All-Star Weekend is over and the Sabres are back at practice today, albeit a late one because of NHLPA rules. Instead of their normal 11:30 a.m. ice time, the Sabres will work out at 3 p.m. in the Northtown Center of Amherst, so keep it here later this afternoon for all of the day's news.
The NHL returns to action with 14 games on Tuesday night and it should be noted that the Sabres are going to slip some in the standings. That's because the teams they're directly chasing in the Eastern Conference, No. 8 Atlanta and No. 9 Carolina, both play two games before Buffalo returns to the ice Friday in Pittsburgh.
The Sabres are six points behind the Thrashers and five behind the Hurricanes. Those totals will grow -- unless both teams go 0-2, of course -- but the Sabres will start Friday with a whopping five games in hand over Atlanta and three over Carolina. You have to win those but it's a huge advantage to have too.
The Thrashers host the Islanders and Calgary while the Hurricanes host Boston Tuesday and are at Toronto Thursday. Atlanta and Carolina then meet Saturday night in Raleigh.
For the Sabres, of course, it's all about winning. They were 9-3-1 immediately before the break and are 20-12-3 since their ghastly 3-9-2 start. Are they a great tease or are they finding something? We're about to find out. They go 9-3-1 in their next 13 and they'll be sitting pretty, that's for sure.
Bucky Gleason was in Raleigh for the All-Star Game and his thoughts on Sunday's activities can be found here. Bucky was also following the Terry Pegula story down South and filed this report on Pegula's meeting with the NHL Executive Committee.
Jim Heaney's story in Sunday's editions about Pegula's business dealings certainly drew a lot of discussion and you can join Heaney for a live chat on the topic today at 11:30 a.m. on the Buffalo News home page.