It was as if the Sabres had just spent a week in Siberia rather than Florida with how cold the atmosphere was today following practice.
Jason Pominville said talk about Wednesday's trade deadline doesn't bother him, then the captain clearly became agitated while discussing rumors. Ryan Miller said he's frustrated by Buffalo's repeated mistakes that have contributed to the team's 12th-place standing. Robyn Regehr questioned the way some players prepare for games.
All in all, it's not a happy time in Sabreland.
"I think we’re frustrated," Miller said in Northtown Center in Amherst. "I’m frustrated, as you can see. I would hope they all feel the same way I do. I don’t know, you’re going to have to ask them."
So what's eating Miller?
"Just we aren’t consistently playing to where we need to be, myself included," the goaltender said. "Every night there’s something else going on where you just look back and there’s mistakes; in my end, reads that need to be better. It’s just night after night. We’ve got to clean it up and be consistent."
The Sabres have back-to-back chances to clean it up or fall further behind. They host 11th-place Washington on Saturday in First Niagara Center and welcome fourth-place Boston on Sunday.
With the trade deadline looming, it could be the last games in Buffalo for several players.
"You hear your name, and I think you hear your name from people that want more followers on Twitter, will come out and say different things," Pominville said. "You hear your name here and there, but where are those things really coming from?
"I think we’ve just got to worry about playing. There’s going to be rumors every year. It’s the way it is. It’s the nature of the sport. It is what it is. We’ve just got to worry about what we have to do."
Pominville, who has a year left on his contract, has been mentioned in potential deals for the first time in his career. He's obviously not happy about it despite holding a modified no-trade clause in which he could name eight teams he won't accept a trade to.
"It doesn’t affect me at all," he said while clearly affected. "I just answered the question. It makes no sense to me right now. Again, I have a contract that has a clause in it, and I haven’t been asked anything. I’m not worried about it. I’ve just got to go out there and play. If something happens, then I’ll worry about it. Right now it’s just trying to win games."
The Sabres will have to beat Washington without Thomas Vanek. The left winger, who has an upper-body injury, missed practiced and is doubtful for Saturday.
To hear Pominville discuss rumors, click the audio file below.
taggedJason Pominville | Ryan Miller