By Mike Harrington
VANCOUVER -- No, I didn't lose my mind with that dateline. Or make a typo. Or like Bugs Bunny once said, shoulda taken that left turn at Albuquerque. I really woke up this morning in the home of the Sedin twins, in a hotel where you can look out the window and see the Richmond Hill oval that was the site of 2010 Olympic speed skating.
And yes, the Sabres are about 1,200 miles due East of here tonight so I overshot Winnipeg just by, ahem, a hare yesterday. I'll be trying to get there again today, so please accept my apologies on the limited information you may get here from the Sabres' morning skate.
(That said, there wouldn't be much anyway because I'm told only a few players are going to the MTS Centre this morning. And we already know Jhonas Enroth will be in goal tonight and Ville Leino is questionable.)
In a nutshell, I spent about 18 hours yesterday in O'Hare Airport in Chicago or planes. Three canceled flights to Winnipeg due to cold -- apparently it was so cold that bathrooms on planes were freezing -- left the first available flight there tomorrow. Doesn't help me. The only thing United Airlines could do was send me to Montreal, which would have put me in Winnipeg during the third period, or go all the way to Vancouver -- which is now supposed to have me in The Peg about 1 p.m. this afternoon.
Of course, the flight to Vancouver didn't get in until nearly 1 a.m. Pacific time after a 90-minute delay caused by an intoxicated passenger who vomited on two others in first class just before takeoff and had to be removed. Then it took another half-hour to find his bags. I can't make this stuff up.
This is the Sabres' fourth trip to MTS Centre, and (hopefully) my third, since the Jets returned to the league in 2011-12. The Sabres have lost all three, been outscored by an 11-3 count and scored one goal in each game. The Jets have a six-game win streak against Buffalo overall snapped during their 4-2 loss Dec. 17 in First Niagara Center.
For all their success lately at home, much of which is chronicled in John Vogl's look back at 2013 in today's editions, the Sabres have done zero on the road. They have just three road wins (no other NHL team has fewer than six) and only one regulation road win all season (at Florida). They're 0-7-2 in their last nine on the road.
The road. That's back where I'm headed. Hopefully I'll be there later. The 50-50 in the rink tonight is gonna be $200,000. So there's that.
As I said on Twitter last night, it feels like a quest for Marty Moose (and the Winnipeg folks rooted for the Manitoba Moose during their AHL days). Or maybe like this feeling from "Planes, Trains & Automobiles."