MANNHEIM, Germany -- Jochen Hecht said fans in Germany had passion. Sabre fans always display their zeal. Put the group together and you get what happened this morning: hundreds of folks cheering on practice.
The Sabres' unusual skate drew the praise of Mannheim native Jochen Hecht and Sabres coach Lindy Ruff. Their audio from this morning is below. Ruff also looked ahead to Tuesday's final preseason game, which goaltender Jhonas Enroth will start.
MANNHEIM, Germany -- The Sabres certainly can draw a crowd.
The team's practice in the side rink in SAP Arena is overflowing with fans, including those who flew from Buffalo as part of a package put together by the Sabres and a local travel agency.
Unfortunately for Jochen Hecht and any Germans looking for the Mannheim native, he was unable to skate with his teammates during most of the session. He suffered a headache recently, setting back his progress from a concussion. He is going to skate at the end to treat the fans.
HEIDELBERG, Germany -- It's well after sundown over in Europe, with the clock striking 9:30 p.m. Here, however, are a few pics taken during the day. Also, for more info on the trip, head over to Twitter.com/BuffNewsVogl.
MANNHEIM, Germany -- Now that practice is over, the Sabres' goal for the rest of the day is to stay awake. It'll be a lot tougher than the practice.
The Sabres had a light, hourlong session in SAP Arena today, busing right from the airport to the rink after their overnight flight from Buffalo. The practice was early afternoon in Mannheim but early morning in Buffalo time, and the Sabres need to work to get their internal clocks adjusted.
"Traveling at night and coming right here and practicing kind of gets you in that time change right away," Jason Pominville said.
The right winger was one of 21 skaters and three goalies to take the ice for Buffalo. The lines were new with center Derek Roy ready to come back from a shoulder injury and Brad Boyes able to return from a two-game suspension. The forwards:
The Sabres canceled their scheduled practice for today, no doubt because some members of the traveling party need to pack before the plane leaves for Europe at 7 tonight. (Yes, that includes me.)
The overnight flight is scheduled to arrive at 9 a.m. German time, which is six hours ahead of Buffalo. The Sabres have been asking their Europe natives for advice on dealing with the time change, and they all said the same thing: There are tricks, but jet lag is a given no matter what.
"I’m still trying to figure that out, too," German native Christian Ehrhoff said. "Going that way it’s a lot tougher than coming over here. It’s pretty tough. Your body, there’s not really a recipe to work against it.
"Obviously, the first day you can’t really go to bed for a nap. You get there early in the morning and you’ve got to work through the day, then try to go to bed at a normal time, try to get a good sleep. That usually helps you. If you try to take a nap when you get in, that screws you up even more."
John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.
Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.
Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.