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Krueger staying ready, sharing knowledge during suspension of play

Sabres coach will host international coaching webinar

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber /

Ralph Krueger and his fellow members of the Buffalo Sabres were attending a team dinner in Montreal when they learned about the positive test for COVID-19 in the NBA that would send shockwaves through the sports world. 

That was March 11. The game between the Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder was postponed just prior to tipoff when it was learned that Utah's Rudy Gobert had tested positive for the virus, prompting the NBA to suspend its regular season later that night. 

The Sabres were scheduled to play the Canadiens the following evening. 

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Johansson enjoying success with like-minded linemates

Forward has 5 points in last 6 games

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber /

Marcus Johansson is his own harshest critic. He critiques his game when he feels it's not up to his standard, so much so that coach Ralph Krueger has said the forward can be too hard on himself. 

Lately, however, Johansson has felt better. He has a point in five of his last six games and has settled into a role centering Victor Olofsson and Dominik Kahun.  

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Kahun 'having fun' playing hockey in Buffalo

Forward has 4 points in 6 games with Sabres

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber /

Dominik Kahun is having fun playing in Buffalo.

Yes, his point total would suggest as much. Kahun has tallied four points in six games with the Sabres, including a goal on the second shift of his debut in Las Vegas on Feb. 28. He scored the deciding goal in the seventh round of Buffalo's shootout win over Washington on Monday. 

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Sabres switch up forward lines in search of offensive spark

Skinner practices alongside Eichel, Reinhart

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber /

With their offense in need of a spark, the Buffalo Sabres switched up their forward lines for practice at LECOM Harborcenter on Friday. Jeff Skinner skated alongside Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart while Victor Olofsson moved to a line with Marcus Johansson and Dominik Kahun. 

The Sabres have been held to two goals or less in each of their past six games, a stretch that's coincided with the first significant slump of the season from the usual top line of Olofsson, Eichel, and Reinhart. All three players have been held without a point in those six games, marking their longest individual droughts of the season. 

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Olofsson, Ullmark practice in Winnipeg

News and notes from Monday's practice

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber /

WINNIPEG -- Linus Ullmark was back at practice with the Buffalo Sabres on Monday for the first time since sustaining a lower-body injury on Jan. 28. 

Ullmark's presence was one of two pieces of good news for the Sabres, who also had Victor Olofsson back in his usual spot on a line with Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart after the rookie winger left Saturday's game in Arizona during the second period with an apparent injury. 

While Olofsson is expected to play Tuesday in Winnipeg, coach Ralph Krueger said the best case for Ullmark is to see him back sometime in the next week. 

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'It's in his DNA': Kahun made strong impression on Granato in Chicago

Winger practice alongside Johansson, Vesey in Las Vegas

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber /

LAS VEGAS - Don Granato's immediate thought when reflecting on his season with Dominik Kahun in Chicago is how much the forward's teammates enjoyed playing with him. 

Granato was an assistant coach with the Blackhawks last season. Kahun was an undrafted rookie who, playing his pro first season in North America at age 23, quickly earned the respect of his peers on a veteran-laden team. 

"They liked playing with him on a line, the power play, whatever," Granato said. "You could see it. He's a fun personality but a contributing personally from the standpoint of he's very serious about his performance.

"… I'm excited that I have a chance to be on the same team again. It was fun to be around him every day in Chicago. It's fun to see him here now. I think he'll fit in fast, fit in well."

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Simmonds hopes to provide leadership, physicality for Sabres

Veteran waived no-trade clause for chance at playoff push

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber /

Wayne Simmonds waived his no-trade clause for an opportunity to help the Buffalo Sabres make a push in the Atlantic Division, the veteran forward said Tuesday following his first practice with the team.

The Sabres acquired Simmonds, 31, from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for a conditional fifth-round pick in 2021. It was one of two deals the team made to revamp its forward group on Monday along with the acquisition of Dominik Kahun from Pittsburgh. 

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Trio of forwards return to practice

Eichel, Frolik, and Okposo all expected to be available Saturday

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber /

Michael Frolik feels ready to play after missing the last two games with an illness. 

Frolik was back with the Sabres for practice at KeyBank Center on Friday along with fellow forwards Jack Eichel and Kyle Okposo, both of whom took maintenance days Thursday. Coach Ralph Krueger said he expects all three players to be available for the team's game in Pittsburgh on Saturday. 

"We'll see how the day goes, but at the moment everybody's available which gives us some good options for tomorrow," Krueger said. 

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Eichel, Okposo take maintenance days

Notes from Thursday's practice at KeyBank Center

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber /

Jack Eichel and Kyle Okposo both took maintenance days Thursday and will be evaluated on a day-to-day basis, Buffalo Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said. 

Michael Frolik, who has missed the past two games with an illness, was also absent. Krueger said Frolik skated on his own Thursday morning and is expected back at practice on Friday. 

The Sabres invited an emergency third goaltender for practice to help manage the workload for Carter Hutton, who has made four straight starts but missed the team's previous two practices. 

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Dahlin feeling benefit of strides in defensive game

Notes from Monday's practice at KeyBank Center

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber /

Rasmus Dahlin is racking up points these days. 

Dahlin's assist against Toronto on Sunday was his 14th point in 15 games dating back to Jan. 4, tied for fourth among NHL blueliners in that span. It was also the 79th point of his young career, matching Ray Bourque for second-most by a teenage defenseman in league history. 

Yet for all that offense, any conversation with coach Ralph Krueger about the strides Dahlin has made in his sophomore season begins in the defensive zone. 

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