There was still plenty of giddiness in the Sabres' locker room today after last night's crazy overtime win over the Leafs but it was tempered by coach Lindy Ruff's sobering news that Tyler Myers' foot injury appears to be a long-term one.
Myers was seen in a walking boot late last night and I asked Ruff today -- twice -- if the foot was broken. He wouldn't answer directly, other than to say the foot was "bad." But Ruff gave plenty of hints when asked if Myers would be back for the playoffs when he responded, "What round?" My translation: Broken foot, 3-4 weeks, you see Myers in the second round if the Sabres are still playing by then.
There was also plenty of talk looking forward to the final two games of the season. The Sabres and Washington Capitals are tied, of course, for eighth place and Caps veteran Brooks Laich basically issued a guarantee his team would make the playoffs this morning in his weekly appearance on a DC radio station.
Said Laich: "We're making the playoffs. We're not talking worst-case scenario. We're making the playoffs. There's probably games in October that you wish you had or November or whatever. But over the course of 82 games, your team identity is gonna be revealed, and either you are or you aren't a playoff team. There's really no gray area."
The full info on Laich, including his post-practice reaction today, is covered by Katie Carrera of the Washington Post in this blog post.
The Sabres, of course, had answers to Laich.
"We're not playing against him and I don't think he's Mark Messier so I think he's searching for a spark for his team," cracked Ryan Miller. "They should be desperate right now too so I just think they're looking for little things.
"I don't think anybody in this locker room would go as far as to start to do that. It gets to be distracting. Hopefully it's a huge distraction to them. Some guys don't react well to that. Guys might tighten up. Maybe their young goaltenders aren't going to react well to a guaranteed victory by their veteran guy. You start thinking about it."
Ruff wisecracked, "It sounds like they want to knock Florida out for sure then."
The coach then got more analytical about things: "Those are all predictions that you live with, you die with, you hope to motivate your team with. He probably believes sincerely they're gonna make it. They probably like their scheudule, their chances of playing Florida in their building. We got our work cut out for us, they got theirs. Our thoughts are making the playoffs too."
Click below to hear from Ruff and Miller today, with both spending a lot of time talking about how the Sabres have to improve defensively after giving up 14 goals in the last three games -- after giving up just three in the previous four outings.