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Posted On Tuesday, 10.04.2011 / 1:55 PM

By Compiled By -  NHL.com Staff /NHL.com - The Sabres take Germany

Not a duplicate post: Ennis scores again

Abour four minutes after scoring on a breakaway, Tyler Ennis banged home a rebound to give the Sabres a 2-0 lead on Adler Mannheim in the first period.

If Ennis can continue this pace throughout the season, he will set an NHL record with 4,000 goals, give or take.
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Posted On Tuesday, 10.04.2011 / 1:45 PM

By Compiled By -  NHL.com Staff /NHL.com - The Sabres take Germany

Ennis puts Sabres up 1-0

In their exhibition game with Adler Mannheim, the Buffalo Sabres struck first.

Tyler Ennis scored on a breakaway during the first period to put the Sabres ahead 1-0. The goal came at 7:18 and not longer after the Sabres killed a penalty to defenseman Christian Ehrhoff.
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Posted On Tuesday, 10.04.2011 / 1:21 PM

By Compiled By -  NHL.com Staff /NHL.com - The Sabres take Germany

Sabres close preseason vs. Adler Mannheim

The Buffalo Sabres will close their preseason with a game in Mannheim, Germany, against German club team Adler Mannheim.

Sabres coach Lindy Ruff told the team's website goalie Jhonas Enroth likely will play the entire game.

Mannheim native Jochen Hecht will not play due to lingering concussion symptoms. However, he could still be part of the pre-game festivities.

Defenseman Christian Ehrhoff leads the team in scoring in the preseason with 2 goals and 3 assists in four games.
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Posted On Monday, 10.03.2011 / 1:01 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - The Sabres take Germany

Homecooking appeals to Buffalo

There was a little taste of home here for the Sabres on Monday morning.

Buffalo took the ice for Monday's practice at the SAP Arena and was surrounded by a sea of blue and yellow as fans which made the team-sponsored trip flocked to the open practice. They were joined there by fans of Adler Mannheim, the club team which Buffalo plays here in Tuesday night's Compuware Premiere Challenge exhibition, to make quite the festive scene that was nothing more than a traditional morning skate, featuring line rushes and shooting drills.

Yet, the fans cheered every move, including stickhandling drill in which each player had to navigate the puck through a line of closely spaced pucks. If the player failed, he had to start from the beginning again. The fans followed intently, loudly cheering each successful attempt and groaning with each failure.

"It made for a fun practice and a fun atmosphere," coach Lindy Ruff said. "It's funny how (the stickhandling drill) turned into something that fans kept an eye on. I think it created an extra pressure for the player trying to do it. Some passed the test and some got frustrated. It was fun."

The loudest cheer of the day, though, came in the dying minutes of the session when local-boy-done-good Jochen Hecht joined practice in time for the picture the team took with the 110 or so members of the fan club in attendance.

Hecht was held out of practice as he battles concussion-related symptoms and he won't play in Tuesday's NHL Premiere Challenge exhibition against Manheim, the team for which he turned pro almost 15 years ago. It was a bitter blow for both Hecht and the fans of Adler Mannheim, who have anticipated Tuesday's reunion for much of the past two months.

Despite the profound disappointment Hecht was feeling as he came to grips with the death of his dream to play before the Mannheim fans as a member of the Sabres, he said that Monday's reception by the fans certainly helped his spirits.

"It felt great of course," Hecht said. "Coming here and being able to say hello to the fans that don't get to see me during the summer. They want to show that I belong to them. This is my hometown. I used to be one of them sitting in the stands watching the team."

The practice ended with the fan club members being invited on to the ice for a picture with the team. Forty members of the fan club missed the practice after they were delayed in the United States. They are expected to arrive Tuesday morning. After the picture, the players stayed on the ice and mingled with the fans.

"It tells a lot about our fans that they travelled all this way," Ruff said. "It was nice to give them a little something extra. The 10 minutes of interaction we had on the ice was great for our fans. I think that part of it is really important and I think the players enjoy it too."

Young defenseman Tyler Myers agreed. He stayed on the ice longer than many of his teammates, signing banners and photos and taking pictures with fans.

"Today was kind of cool," Myers told NHL.com. "It was unexpected, for sure. When you get that many fans out there, it makes it a lot of fun. The fans are a big part of what we do. They fuel the fire."

