The Sabres had an optional workout today in HSBC Arena and the spirits are certainly high in the wake of the two-game sweep in Florida and the team's current 12-4-1 run. It's a big difference from the dog days of December, when Derek Roy was lost to a season-ending injury and the team was facing a double-digit deficit in the playoff race.
"You win a few games, you feel better about yourself and you get that swagger back,' Thomas Vanek said. "That's the biggest difference. Early on, we lost some tight games when we had a lead or it was tied in the third and we found a way to lose. Now we're feeling comfortable, confident and finding ways to win."
Because there's still basically two months of games left, the players insist they're not doing much scoreboard-watching involving the Rangers, Thrashers or Hurricanes, all of whom remain ahead of Buffalo in the standings. Ryan Miller agreed with that theory with one notable exception.
"The most I looked was when my brother [Detroit forward Drew Miller] had the game-winning goal against the Rangers," Miller said. "So I said, 'Thank you very much. We appreciate the help.' That's about as far as it goes."
On the injury front, Lindy Ruff confirmed John Vogl's story from Wednesday's editions that Steve Montador is dealing with concussion symptoms from a hit in last week's game against Toronto. Montador was to undergo testing today and has yet to begin exercising. Ruff said he'd like to get Patrick Kaleta back into the lineup Sunday against the Islanders.