Happy Trade Deadline Eve. With one day till the NHL swap meet, the Sabres are taking the day off. They'll be back Monday, a day that will be interesting to cover. The Sabres will skate in the morning at the rink in Amherst, while GM Darcy Regier will be at the arena, which is unavailable to the team because WWE's "Monday Night Raw" is coming town.
As usual, we'll have you covered. Mike Harrington will be at practice, I'll be at the arena monitoring deals (or no deals), and Bucky Gleason will be somewhere and anywhere. It'll be rink-to-rink, morning-to-night coverage, right here at BuffaloNews.com.
Until then, here are your Sunday morning papers, starting right here in the B-lo:
*The Buffalo Sabres were a mere 60 seconds from winning their third straight game Saturday. The fans were roaring, eager to see the six-game homestand in HSBC Arena finish at .500 after a dreadful start. In the end, it was a sorrowful finale, too.
Detroit tied the game with 57.9 seconds left, and the Red Wings showed their skill in the shootout to come back and drop the Sabres, 3-2. There were no moral victories for competing hard on back-to-back nights against one of the NHL's top teams. There was only the realization that every point matters, and the Sabres gave one away.
"At this point, we have to be really disappointed in efforts like that because if you don't get two points you're not gaining much ground," goaltender Ryan Miller said. "We should be really, really disappointed in that."
*Bucky's Inside the NHL column leads with the Sabres' new president. Nice guy, Ted Black.
He comes across like a humble person with his priorities in order. His self-deprecating humor should take him a long way in Buffalo. He jokes that he's a recovering lawyer and never the smartest guy in the room, but actually he's a self-assured, intelligent man without the massive ego often found at high levels of management.
There's a sense he gets it. And that's half the battle.
*The Buffalo Sabres were forced to shuffle their defense corps, and Andrej Sekera took advantage of his opportunity. Sekera, a healthy scratch the last three games, scored a goal and assisted on another in the first period of the 3-2 shootout loss to the Red Wings. He was only in the lineup because Jordan Leopold was a surprise scratch with an undisclosed upper-body injury.
"Andrej played great, really skated well," said coach Lindy Ruff. "You'd like to bottle exactly what you saw."
*It appears Craig Rivet is going to be one of those guys, the hockey player who unexpectedly gets sent to Buffalo, falls in love with the place and settles down in the area when his career is over.
"You never know what the future holds, but right now it looks like Buffalo could be a place to settle for a little while for myself and my family," Rivet said Saturday. "We've truly enjoyed ourselves in our time in Buffalo."
That said, the defenseman was eager to get out of town Saturday evening. The Columbus Blue Jackets claimed the former Sabres captain off re-entry waivers in the afternoon, and Rivet flew to meet his new team in Nashville for today's game against the Predators.
*The New York Rangers traded forward Tim Kennedy, a South Buffalo native, and a third-round draft pick to the Florida Panthers for veteran defenseman Bryan McCabe. Here is the Miami Herald's take on the deal.
*The Carolina Hurricanes, 4-3 losers in Montreal, would be best served keeping an eye on who's coming at them from behind. Buffalo is now two points behind Carolina in the Eastern Conference standings with two games in hand. Toronto is five points back with one game in hand.
*Milan Lucic had the kind of homecoming most players can only dream of. The Vancouver native scored the go-ahead goal with 4:38 remaining in regulation and assisted on Boston's other two goals as the Bruins downed the Canucks 3-1 to improve to 4-0 on their six-game road trip.