 

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Posted On Monday, 10.03.2011 / 12:34 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - The Sabres take Germany

Sleep issues remain for Sabres

Alarm clocks were a necessity Monday morning for the Buffalo Sabres.

The trans-Atlantic flight did serious damage to the internal clock of some of the players.

"I woke up at 3 a.m. and couldn't get back to sleep," defenseman Tyler Myers said.

Rookie Luke Adam said he was up from 2 a.m. to 5 a.m. before finally falling back asleep.

"When my alarm finally went off, it felt like it was 2 a.m.," Adam told NHL.com

Even Christian Ehrhoff, a native of Gemany who makes the flight on a regular basis, admitted to struggling a bit with jet lag on Monday afternoon.

Coach Lindy Ruff, though, was happy the sleeping struggles did not manifest themselves in Monday's practice session.

"I thought the guys looked pretty good this morning," Ruff said. "I thought their jump was good and I think going into tomorrow's game it will give us another measure of the energy of our team."


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Posted On Monday, 10.03.2011 / 12:31 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - The Sabres take Germany

Ruff expects stern challenge from Mannheim

Lindy Ruff expects the best out of Adler Mannheim in Tuesday's Compuware NHL Premiere Challenge game at SAP Arena.

After all, Mannheim gave the San Jose Sharks all they could handle in an exhibition here last October. San Jose eventually prevailed, 3-2, in the shootout, but not before being pushed to the limit by a quick and hungry home team.

"I think it is going to be a highly competitive game judging by the fact that last year they played San Jose and almost beat San Jose," Ruff said after Monday's practice. "They can skate and they have some guys that can shoot. They have a lot of pride and I think any time you get to play a team from the NHL and you can knock them off, that is a feather in your cap. So, I think the game is going to be real competitive."

That's a situation that suits Ruff just fine. Just three days removed from the start of the team's regular season -- a NHL Premiere game against Anaheim in Helsinki, Finland -- Ruff believes his team can use a spirited final tune-up.

"It's a good environment for us," he said. "I think a real competitive game is a good environment for us. To play under the gun and to play against guys that are competing really hard and they are not teammates, it's a good tune-up for starting the season."

With that said, Ruff isn't committing to his starting lineup for Tuesday's game.

Backup goalie Jhonas Enroth will get the start after starter Ryan Miller went the distance in Saturday night's preseason game against Washington back in the United States.

"We want to get (Enroth) some work," Ruff said.

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Posted On Sunday, 10.02.2011 / 11:13 AM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - The Sabres take Germany

A blast from the past

Rene Corbet is from is from Victoriaville, Quebec and was a second-round pick by the Quebec Nordiques in the 1991 Entry Draft. Today, he lives and works in Calgary, a place in which he played 68 of his 362 NHL games during a nine-year career that ended in 2001.

But, it was here in Mannheim that Corbet found his hockey home. After leaving the Pittsburgh Penguins iN 2001 -- the final stop in a five-team journey across the NHL -- Corbet decided to give Germany a try. He signed with the Mannheim franchise after leaving the Penguins and ended up staying for eight years.

Tuesday night, he will have his number retired before Adler plays the Buffalo Sabres in a NHL Challenge game at SAP Arena.

"I never expected anybody to retire my number," Corbet told NHL.com minutes after arriving at SAP Arena straight from his flight on Sunday. "It's certainly an honor. I have a lot of memories from this team in the eight years I was here . That was a really special time. I have two boys that were born in Germany. This is a special place for me.

"It's unbelievable. It's a class organization and they took such good care of me for eight years. It's hard to stay in one place that long in Europe."

Corbet helped manheim win a DEL title during his time with the club -- a memory that he considers his most fond from his time in Germany -- and finished with 111 goals and 96 assists in 266 DEL games.
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Posted On Sunday, 10.02.2011 / 11:09 AM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - The Sabres take Germany

Bigger isn't always better for Sabres

The Sabres quickly learned Tuesday's exhibition game against the Adler Mannheim hosts could pose several problems.

The building is built in such a way that the fans -- even in the top sections -- are extremely close to the ice. Plus, the area behind the goal Mannheim protects twice is a standing-only section that is jammed with the team's most ardent supporters. They sing and clap throughout the game, which can be a disruptive force for an opposition unused to such tactics.

