BUFFALO – Buffalo Sabres GM Tim Murray could be on the lookout for a goaltender after starter Robin Lehner went down with an ankle injury in the first game of the season and is expected to miss at least between two-to-four weeks, a layoff that could be longer once the team has a better chance of examining him.
Lehner was injured in the Sabres 3-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators Thursday night when he went out to play a puck behind the net and his skate hit a rut and he had to leave the game. He left the arena in a walking cast and was still wearing it when the Sabres practiced Friday morning.
Well, that didn’t take long.
Buffalo Sabres first round pick Jack Eichel has already found the back of the net. In the seasoning-opening game against the Ottawa Senators, Eichel buried the first tally of his career.
In the third period, the 18-year-old Eichel took a pass from behind the net and notched his first career tally by blowing a wristshot over the shoulder of Ottawa Senators netminder Craig Anderson. Read more
If the Buffalo Sabres weren’t already facing an uphill climb after 2014-15’s basement finish, 2015-16 may be getting even more difficult as starting netminder Robin Lehner has gone down with an apparent leg injury.
After dropping to make a save midway through the second period, Lehner appeared to injure himself. He needed help off the ice and toward the Sabres’ dressing room and has been ruled out for the remainder of Thursday’s game. Read more
After years of hype, the wait is finally over. No more sleeps until we get to see what Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel can do in the NHL.
It’s rare that you get to see the debut of a generational type of player. It’s even more rare when you get to see two of them make their debuts on the same night, as we will tonight with McDavid and Eichel. The only thing better is if the NHL had arranged for the Edmonton Oilers and Buffalo Sabres to play one another Thursday. Come to think of it, why didn’t it do that? Alas, we’ll have to all wait until Dec. 6 for that one.
2014-15 Record: 23-51-8 (54 Pts.)
THN’s Prediction: 7th, Atlantic Division
What To Expect: Between 1979 and 2009, 10 teams drafted in the top two in consecutive years. Five of them reached the Stanley Cup final within eight seasons and three won the Cup. Buffalo, after bottoming out for two straight second-overall picks, hopes to join the list.
The ascent begins in 2015-16 with the seasoning of Jack Eichel. He won’t have to shoulder the offense alone, as GM Tim Murray acquired No. 1 center Ryan O’Reilly minutes before drafting Eichel. Murray also dealt for Evander Kane last season, and Kane will be ready to debut in October after shutting down his year for shoulder surgery. Read more
There weren’t many positive things for the Toronto Maple Leafs to takeaway from Tuesday’s 4-0 loss to the Buffalo Sabres, but if nothing else, at least Dion Phaneuf seems to be in mid-season form when it comes to doling out punishment.
Midway through the second period of Tuesday’s tilt between the Leafs and Sabres, Buffalo defenseman Brendan Guhle, an 18-year-old coming off of his second season in the WHL, got his ‘Welcome to the NHL’ moment when he was lined up and bowled over by Phaneuf.
The hit — which was clean, hard and looked immensely painful — was textbook. You can almost feel the hit on the second slow-motion replay: Read more
Status: NHL defenseman from 1976-1990 for Detroit, Boston, New York Islanders, Edmonton, Minnesota and Buffalo.
Ht: 6-0 Wt: 195 pounds
DOB: July 30, 1956 In: Minneapolis, Minnesota
First Hockey Memory: “Started outside. When I grew up they had a big park, Sibley Park, with a football field, they would flood the field and make a hockey rink. I remember taking a break and watching the big guys playing, snow falling, standing in the snow bank, watching the guys from Roosevelt High School play. The park was in the city of Minneapolis.” Read more
Welcome back to my mailbag, where all manner of questions on prospects and the draft are answered. If you have something you want to know about, hit me up on Twitter at @THNRyanKennedy and hashtag it #thnfutures. You might see the question here in a couple weeks.
In the meantime, let’s get to the latest round of inquiries, the first of which is very timely: