 1 point in each (1-0-3). However, he has been the hard-luck loser in the past 3 games, dropping 2 in a shootout and one in overtime.

• The reigning Vezina Trophy winner stopped 35 of 36 shots in the SO loss to the Hurricanes on Sunday.

• Rask hadn’t allowed 1 or fewer goals in a game since Nov. 28 – a span of 13 games.


• Evgeni Malkin is one of just 3 Pens to have played in all 39 games this season (Nick Spaling, Rob Scuderi).

• Malkin leads the team in goals (17 – T-9th in NHL) and is tied for the team lead in points with Sidney Crosby (43 – T-6th in NHL).

• Malkin leads the team in power play goals (8 – T-5th in NHL).

• Malkin has just 2 points in his last 5 games (1 goal, 1 assist in 6-3 win vs. TB last Friday).

• Career vs. BOS: Malkin has 28 points (13G-15A) in 24 GP.

• Sidney Crosby may be locating his scoring touch. He has 6 points (1G-5A) in his last 4 games, including a 4-assist game in the win over Tampa Bay.

• Crosby is tied with Malkin for the team lead in points (43 – T-6th in NHL).

• Career vs. BOS: Crosby has 38 points (11G-27A) in 26 GP.

• PIT acquired David Perron from EDM last Friday in exchange for Rob Klinkhammer and a 2015 1st round pick. The 8-year NHL veteran scored the lone Penguins goal in his debut last Saturday in the 4-1 loss to MTL.

• In 38 games with EDM this season, Perron had 19 points (5G-14A).

• Last season, Perron had a career-high 28 goals and 57 points.

• Perron was a 2007 1st round pick (26th overall) by STL.

• In Patric Hornqvist and Pascal Dupuis absences, Steve Downie has benefitted from playing alongside Sidney Crosby on the top line.

• Downie has as many points (10) in his last 8 games as he did in his previous 26 to start the season:

• Marc-Andre Fleury only has 1 win in his last 6 starts (1-3-1, 3.16 GAA, .898 SV%), but the 30-year-old is still having his best season statistically as a pro.

• His 6 shutouts through 31 games lead the NHL, and are already his career-best for a season. His 2.18 GAA and .926 SV% this season would be his best season averages in his 11-season career (current bests: 2.32 GAA in 2010-11, .921 SV% in 2007-08).

• Career vs. BOS: Fleury is 12-6-3 with a 2.30 GAA and .922 SV%.

Elias joins the 1,000 point club in Devils win over the Sabres

Patrik Elias

With the New Jersey Devils already leading 3-1, Patrik Elias setup Mike Cammalleri’s empty net goal giving him 1,000 career NHL points.

Elias becomes just the fifth Czech-born player to reach the 1,000 point mark. He is also the 82nd player in NHL history to reach the milestone.

Elias also had a goal in the win and setup Travis Zajac’s shorthanded marker.

Jordin Tootoo other Devils goal.

Mikhail Grigorenko had his first goal for the Sabres since Jan. 29, 2013.

Goalie nods: Lack to face Isles for first time since The Meltdown

New York Islanders v Vancouver Canucks

All the latest from the crease…

Eddie gets his shot at revenge

Remember the last time the Canucks faced the Islanders? If you don’t, a quick refresher:

Seven goals by seven different Islanders in the third period, erasing a 3-0 Vancouver lead while setting the following marks:

• Tied an NHL record for goals in a road period
• Set a club record for goals in a road period
• Tied a club record for goals in a period (7 vs NYR on 12/23/78)
• Tied a Canucks record for goals allowed in a period
• Set a club record for points in a road period, with 19 points in the 3rd
• Tied a club record for power play goals in a period, with three in the 3rd

On the hook for six of those seven goals? Canucks netminder Eddie Lack, who finished with just 21 saves on 27 shots.

“The guys played well enough in front of me,” Lack said, per the Vancouver Sun. “I think I have to make two or three saves there and I take responsibility for this loss.”

Tonight, the Isles are back in Vancouver and Lack will get the start, his first since Dec. 17. It promises to be a very interesting affair; Lack’s been tremendous over his last five appearances (eight goals on 134 shots, a .940 save percentage) but the Isles are coming in off a disappointing loss in Edmonton, and probably remember last year’s game quite well.

It’s also worth noting that, with Lack getting the start tonight, it’ll likely be Ryan Miller in goal for the Canucks tomorrow when the Florida Panthers are in town — which is projected to be Roberto Luongo’s first game back in Vancouver since last year’s trade.

No word yet on who the Isles will start in goal tonight.


Sabres at Devils: Jhonas Enroth vs. Cory Schneider

Sens at Flyers: Craig Anderson vs. Steve Mason

Bolts at Habs: Ben Bishop vs. Carey Price

‘Canes at Preds: Cam Ward for Carolina, Pekka Rinne likely for Nashville.

Sharks at Wild: Darcy Kuemper for Minnesota, no word yet on a San Jose starter.

Blue Jackets at Stars: Sergei Bobrovsky for Columbus, Anders Lindback likely for Dallas.

Avs at ‘Hawks: Semyon Varlamov vs. Corey Crawford

Blues at Coyotes: Brian Elliott vs. Mike Smith

Wings at Oilers: Jimmy Howard vs. Viktor Fasth

Myers hopes Sabres’ confidence returns with him

Andy Andreoff, Tyler Myers

Tyler Myers expects to return to action for the Buffalo Sabres against the New Jersey Devils. From what he told the Buffalo News, it sounds like he hopes that some of the Sabres’ swagger will reemerge with him.

It’s easy to see why he’d make such a point, as Buffalo won 10 of 13 games before he got hurt and then went 1-7-1 when he was sidelined.

“The way we went during our winning streak, it brought a belief factor in the room I think we’ve been lacking a little bit in the last year or two,” Myers said. “Just knowing we can do that gets guys to work that much harder to try and keep doing it.”

While the tall defenseman’s numbers haven’t always been pretty, the Sabres lean on Myers as if he’s an elite shutdown blueliner. He’s only started 37 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone so far this season, which is the sort of workload you’d see from a single-minded defensive specialist.

It’s unclear if the shaky Sabres will be able to swipe wins like they did before Myers went down, but he’s clearly a big part of the team, so they could be feistier with him back in the mix.