GM Jason Botterill's firing this week may be a good sign for Ristolainen, a favorite of coach Ralph Krueger, Mike Harrington of The Buffalo News surmises.
The Sabres had a huge shakeup this week with Botterill and a slew of other personnel sent out the door, so it looks like Krueger and Jack Eichel will be having plenty of input with new GM Kevyn Adams in terms of what the team will look like going forward. One of the games Sabres fans are forced to play each playoff-less offseason -- besides trying to guess the next GM or coach -- is to guess the fate of Ristolainen, who always seems to get mentioned in trade talks. But he's also the team's second-best defenseman after Rasmus Dahlin and fits Krueger's preferred style of play, so perhaps with the major shakeup, Risto may get a quick vote of confidence as the team sets its sights on the 2020-21 season.
Ristolainen scored a goal on four shots and had two PIM Tuesday in a 3-1 loss to Winnipeg.
Ristolainen tallied the lone Sabres goal midway through the third period, when he came off the end boards and surprised Winnipeg goalie Connor Hellebuyck with shot from between the goal line and the bottom of the faceoff circle. It was the sixth goal of the season for Ristolainen but his first since Jan. 12. Despite the goal slump, he's provided a solid 32 points in 66 games.
Ristolainen, thought to be a trade candidate, was not dealt by the Sabres as the deadline passed Monday.
Risto, a good scorer who's historically put up nauseating plus/minus ratings, has adapted well to new coach Ralph Krueger's system, and at plus-3 the defenseman could put up his first-ever positive rating. While he offered Cup candidates a scoring presence from the blue line at a reasonable salary, in the end he'll stay with the Sabres as they try to make a late playoff push.
Ristolainen picked up two power-play assists in Saturday's 5-2 win over the Penguins.
He helped set up both of Jack Eichel's strikes, including the eventual game-winner in the first period. Ristolainen has a four-game point streak going during which he has six points (all assists), and he remains on pace for his fifth straight 40-point campaign with five goals and 31 points through 61 games.
Ristolainen had two assists, including one on the power play, and five hits in Sunday's 5-2 win over the Maple Leafs.
The Finn had a hand in goals by Jack Eichel and Jimmy Vesey in a span of 1:31 during the third period. Ristolainen has posted five assists and 23 hits over eight games in February. For the season, the 25-year-old has 28 points, 176 hits and 108 shots on goal in 59 outings. Right now, he's on pace to miss the 40-point mark for the first time since 2014-15, but the blueliner is capable of making up that ground.
Coach Ralph Krueger said Ristolainen missed practice Wednesday but that it was for "maintenance," Lance Lyskowski of The Buffalo News reports.
Ristolainen was a huge trade candidate this past summer, but things have calmed down on that front, as he seems to enjoy playing for his new coach. While the blueliner is averaging a modest 22:34 per game this season -- his lowest total ice time since 2014-15 -- and at 23 points he's going to have to put together a hot streak to achieve his fifth straight 40-point season, Risto sits at a respectable even plus/minus, far better than the minus-41 and minus-25 he put up the last two campaigns.
Ristolainen produced an assist, three shots on goal and three hits in Thursday's 4-1 win over the Stars.
Ristolainen collected his assist on Michael Frolik's shorthanded, empty-net goal. The 25-year-old Finn is on a modest four-game point streak with a goal and three helpers in that span. He's been productive across categories this season with 23 points, 143 hits, 94 shots and 36 PIM in 48 contests. Ristolainen has landed between 41 and 45 points in each of the last four campaigns, and he's shaping up for similar production in 2019-20.
Ristolainen scored a power-play goal on two shots and added a pair of hits in Sunday's 5-1 victory over the Red Wings.
Ristolainen closed out the scoring on the man advantage early in the third period, picking up his fifth goal of the season. It was only his third point on the power play all year after having collected 16 or more in each of the last four seasons. Despite the drop-off in that area, he can still push for a fifth straight 40-point season. He currently sits on 21 points in 46 games.
Ristolainen had a goal and an assist with four shots and three hits in Sunday's 3-2 loss to Boston.
Ristolainen scored his fourth goal of the season to get the Sabres on the board in the second period, then set up Curtis Lazar's goal early in the third. Ristolainen has 18 points in 40 games this season and his plus-5 rating is certainly easier on the eyes than the minus-41 he logged a year ago.
Ristolainen opened the scoring for Buffalo during Saturday's win over the Kings.
