November 14, 2011 - 12:45 PM
MONTREAL -- While there was plenty of talk in the Sabres' dressing room this morning about Ryan Miller and Milan Lucic, a much bigger piece of news was emerging on the ice.
Tyler Myers was still out there skating with the assistant coaches and the injured Tyler Ennis and Jochen Hecht. Thus, Myers -- who is minus-6 over his last four games and was one of the do-nothings on the ice when Lucic bowled over Miller -- is going to be a healthy scratch tonight for the first time in his career.
Outsiders might call it a stunning thing to do to the 21-year-old Myers, a former Calder Trophy winner and a guy who has a seven-year, $38.5 million contract in hand that kicks in next season. But it's no surprise to regular Sabres watchers: Myers was minus-3 on Saturday, with several brutal plays resulting in Boston goals.
"The way I've been playing in the last three of four games, it's not good," Myers said. "It's not good enough for me. I have to be better. I know that the coaches know that. Until I do, stuff like this is going to happen.
"I think there's a lot of good but there's those one or two bad mistakes I have to eliminate from my game. This is just one step -- get pissed off and come out next game and start playing the way I know I can. To do that, playing a lot more physical will help my game."
Myers wasn't physical when Miller was bowled over Saturday and knows that was a mistake.
"Definitely," he said. "We've talked about it as a team. It's definitely got to be a lot more aggressive than what it was. We all know. We've had discussions as a team. That's got to be different."
Lindy Ruff played coy on Myers, refusing to admit he was out but acknowledging Myers' decisions have to be better. Ruff blew off reporters Sunday but met a gaggle of media this morning -- even joking, "it's nice to see you guys again" when it was all over. But he still wasn't happy about Lucic when I asked if he feels the NHL's ruling today has to be a suspension of the Boston forward.
"If he isn't suspended, it just means teams will be able to do exactly what Lucic did," Ruff said. "Their goaltender can play the puck, we can run him over. We can hurt him and all you get is a two-minute minor penalty. That's essentially what that means. You can concuss the other team's goaltender. You can run him going at whatever speed he was going. He made no attempt to get out of the way. It means it's fair game on goaltenders."
Ruff said there's no timetable on Miller and that his goalie "doesn't feel good." He said Miller just feels "OK."
Here's audio from today's morning skate from Ruff, Myers, Jhonas Enroth and captain Jason Pominville:
November 14, 2011 - 11:58 AM
MONTREAL — Defenseman Tyler Myers will be a healthy scratch for the Sabres tonight against the Canadiens in the Bell Centre.
It will be the first time Myers has been a healthy scratch in his three-year career.
Myers was in the group of players that did not respond when Milan Lucic ran over Ryan Miller on Saturday night, but Myers' recent struggles on the blue line are the bigger reason he is not playing tonight.
Mike Weber will play in Myers' place.
Further updates and audio will be posted shortly.
November 10, 2011 - 9:28 AM
November 1, 2011 - 2:23 PM
October 29, 2011 - 6:30 PM
October 27, 2011 - 6:17 PM
October 27, 2011 - 9:25 AM
October 25, 2011 - 7:10 PM
September 26, 2011 - 12:03 PM
The NHL's worst-kept secret becomes official today at 1: The Rangers and Flyers will meet in the Winter Classic Jan. 2 at Citizens Bank Park, home of the Phillies. They'll also be the subjects of HBO's 24/7, as the Penguins and Capitals were last year. Today's announcement will be shown live on NHL.com and the NHL Network.
---Also out of Philly is some scary news that Scott Hartnell, one of the Flyers' heart and soul players, is being sidelined by an elevated heart rate and will see a cardiologist on Tuesday.
---Also out of Chicago comes word the Hawks are going to try South Buffalo native Patrick Kane at center.
---In Pittsburgh, demolition began today of the old Civic (nee Mellon) Arena. The famous steel roof panels will be coming down first. That was a great old barn even if the visiting locker room was smaller than your average place for 10-year-olds in Amherst.
One of my best hockey memories was there: On Dec. 31, 1988, I happened to be in the stands for an afternoon game against the Devils when Mario Lemeiux collected eight points and became the only player in history to score five goals five ways in the same game: even strength, power play, short-handed, penalty shot and empty net. Incredible stuff.
---Across the street at Consol Energy Center, Sidney Crosby continues to skate with the team in controlled scrimmages but is still not cleared for contact.
---The Rangers leave tonight for Europe, where they will play four exhibition games before opening their season in Stockholm Oct. 7. But they will initially not be taking defenseman Marc Staal, who is still dealing with concussion symptoms after a hit from his brother, Eric, during a February game against Carolina.
September 26, 2011 - 7:55 AM
New NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan is posting videos on NHL.com to explain his decisions on suspensions and his latest one explains the two-game preseason ban handed to Sabres winger Brad Boyes for his hit early in Saturday's game in First Niagara Center. Shanahan's explanations are interesting and a terrific public service. In just a few weeks on the job, he's shown more transparency than Colin Campbell ever showed. Here's Shanahan's explanation:
The hit on Boyes, clearly to the head, was definitely suspendable. But I've got a key question: Are we getting videos on plays reviewed that will not be deemed suspensions? And how was Colby Armstrong's push from behind on Paul Gaustad, a dangerous hit into the boards, later in Saturday's game not worth a suspension?
The Sabres are off today so it will be interesting to get the takes of Gaustad, Boyes and Lindy Ruff after practice Tuesday.
