Sabres' Ullmark will get his chance to play this road trip

Phil Housley said Linus Ullmark could play in Arizona

Paul Hamilton
October 12, 2018 - 1:31 pm

Photo: Kevin Hoffman - USA TODAY Sports


Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) - Linus Ullmark had hoped he wouldn’t have to wait five games to get in net, but it will be at least that long. Carter Hutton went 2-2-0 to start the season with 3.07 goals against and .912 save percentage.

Buffalo lost to Boston and Colorado by a combined score of 10-1, and beat Vegas and the Rangers by a combined score of 7-3.

The plan coming into the season was for Hutton to play a little bit more than Ullmark, but it hasn’t started that way. Phil Housley said after Friday’s practice that he’s thinking about starting Ullmark in Arizona on Saturday, but hasn’t decided yet. Housley did say Ullmark will play on the trip and the goaltender is excited about that, “Oh yes definitely, it’s been quite some time now and Huts has been playing terrific all these games, so I’m just looking forward to getting my start.”

Ullmark has been an AHL All-Star the past two seasons, playing 44 games and 55 games with Rochester. In between, he got six games with the Sabres. He said he knows how to keep himself sharp when he’s not playing, “Me and Andrew [Allen, goaltending coach,] had a very good conversation regarding what I need to work on these days that I’m not playing and for me it’s sticking to what I’m good at and do the things that I’m less good at.”

Many players get frustrated when they’re not playing and in some cases become a distraction. Ullmark says that’s not him and he wants to be a good teammate, “I’m not getting frustrated by sitting on the side, but as long as we’re winning games, I’m not going to be a sour guy and be grumpy, so I’m not going to fall into that trap, so I’m just going to be the same guy I’ve always been, just very supportive and very happy.”

Over the summer, Ullmark knew he was going to spend his first full season the NHL this season, but the goaltender couldn’t really look forward to it because something was gnawing at him, “We had such a short season in Rochester when we fell in three straight games and that was a real sour apple for me, so it really motivated me to push myself a little bit further and a little bit more every day in the gym.”

This is a brand new team with many new faces. Coming up is the first road trip that will cover five games and 10 days. Jack Eichel said this is a perfect time to get on the road and do some bonding, “Whether it’s going out to dinner or being on the plane together or being on the bus, having a couple of beers, I mean it’s a good time for us to get to know each other and become closer as a group.

“I think we’ve been here for so long and it’s just work, work, work at the rink and for a lot of guys it’s home to the kids or wife, so it’s good that they’re able to step away from that on the road and it’ll be nice just to get to know some of these guys and for the young guys, this is their first big road trip so it’s be a cool experience for [Rasmus Dahlin] and [Tage Thompson] and [Casey Mittelstadt].”

Zach Bogosian had a full-go practice on Friday. Housley said he liked what he saw, “It was a really good step forward for Zach. He’s been skating and then moved into a couple of practices, but this was a full practice, we had some bumping and grinding drills and it was good to see him come out of that and I really liked the way he looked today.”

Friday’s lines:

Sheary - Eichel - Reinhart

Skinner - Mittelstadt - Okposo

Sobotka - Berglund (Larsson) - Thompson

Elie (Girgensons) - Rodrigues - Pominville


Scandella - Ristolainen

McCabe - Dahlin

Beaulieu - Nelson

Tennyson - Bogosian

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