Ristolainen picked up his third goal of the season, bringing him up to 17 points on the campaign. Rasmus Dahlin's return to the lineup has sparked more offense into Ristolainen, as he has three points in those five games. Ristolainen also has 12 hits in that span, bringing his hit total up to 112.
Ristolainen collected two assists in Saturday's 6-5 overtime loss to the Canucks.
The 25-year-old extended his point streak to five games with the performance, and it's no coincidence his hot streak has come while Rasmus Dahlin (concussion) has been sidelined. Ristolainen now has two goals and 14 points through 30 games on the year.
Ristolainen posted an assist and three hits in Thursday's 4-3 loss to the Flames.
Ristolainen's shot attempt was tipped in by Sam Reinhart to open the scoring in the first period. The Finnish blueliner has a four-game point streak, with a goal and three helpers in that span. Ristolainen is up to 12 points, 91 hits and 58 shots on goal in 29 games this season. He's on track for his lowest point output since 2014-15, but his physical contributions should offset the lack of offense for fantasy owners.
Ristolainen scored a power-play goal in Thursday's 3-2 loss to Boston.
Ristolainen finally lit the lamp in his 22nd game of the season. While he's yielded most of the power-play time to young stud Rasmus Dahlin, Ristolainen should still pick up the scoring pace moving forward considering he's eclipsed 40 points in each of the four previous seasons.
Ristolainen recorded three shots on net, six hits, two blocked shots and a minus-1 rating in Sunday's 4-1 loss to the Blackhawks.
Ristolainen's back in the negatives with a minus-1 rating on the season, but it's a hefty improvement from last year's league-worst minus-41 mark. The 25-year-old continues to be a physical force on Buffalo's blue line, too, as he paces the squad with 74 hits. It's tough to depend on Ristolainen for fantasy purposes, though, as his offensive game has taken a hit with just seven points -- one on the power play -- through 20 games.
Ristolainen notched two assists in Tuesday's 4-3 overtime win over the Sharks.
The 24-year-old was instrumental in the winner, firing a shot that just trickled behind Martin Jones before Jack Eichel tapped it home in a scrum. Ristolainen has a solid five points, all assists, in 10 games to begin the season.
Ristolainen picked up an assist on the man advantage in Thursday's 3-0 win over the Kings.
The Finnish defenseman has produced three assists, 15 hits and 21 shots on goal in eight games this season. Ristolainen has topped 40 points in each of the last four campaigns, so it's likely he'll pick up the pace in due time.
Ristolainen has two points through seven games for Buffalo.
After posting four consecutive 40-point campaigns, Ristolainen has had a relatively slow start to 2019-20. He has two assists, both generated during blowout victories. Rasmus Dahlin has been the catalyst on defense for Buffalo so far, forcing Ristolainen down to the second power-play unit. His value should be considered lower than usual for the time being.
Ristolainen (illness) returned to practice Tuesday, Paul Hamilton of WGR Sports Radio 550 reports.
Ristolainen missed Monday's practice due to an illness, but whatever he was dealing with clearly wasn't overly serious. He should be good to go for Wednesday's preseason matchup with Columbus.
Ristolainen won't practice Monday due to an illness.
This shouldn't be a long-term issue for Ristolainen, as he's considered day-to-day. The Sabres' next preseason game is Wednesday versus the Blue Jackets, but Ristolainen may not have been scheduled to play anyway since he's locked into a top-four role on the blue line after registering 43 points in the position last year. He's also believed to be on the trade block.
Ristolainen dished out two assists and went plus- 2 in Saturday's win over the Red Wings.
Ristolainen finished the season on a three-game, four-point streak. This helped boost the 24-year-old to his fourth straight 40-point season, but he also finished with his sixth straight negative plus-minus rating, bottoming out at minus-41 this season. It's fair to credit that stat to a stagnant offense and Ristolainen's whopping average of 24:38 TOI, but fantasy owners would like to see him improve on those marks next season.
|Last 7 Games|
|03/09||vs WAS||W 3-2 (SO)||0||1||1||-2||28:50|
|03/07||@ PHI||L 1-3||0||0||0||-1||24:16|
|03/05||vs PIT||L 2-4||0||0||0||-1||22:40|
|03/03||@ WPG||L 1-3||1||0||1||+1||21:00|
|02/29||@ ARI||L 2-5||0||0||0||0||21:21|
|02/28||@ LV||L 2-4||0||0||0||-2||23:36|
|02/26||@ COL||L 2-3||0||0||0||0||24:13|
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