Tag: Mark Pysyk

Zach Bogosian, Boone Jenner

Sabres’ biggest question: Defense


As much as the Buffalo Sabres have improved lately, it still seems like they’re going to struggle on defense.

Honestly, there are strong odds that they’ll struggle a lot.

You can trot out the simplest stats (Buffalo allowed a league-worst shots on goal average of 35.6 per game, two more than second-worst Toronto) or go a little deeper (the Sabres’ Fenwick Close was downright ghastly), but the bottom line is that Buffalo was atrocious on D. Their offensive firepower was meek in 2014-15, yet the Sabres’ work in their own end was the leading reason people described them as “historically inept.”

Just look at the dregs of NHL.com’s “SAT” stat and you’ll see just how much worse Buffalo was than the rest of the worst:

26. Columbus: -365
27. Toronto: -515
28. Calgary: -839
29. Colorado: -984
30. Buffalo: -1,789


GM Tim Murray made this team better in many ways – and certain facets should benefit Buffalo defensively – but the personnel is still lacking.

Even if Dan Byslma’s a big difference-maker, it’s difficult to imagine him working many miracles with some combination of Rasmus Ristolainen, Zach Bogosian (pictured), Josh Gorges, Mike Weber, Matt Donovan, Mark Pysyk, Jake McCabe and Carlo Colaiacovo.

(Seriously, take a step back and ponder that group for a moment.)

Look, players like Ristolainen could very well make significant strides in 2015-16. Buffalo is also likely to enjoy better two-way play from its forward group, as Ryan O’Reilly and David Legwand both possess some defensive chops. Again, Byslma’s systems could at least drag the Sabres closer to respectability, as well.

If you dial down the optimism to more reasonable levels, the Sabres are likely to put a ton of pressure on Robin Lehner and Chad Johnson next season, as that defense stands as a work in progress … at best.

Sabres’ Pysyk collapsed during a pickup basketball game (Updated)

Columbus Blue Jackets v Buffalo Sabres

Buffalo Sabres property Mark Pysyk, who is currently with the AHL’s Rochester Americans, reportedly collapsed during a pickup basketball game at Blue Cross Arena in Rochester.

According to Kevin Oklobzija of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the 23-year-old was taken to hospital in an ambulance, but he was “fairly alert and his vital signs were close to normal”.

Pysyk played in Friday night’s 4-3 overtime loss to the Toronto Marlies and was with the team this morning as they had a team breakfast and an off-ice workout.

Oklobzija added that Pysyk hasn’t had a similar issue in his three seasons with the Sabres.

Update: The Americans confirmed the Democrat and Chronicle story adding the defenseman is still being evaluated in hospital.

Originally the Sabres’ first-round selection (23rd overall in 2010), Pysyk has appeared in seven games with the Sabres this season registering two goals and an assist while averaging 18:11 in ice time.

He was reassigned to Rochester on Thursday following the Sabres 6-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks.

Coach Ted Nolan expressed his desire to have the defenseman with the parent club this week.

“Last time he was up, he looked ready for prime time,” said Nolan on Monday.

Adding, “I know where he should be, but in the process we’re going through here, it’s out of our control.”

Pysyk has appeared in 51 AHL games this season registering three goals and 15 points to go along with 30 penalty minutes.

Sabres recall Pysyk from AHL

Columbus Blue Jackets v Buffalo Sabres

The Buffalo Sabres have recalled defenseman Mark Pysyk from the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League the club announced Sunday.

According to Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News, the recall is a result of defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen falling ill on Saturday.

Pysyk, 22, is on his second recall with the Sabres this season. He was recalled by the Sabres on Dec. 21 and appeared in two games averaging over 20 minutes in ice time before being reassigned Dec. 24.

Pysyk has a goal and 10 assists in 30 AHL games this season.

Originally Buffalo’s first-round pick (23rd overall) in the 2010, Pysyk has appeared in 65 games for the Sabres scoring two goals and 10 assists.

The Sabres are back in action Monday when they visit the Ottawa Senators.