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Posted On Saturday, 06.06.2015 / 5:18 PM

By Joe Yerdon - Correspondent / - Combing the 2015 NHL Scouting Combine

Y-Balance provides unique test for players at combine

BUFFALO – The 2015 NHL Scouting Combine featured many physical tests for the top prospects in the 2015 NHL Draft to take part in, but the newest one that tested their abilities was the Y-Balance test.

The Y-Balance is used to test each player’s strength, flexibility, and core control. The player stands at the center of a Y-shaped board on a single leg and use their other leg to slide outward on one of the axis. For many players it was a new challenge to go with the other tests.

"I think it's kind of a way to challenge yourself to go farther every time," University of Michigan defenseman Zachary Werenski said. "You get a couple tries on each one. It's just a good way to push yourself. It was different, I've never done it before but it was fun."

Posted On Saturday, 06.06.2015 / 3:31 PM

By Joe Yerdon - Correspondent / - Combing the 2015 NHL Scouting Combine

BU teammate Greer thinks Eichel will do great things

BUFFALO – When it comes to Boston University forward Jack Eichel, there may not be another player at the 2015 NHL Draft Combine that knows him better than his collegiate teammate, forward AJ Greer.

Eichel is expected to be selected second at the 2015 NHL Draft in Sunrise, Fla., but Greer thinks higher of him.

"It was definitely special [playing with him], all the hype around him," Greer said. "He’s top-two in the draft. Personally I think he should go No. 1. It was definitely special the attention we got. The way he acted like a pro everywhere, whether it was on the ice, at the gym, in the classroom, I think he gave the impression to do the same thing and put in as much work as he does and I think that’s why we were so successful."

Posted On Friday, 06.05.2015 / 2:57 PM

By Joe Yerdon - Correspondent / - 2015 NHL Draft blog

Sweeney preparing for first draft as Bruins GM

BUFFALO -- Don Sweeney is preparing for his first NHL draft as Boston Bruins general manager.

Sweeney, hired on May 20 to replace Peter Chiarelli, has taken charge at the 2015 NHL Scouting Combine. As the interviews and workouts with prospects take place here, Sweeney is getting a handle on how to move toward the 2015 NHL Draft in Sunrise, Fla.

"I think you're getting a broad perspective of the players at this point in time," Sweeney said. "Obviously our scouts have worked tremendously hard all year long at the players that they would like to draft and that's part of me. I really want our scouts to identify the guys they really, really want. They want to play for the Boston Bruins. They want to identify, they want to fit into our culture and the identity we want to have going forward.

"So the best player available may or may not fit in that situation. It might be a need-based [pick] a little bit, but we really want the players that they think are the best players that identify with how we want to play going forward. So I'm excited about that."

Posted On Thursday, 06.04.2015 / 4:27 PM

By Joe Yerdon - Correspondent / - Combing the 2015 NHL Scouting Combine

Sabres happy to be hosting NHL Scouting Combine

BUFFALO -- Buffalo Sabres president Ted Black has enjoyed the role the Sabres are playing as host of the 2015 NHL Scouting Combine this week.

It's the first time the Combine has been held outside Toronto. Events this week are taking place at First Niagara Center and HarborCenter.

"I think it's, selfishly, good for our franchise and for our city," Black said Thursday. "We're a member club, we're one of 30, so we appreciate the responsibility that carries to do what's best for the League, which is really our first priority."

Posted On Saturday, 04.11.2015 / 12:38 PM

By Joe Yerdon - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Penguins at Sabres

BUFFALO -- The Pittsburgh Penguins will be looking to clinch a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs when they face the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; CITY, ROOT, MSG-B).

The Penguins are coming off a 3-1 loss to the New York Islanders on Friday and can clinch a wild card berth in the postseason with a win in any fashion against the Sabres.

The Penguins can also qualify for the playoffs if they get one point against the Sabres and either the Ottawa Senators lose to the Philadelphia Flyers in regulation or the Boston Bruins fail to defeat the Tampa Bay Lightning in regulation or overtime, or if the Bruins lose to the Lightning in any fashion.

Posted On Monday, 04.06.2015 / 2:01 PM

By Joe Yerdon - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Hurricanes at Sabres

BUFFALO -- Matt Moulson will return to the Buffalo Sabres lineup when they face the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday (7 p.m. ET; FS-CR, MSG-B, BELL TV).

Moulson missed the past two games because of an illness but was back on the ice when the Sabres skated Monday. Moulson is second on the Sabres in scoring with 40 points.

"We're going in the right direction," Moulson said. "We've definitely played a lot better than we played earlier on in the season. I think part of that is maturing and learning from things we've gone through throughout the season. Hopefully we can keep carrying that forward."

Moulson will be on the first line, alongside Ennis and Johan Larsson.

Posted On Friday, 04.03.2015 / 1:12 PM

By Joe Yerdon - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Blackhawks at Sabres

BUFFALO -- The Buffalo Sabres will have defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen back in the lineup against the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday (7 p.m. ET; CSN-CH, MSG-B, BELL TV), but have two other potential lineup questions to answer before the game.

Forward Matt Moulson and defenseman Mike Weber did not skate Friday. Moulson was kept home with an illness and Weber was rested with soreness. Weber didn't participate in the Sabres optional practice on Thursday.

"Moulson woke up this morning not feeling very well," Sabres coach Ted Nolan said. "We'll see. Hopefully he feels better this afternoon. Weber, same thing. He woke up this morning sore, so he got a rest day and we'll see how he feels for the game tonight."

Posted On Wednesday, 04.01.2015 / 1:45 PM

By Joe Yerdon - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Maple Leafs at Sabres

BUFFALO – The Buffalo Sabres will have leading scorer Tyler Ennis back in the lineup but may be without defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen when they face the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET; SN, MSG-B).

Ennis skated Wednesday and participated in line rushes on the first line with Johan Larsson and Matt Moulson. Ennis also resumed his place on the point of the first power-play unit.

"When he first went out we just thought it was going to be a couple of days and we said it would be a week to protect ourselves," Sabres coach Ted Nolan said. "He's healed pretty quick… I don't think it was all that serious to begin with."

Posted On Thursday, 03.26.2015 / 1:50 PM

By Joe Yerdon - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Coyotes at Sabres

BUFFALO -- The Buffalo Sabres will have defenseman Zach Bogosian and forward Patrick Kaleta in the lineup when they face the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; FS-A, MSG-B, BELL TV).

Bogosian has missed six games since sustaining a lower-body injury March 11. Kaleta hasn't played since Feb. 10 because of a lower-body injury.

"They bring excitement, they bring passion and aggressiveness," Sabres coach Ted Nolan said.

Bogosian has four assists and has averaged 26:44 of ice time since he was acquired from the Winnipeg Jets on Feb. 11.

Posted On Friday, 03.20.2015 / 6:48 PM

By Joe Yerdon - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Devils at Sabres

BUFFALO -- The New Jersey Devils will be without leading goal-scorer Mike Cammalleri when they face the Buffalo Sabres on Friday.

Cammalleri, who left the Devils' morning skate early because of an illness, did not participate in warm-ups. Martin Havlat skated in Cammalleri's place on a line with Travis Zajac and Jordin Tootoo.

Cammalleri's 25 goals lead the Devils. He is second with 36 points.

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