Sabres preach patience to a young squad in playoff race Coyotes sign Shane Doan’s son to entry-level contract Blackhawks forward Cole Guttman has shoulder surgery Blues’ Jordan Binnington suspended 2 games for throwing punch MacKinnon’s shootout goal gives Avs 2-1 win over Maple Leafs
BUFFALO, New York – captain of the Sabers Kyle Okposo is one of the oldest players on one of the youngest teams in the NHL, and he tries to be patient in the midst of the playoffs at the end of the season.
While Okposo would like nothing more than to end the league’s worst 11-year playoff drought, the 35-year-old, soon to be 35, understands there are lessons to be learned and steps not to be skipped.
Before the Sabres embarked on their current three-game journey, Okposo said the team was close to winning.
“And if you said that before the year we will be in this place, most people would laugh,” he added. “So we’re getting close to it. We just have to keep pushing and we have to keep knowing that what we are doing is working and we must not get impatient with the results.”
It’s a challenge for a team that has most of its players in an NHL playoff race for the first time.
“It’s a different pressure than last year,” Okposo said, referring to how a team that was no longer in competition finished the season 14-7-3. “Last year we tried to build something. So how do you keep building and how do you keep dealing with the pressure?”
Results so far have been mixed, reflecting a team of three rookies and seven players born in 2000 or later. In addition, only eight players have made the playoffs in a total of 218 playoff games, led by Alex cloth66 matches with Vegas.
At 33-28-6, Buffalo is on the edge of the playoff race – 11th in the Eastern Conference standings with 72 points and six behind the wildcards with 15 games remaining.
On the other hand, with three more wins, the Sabers will have the most since the 2011–2012 season, when the team last finished with more rule wins than losses (39–32–11).
Clear signs of youth were evident in Buffalo’s 2-5-2 record in his last nine games.
The Sabres rallied from a 2-0 loss to beat Toronto 4-3 before squandering a 4-2 lead in the last 10 minutes of regulation to lose 5-4 to Washington.
The extreme moment was a 3–2 loss to the New York Islanders, which set up a goal that the Sabers questioned for being scored when the puck bounced off Hudson Fasching’s shin. Two days later, the disappointment spilled over into a 10-4 home game against Dallas.
After the loss, coach Don Granato joked that he couldn’t sit on everyone’s bench, but shifted the focus forward, saying, “Something good has to come out of this.”
“Everyone makes mistakes, and the faster you learn, the better,” he said. “Today should be one of those unfortunate negative outcomes, a bad memory that makes you a better person.”
Buffalo responded with one of their most effective defensive plays, losing 2-1 to the New York Rangers in a shootout.
General manager Kevin Adams carefully balances long-term growth and short-term success for a franchise that has faltered too often, trying to speed things up during an 11-year stretch that saw Buffalo finish four times under the NHL record. . This included a pandemic-shortened 2021 season during which Adams delivered on his vision by clearing out the veteran core of his roster.
Even though the team showed signs of growth, Adams felt it was important to stick to his plan, basically keeping up with last month’s trade deadline, with the exception of signing the forward. Jordan Greenway from Minnesota.
“I want our guys to just go and be themselves and play fearlessly,” Adams said. “I know what it takes to win this league and I know we have it. Now I just want to believe in these guys and let them do it.”
Adams never promised that there would be no bumps on the road, and his players understand this.
“I’m not saying we’re going to win right now, but we’re learning and it takes time, as it should” defender Rasmus Dalin said. “It takes time, but when you understand what it takes, it’s a lot of fun. But we are still on the learning path and we are not done yet.”
TEMPE, Arizona. — Josh Doan following in his father’s footsteps into professional hockey.
The Arizona Coyotes signed the 21-year-old forward to a three-year rookie contract starting in the 2023-24 NHL season. He will report to the AHL’s Tucson Roadrunners and play his first game against the Calgary Wranglers.
Doane’s father, Shane, played 21 seasons for the franchise, many as captain, and followed her from Winnipeg to the desert in 1996. Shane Doan now serves as Arizona’s chief hockey development officer.
The Coyotes drafted Josh Doane in the second round in 2021, but he chose to play for the Arizona State Sun Devils hometown.
Josh Doane set school records for goals (12) and assists (25) as a freshman last season. This season, he has 16 goals and 22 assists in 39 games for Arizona State.
