CALGARY, Alberta -- The weather didn't get me today. The plane's mechanical trouble did. Sat inside a plane on the tarmac in Chicago for two hours today while the trouble was addressed, a new route was planned and we got de-iced for a second time. By the time I got here, Sabres practice in the Saddledome was a memory.
So finding out what Lindy Ruff's thoughts on lines in the wake of Derek Roy's season-ending injury will wait until Monday's pregame skate. Tim Connolly practiced today but I reached Darcy Regier by phone and said he didn't think Connolly's nose would be ready for a game, but that Connolly looked pretty good.
So right now, the Sabres have the following centers: Jochen Hecht, Rob Niedermayer, Luke Adam and Paul Gaustad. A bit of a step down from Briere-Drury-Roy, don't you think?
Be sure to read my story in Monday's paper. Regier is not entertaining thoughts of selling. Yet. The Sabres are, after all, only eight points out of the playoffs. But let's see where they are after these two West Coast trips. The Phoenix game on Jan. 8 is the halfway mark of the season. If the deficit is, say, 12 or 14 points, it's time to send people packing and play the kids.
How big a loss was Roy? Among NHL centers, Roy was seventh in points and fourth in assists -- behind only Vancouver's Henrik Sedin, Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby and Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk. Pretty good trio.
"Derek was certainly at the forefront of our offense," Regier said. "It's obviously a loss and a hole in the lineup, there's no question. For the club, it's an opportunity for others to step forward and we'll need them to step forward."
Lots more to come Monday after the pregame skate. It's the normal 11:30 a.m. local time, which means you'll start to see some info about 1:30 in the afternoon in Buffalo. Faceoff is 9:05 p.m.