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Around the rink: No white smoke at FNC, more thoughts on Torts' postgame rant

By Mike Harrington

No white smoke over First Niagara Center this afternoon so the Sabres remain quiet on the trade front while taking today off from practice (seriously now, how could I resist that one?). Here's what's going through my head today in the wake of last night's 3-1 win over the Rangers:

---Today's must-read is Bucky Gleason's column on the Sabres' thoughts moving forward. What do you do with Ryan Miller, Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville as they head into the final years of their deals? Do you trade them now? 

“Do we become a younger team or do we become a team that’s going to build and try to get this core group of guys a chance to move forward?" Miller said. "Or are we not the core anymore? Who knows? They’re not decisions we make. We react off management and circumstance.”

Hmmm. Interesting. I'll be writing more on this topic in tomorrow's sports section.

---John Tortorella's rants with the media are entertaining in a stupid kind of way but the more I think about last night's 90-second diatribe, the more I don't like one part of it. Tortorella is always pretty in-your-face about "I only talk about my team." Well, he had a lot to say last night about the Sabres, about not giving them credit and how they were "ripe to be beaten." Partly true for sure. But also pretty disrespectful. If you missed it, watch again:

---The folks at Bovada have passed on updated midseason odds and the Sabres are now 100-1 on winning the Stanley Cup and Northeast Division and 50-1 on winning the Eastern Conference. The Blackhawks are 9-2 favorites to win the Cup while the Penguins are 6-1 and the Bruins 8-1.

---Things are getting very top-heavy in the Western Conference with the Hawks and Ducks pulling away. If you go by my system of just wins and losses (combining OT/SO losses with regulation), those two teams are 40-11. The standings out there look like this (ordered by place that includes loser points):

CHI 21-5
ANA 19-6
VAN 12-13 (*Division leader*)
LAK 14-11
STL 14-12
PHX 13-13
DET 12-14
MIN 13-12
SJS 11-14
NSH 11-15
DAL 12-13
EDM 10-16
CBJ 10-17
COL 10-15
CGY 9-15

In my book, the Sabres are 10-17. Pretty easy to see how they're dead last in the Northeast behind Montreal (17-9), Boston (17-7), Ottawa (13-13) and Toronto (15-12), who are listed by points.

---The Sabres had not won back-to-back home games this season until last night. They had three regulation wins in their previous 19 games and three regulation wins at home all season. So how in the world are they only five points out of a playoff spot. Doesn't it feel like it should be 25?


New York Rangers | Sabres
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John Vogl

John Vogl

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.

@BuffNewsVogl |

About Sabres Edge

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

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.

@BNHarrington |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

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.

@amymoritz |