But, by far, the biggest challenge will be adapting to the bigger ice surface as the SAP Arena features an Olympic-sized sheet of ice.

After Sunday's practice, Tomas Vanek called it an ocean, referring to the extra room in the Corners of the offensive zone. Goalie Ryan Miller, meanwhile, was talking about how his angles were a bit off and how he had to fight the tendency to move too far side-to-side when tracking rushes. He says his visual clues are all off because of the wider ice surface.

Lindy Ruff knows his team will have some issues with the big ice, but he is grateful Tuesday's game is the only one that will be played on the Olympic-sized surface. The NHL Premiere games in Helsinki and Berlin will be played on NHL-sized ice sheets.

"You'll see a little bit of difference in the game (Tuesday)," Ruff said. "Outside the (faceoff) dots, you have the extra 20 feet that players can use, but inside the dots you are looking at the same game from the dots-in.  IF you make sure you are playing on the inside, you usually play well. If you get caught on the outside and handling the puck, you can look pretty good -- but you generally don't get too much done. In our case, it is to try to play our (NHL) game on this ice."
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Posted On Sunday, 10.02.2011 / 10:31 AM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - The Sabres take Germany

Juggling the lines

The Buffalo Sabres brought 24 players to Europe and could open ther season with this lineup -- minus emergency goalie Drew MacIntyre, who is here on a roster exemption.

Of those 23 players, Luje Adam might be the biggest surprise. The young forward, taken in the second round in 2008, has taken advantage of some injuries (Jochen hecht) and suspensions (Brad Boyes) to really open the eyes of the coaching staff.

During Sunday's practice, Luke centered a line with Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville and could play in that role in Tuesday's exhibition game against Adler Manheim. With Adam in that spot, Drew Stafford moved up to play on a line with Nathan Gerbe and Derek Roy, while Boyes played with Ville Leino and Tyler Ennis. The fourth line was a rotating trio of fashioned from four forwards --  Patrick Kaleta, Paul Gaustad, Matt Ellis and Cody McCormick -- while Hecht took part while wearing a non-contact jersey.

So, can the 21-year old Luke make the Sabres after his first pro season, which saw him score 62 points in 57 AHL games, as well as 4 points in a 19-game cameo with the Sabres?

"Right now, we are still in the evaluation process, you know," Ruff said. Derek (Roy) is coming off injury. We'll  take another look at Luke (Tuesday) night. I think he has played well. Brad Boyes is coming off injury and I thought his last game was his best one. There are players pushing for ice time and position right now."
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Posted On Sunday, 10.02.2011 / 10:22 AM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - The Sabres take Germany

Sabres arrive in Germany

The Buffalo Sabres arrived in Mannheim, Germany Sunday morning and imnmediately made their way to the rink for a one-hour practice at SAP Arena that was heavy on skating drills.

Coach Lindy Ruff planned both the time and content of practice to give his team the best chance to get accilimated to European time. The club travelled overnight from Buffalo and landed at approximately 9 a.m. local time. By noon, 6 a.m. on their bo0dy clocks, they were on the ice for a pretty spirited practice.

“I think to just get the legs underneath you, and break up what’s going to be a long day. We want to try and stay on schedule, and make sure that everybody stays up and gets back on what would be our North American schedule,” he explained. “We have stressed the importance of staying on schedule, and not laying down and ending up with a three-hour nap and then you can’t sleep during the night.

“I actually thought they looked pretty good. We kept it a little on the lighter side. But overall I thought the boys skated pretty well.”

The players, who did not seem to sleep much on the trans-Atlantic flight, were happy for the chance to do something
upon arrival, if only to kill some time until they can shut it down tonight.

"I think the idea is to fight it for six or seven more hours and try to get to bed at 7:30 or 8 p.m.," goalie Ryan Miller told NHL.com. "I'm not going to make it much longer than that. Maybe a little bit of food and hopefully there is something to do for awhile." 


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Quote of the Day

I'm hoping Bob [Murray] didn't go out and get Dany Heatley just to get someone. I'm sure he's excited and motivated.

— Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau on general manager Bob Murray's decision to sign Dany Heatley