September 22, 2011 - 12:35 PM
---Tim Connolly didn't practice today in Toronto for what his teammates are telling reporters were personal reasons (TSN says it's family-related). No word yet on his status for the Sabres/Leafs games the next two nights.
---Big night for former Canisius star Cory Conacher, who got a goal for the Tampa Bay Lightning against St. Louis Wednesday. Conacher even played on a line with Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis. The undrafted free agent is pushing hard for a roster spot and impressing coach Guy Boucher, as this St. Pete Times story says. Conacher is expected to play again Friday against the Florida Panthers.
Also on the local college front, former Niagara star Matt Caruana was returned by the Leafs to the Toronto Marlies, where he scored six goals in 33 games last season.
---The Carolina Hurricanes have signed GM Jim Rutherford to a four-year extension.
September 4, 2011 - 12:52 PM
Questions remain about the details of Wade Belak's death, the third such tragedy involving a tough guy to strike the NHL in the past four months. Rick Rypien and Derek Boogaard also died under strange circumstances involving severe depression and/or drugs. There were separate sets of circumstrances, but are they connected in one way or another?
The debate rages on whether their deaths were somehow related to their roles as physical players who did their share of fighting. People for years have known it was a difficult job, but it is also something that can take a person on the road to ruin? Recent studies on concussions, if not common sense, make you wonder if fighters are more susceptible to problems.
Check out Sully's column Sunday after he interviewed Rob Ray.
I've been all over the map on whether the NHL should institute a ban on fighting. My problem for years with fighting in the NHL was that there wasn't enough. My rationale wasn't about the entertainment value but whether the players should police themselves. You wouldn't see some of the cheap shots that happen if players were worried about having to answer for their actions, other than a penalty.
I guess my real beef is with the insitigator rule. The idea behind it was to cut down on fighting, but overall it might have done more harm than good. There are too many players in the league who stir up trouble with the idea they can draw opposing teams into penalties. In my opinion, it has led to fewer fights but more cheap shots. Overall, the game doesn't seem much safer.
Some want to eliminate fighting altogether and decrease health risks with the fighters themselves, but it could wind up having an adverse effect. Would players become more aggressive -- and cheaper -- knowing they didn't have to stand up for themselves after a dirty hit? Should they implement stiffer punishments for cheap shots and fighting? Should they dump the instigator penalty and go back to players policing the game?
Interesting questions, but no concrete answers.
--- Bucky Gleason
August 29, 2011 - 6:37 PM
West Seneca native Lee Stempniak's time in the desert is over as the right winger was traded Monday by the Phoenix Coyotes to the Calgary Flames for veteran center Daymond Langkow. Stempniak, who will make $1.9 million next year before heading into free agency, signed a two-year deal with Phoenix last summer after there was plenty of chatter from Sabres fans about getting him to sign to return home.
Stempniak had 19 goals and 19 assists while playing all 82 games last season for Phoenix. He was coming off a career year of 28 goals while splitting time with Toronto and the Coyotes in 2009-10.
Langkow, meanwhile, played just four games last year after suffering a severe neck injury in 2010. He carries a $4.5 million cap hit. The NHL-run Coyotes are apparently not afraid of taking on some money as they're up to a team payroll approaching $52 million.
August 19, 2011 - 11:55 AM
Chris Drury has called it a career after 12 seasons in the NHL.
The NHL Players Association announced the veteran forward's retirement today. Drury played 892 games with four different teams -- the Colorado Avalanche, Calgary Flames, Buffalo Sabres and New York Rangers. He won a Stanley Cup with Colorado in 2001.
Drury played three seasons for the Sabres. He and fellow co-captain Daniel Briere led Buffalo to the Eastern Conference finals in 2007, then both departed as free agents in July of that year.
Drury reportedly is suffering from a degenerative condition in his left knee that would have caused him to sit out the entire 2011-12 season. The Rangers bought out the final year of his contract in the spring, making him a free agent.
Drury won the Hobey Baker Award with Boston University, and won the Calder Memorial Trophy as the NHL's top rookie. He is the only player to earn both honors.
August 18, 2011 - 2:18 PM
The NHL has announced its national television schedule and the Sabres are set for 10 games on Versus and two on NBC. The start times for three of the Versus games have been altered to accommodate the television broadcast.
Buffalo's NBC appearances will be Feb. 19 at 12:30 against Pittsburgh from HSBC Arena and April 7 at Boston in a 3 p.m. start that will mark the regular season finale.
Home games on Oct. 25 against Tampa Bay and Feb. 1 against the New York Rangers have been moved from 7 p.m. to 7:30 for Versus, and the March 5 game at Winnipeg has similarly been shifted from an 8:30 Eastern start to 8.
Buffalo's other Versus games are Nov. 2 against Philadelphia, Nov. 14 against Montreal, Nov. 16 against New Jersey, Dec. 7 against Philadelphia, Jan. 18 at Chicago, Feb. 8 against Boston and March 14 against Colorado.
3:50 update: Versus' Wednesday games will be national exclusive game of the week telecasts that won't be on MSG. The Sabres are on seven of those, two more than any other team. According to the Sabres, their 12 nationally televised games tie Buffalo for second-most in the league behind Boston and Philadelphia, who have 13 games each.
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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.
About Sabres Edge
Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, is in his sixth season covering the Buffalo Sabres. 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.
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