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Buffalo Sabres Host to Regain Flight Against Anaheim Ducks

October 22nd, 2014 at 5:00 PM
By Paul Lane Sabres 101

The Buffalo Sabres couldn't really be starting their West Coast trip at a worse time.

The struggling Sabres begin their three-game California jaunt tonight against the Anaheim Ducks (10:30 p.m., MSG) The Ducks have won five straight games to vault to the top of the Pacific Division. The Sabres, meanwhile, are coming off back-to-back shutout losses at home.

The Sabres have only seven goals in their first six games this season, something coach Ted Nolan knows has to change. He's been directing his players to shoot more – and they have – but he wants the work ethic ratcheted up even more:

"Right now, it's not good enough," he told WGR 550AM Radio. "The only people who can get ourselves out of this mess right now is ourselves. We know we're not playing that well."

Things won't get easier after Wednesday. The Sabres also have dates in Los Angeles and San Jose over the next week. The gauntlet they have to run through has them playing teams with a combined 13-3-2 record as of Wednesday.

A key to turning things around could be the power play. Buffalo is 0-for-22 this year with the man advantage.

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The Rumor Mill: Buffalo Sabres Tyler Myers Linked to Anaheim Ducks Before West Coast Trip

October 22nd, 2014 at 3:00 PM
By Mike Matisz

When the Buffalo Sabres head out west, they may need to transfer a plane ticket or two.

The Hockey News has reported that Dave Pagnotta has listed Myers as a player on the Anaheim Ducks' radar.

While there have been plenty of rumors surrounding the young, struggling defenseman, the latest has come out the same day that the Sabres and Ducks clash in Anaheim.

Here's what THN said:

"Pagnotta said he’s heard up to five players could be part of a Myers deal with the Anaheim Ducks, claiming Kyle Palmieri, Sami Vatanen and Rickard Rackell were potential trade candidates."

"It would be puzzling for the Ducks to include Vatanen, one of their few right-handed shots and among their leading scorers this season, as part of a package for Myers. Palmieri, meanwhile, is sidelined with a high-ankle sprain and the timetable for his return remains unknown."

As with all rumors, this could be smoke without a fire. Most trade rumors, as Sabres fans know, end up with nothing. The notable part of this rumor is the timing.

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Struggling Buffalo Sabres Heading into a Gauntlet Over the Next Few Weeks

October 22nd, 2014 at 1:56 PM
By Mike Matisz

The Buffalo Sabres have stumbled out of the gate and are struggling to score.

Now the team is heading out west to face some of the best talent on the west coast. But once the Sabres head back east, the schedule doesn't get any easier.

The next game that the Sabres could see themselves favored in isn't until November 7 when the Edmonton Oilers come to town. Until then, here is the Sabres schedule:

10/22 @ Anaheim Ducks
10/23 @ Los Angeles Kings
10/25 @ San Jose Sharks
10/28 @ Toronto Maple Leafs
10/30 vs Boston Bruins
11/1 @ Pittsburgh Penguins
11/2 vs Detroit Red Wings
11/5 vs Montreal Canadiens

All of these opponents rank in the NHL's top 20, with Boston seemingly struggling. Montreal, Anaheim and Los Angeles all rank in the top five in the league.

The Sabres aren't just facing strong offensive teams. Playing goaltenders (provided the Sabres see the starters) such as Tuukka Rask, Antti Niemi, Jimmy Howard, Carey Price and Jonathan Quick could prove to be a daunting task for a team who was shut out in two consecutive home games.

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Connor McDavid Arrives in Buffalo for OHL Game

October 22nd, 2014 at 11:00 AM
By Anthony Custode Jr

Connor McDavid will play his first game at the First Niagara Center tonight as a member of the Erie Otters.

Many fans of the Buffalo Sabres are hoping the team can land McDavid in the upcoming draft, but not many have actually seen him play live. Tonight's game will allow that opportunity for those that are interested, and with the way the Sabres are playing right now, the arena could see a lot of fans in the stands.

McDavid has 25 (8 goals, 17 assists) points in nine games in the OHL this season. He is the centerpiece of a team that has registered 49 goals in nine games and the Otters have yet to lose a regulation game this season.

McDavid's superstar status has Sabres fans excited for the potential future, though landing McDavid is no guarantee.Buffalo will likely be terrible all season long, so a high draft pick is all but certain. The draft lottery, however, has many fans worried that the team could be the worst in the league and still miss out on McDavid. The NHL changed the way the lottery works this season, giving every team that misses the playoffs a chance to win the lottery. Buffalo was the worst team in the NHL last season, but was leapfrogged by the Florida Panthers for the No. 1 pick in the draft.

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Buffalo Sabres Looking for Energy During West Coast Trip

October 22nd, 2014 at 9:00 AM
By Anthony Custode Jr

The Buffalo Sabres have been miserable this season, but with a tough trip to California, the Sabres are hoping to find some energy.

Sabres.com reported that the team had one of the most energetic practices this season yesterday. The Sabres have been flat at some point in every game of this season so far. They know they cannot afford to have that sneak into their game during this road trip.

“Each and every one of us, we’ve got to be better. We had a nice sit-down discussion about it and I liked to see the way the guys really took their words into action today,” Sabres head coach Ted Nolan told Sabres.com. “Hopefully it’s the start of turning this thing around.”

The Sabres are at the bottom of nearly all statistical categories. General manager Tim Murray said coming into the season that his expectations are that the Sabres will not be an easy win for opponents. They may not be ready to win on a consistent basis this season, but Nolan and the team's management are expecting a better effort than they have gotten from the team this year.

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