The 6’1″, 183lb also played two seasons for the USHL’s Chicago Steel.
CHICAGO – Chicago Blackhawks, forward Cole Guttman underwent surgery on his right shoulder.
According to doctors, the operation was carried out in Los Angeles. Team doctor Michael Terry said Guttman, 23, is expected to “be out of hockey for about four months.”
Gutman was a welcome surprise for Chicago’s recovery. He made his NHL debut last month and finished the season with four goals and two assists in 14 games.
Guttman was selected by Tampa Bay in the 2017 draft. In August 2022, he agreed to a two-year contract with Chicago that included a $950,000 salary cap.
NEW YORK – St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington was suspended for two games without pay for hitting a Minnesota Wild forward. Ryan Hartman.
Binnington’s suspension forced the Blues to call up Springfield’s Joel Hofer of the AHL as a backup goaltender.
Binnington received a penalty in the second period after an 8-5 loss to the Minnesota for swinging his blocking glove at Hartman. Binnington left his crease and went for Hartman just after giving up Wilde’s fifth goal of the night.
Minnesota goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury rode across the ice to confront Binnington without a mask, but officials separated them and Binnington was removed from the ice.
Binnington will forfeit $64,864.86 under the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement, based on his average annual salary. The money goes to the Emergency Player Assistance Fund.
Binnington is 22-24-5 with an average of 3.39 goals. Thomas Greiss likely to be the Blues’ No. 1 goaltender while Binnington is away.
TORONTO- Nathan McKinnon was the only scorer in the shootout as the Colorado Avalanche defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-1.
Mikko Rantanen scored mostly for Colorado (38-22-6).
McKinnon’s five-game goal streak came to an end, but his performance led Colorado to victory.
“Great play,” Avalanche defender. Bowen Byram said McKinnon, who has scored 15 goals in his last 15 games. “He’s the guy our team is following. When he leaves, I feel like everyone else is sharper.”
Alexander Georgiev made 17 saves for an injury-ravaged Colorado (38-22-6), who found his game after the All-Star break and moved up five points from the Central Division-leading Dallas Stars with two games to spare.
“A commitment to how we have to play to succeed is the key to this,” said Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar. “Some nights we are as good as we want to be. It seems like recently we wanted to win these hockey games. We know they are important. Winning the division isn’t everything, it’s the end of everything. But certainly having such short-term goals and chasing the teams that are ahead of us is part of that.
“It’s part of the game with little pressure, even if it’s self-inflicted.”
Morgan Rilly scored for Toronto (40-18-9). Ilya Samsonov stopped 28 shots.
“We didn’t give up anything,” said Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe. “They checked very carefully to show you what the Stanley Cup winning team is doing in terms of defense.
“They are well known for the attack they can generate with their elite players, but they defend very hard and prevent you from getting to their net.”
After a crazy overtime in which both teams had amazing chances, McKinnon beat Samsonov on a good shield on Avalanche’s second shot.
Georgiev then denied Mitch Marner for Colorado, who improved to 4-4 in shootouts. Toronto fell to 0-2 in shootouts.
After a 4-3 home loss to Buffalo on Monday that saw Toronto lead 2-0 at the end of the second period, the Maple Leafs opened the scoring three minutes after the first when Riley scored his third goal after after hitting the post earlier.
The Avalanche reacted to the play on the powerplay later in the period when Rantanen’s pass landed on a Toronto defenseman. Jake McCabe for its 44th season.
Samsonov stopped Valery Nichushkin on a short break a second before Cale Makar I almost went into a joint in the snatch, but the puck leaked past.
Georgiev equaled his Russian counterpart on the other end, depriving Rilli on the powerplay and Kalle Jarnkrok from close range to keep the situation even 40 minutes later.
After the Maple Leafs scored two penalties early in the third, William Nylander And Auston Matthews had good chances for Georgiev.
Ratanen’s 44 goals is the highest for a player of Finnish origin since Teemu Selanne scored 48 goals in the 2006/07 season.
Marner scored a goal early in the game for the 19th time this season, second only to McKinnon (20) of all players.
WAITING FOR GABE
Avalanche Captain Gabriel Landeskogwho has not yet played this season, continues to recover from knee surgery.
Colorado head coach Jared Bednar said that after Tuesday’s practice, no timeline has yet been set for the winger.