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Current Sabres stay punchless but Vanek breaks out

By Mike Harrington

CALGARY, Alberta -- The Sabres will be practicing today in suburban Edmonton at 1:30 p.m. Buffalo time (11:30 Mountain), so your daily updates will be a little later than normal.

Last night's 3-1 loss at Calgary was their seventh straight -- all in regulation. The Sabres have not gone pointless in eight straight games in their 44-year history. If they lose Thursday at Edmonton, this bunch will have reached that dubious accomplishment. Last overall is pretty much clinched, with a 13-point deficit to the Oilers. No reason not to get a win or two just for the heck of it, right?

The Sabres have six goals in the seven games, an absurdly futile offense that has no goals from anyone not named Drew Stafford or Tyler Ennis. So do you want to see some offense? Then check out below as old friend Thomas Vanek scored the hat trick last night for Montreal, his first three with the Habs.

 

Vanek honored, surprised the Sabres chose to recognize his time in Buffalo

By John Vogl

Thomas Vanek was still in Buffalo when the Sabres ignored the return of Jason Pominville. He took note. He didn't know what to expect for his first game back tonight.

He got a quality video salute, which  can be seen here.

"It was great," Vanek said after the Habs' 2-0 win. "I didn’t know. My previous experience when someone else came back they didn’t do much, so I didn’t know what to expect. I thought it was very nice and very classy of them."

Vanek played 16:32 in his first game against the Sabres and had a game-high six shots. He's still looking for his first goal in five games with the Habs.

"Coming here, mixed emotions again and still trying to get that one," he said. "I think it was just a little too much thinking, not enough playing.

"For us it was good we got that two-goal lead early on and after that I thought the game was not too much action."

Video: Sabres honor Vanek's career during his first game back in Buffalo

By John Vogl

Thomas Vanek came back to Buffalo, and the Sabres showed they didn't forget him. The team showed a highlight video during the first period, and Vanek stood and waved to the applauding crowd at the conclusion.

Here's the video.

Continue reading "Video: Sabres honor Vanek's career during his first game back in Buffalo" »

In return to Buffalo, Thomas Vanek has plenty to say

By John Vogl

Thomas Vanek knew last summer that his time with the Sabres would soon be over.

"I just asked what direction this team was going in," Vanek said this evening. "No one really had an answer. That’s when I kind of made up my mind that July 1 is probably a goal of mine."

While Vanek has unrestricted free agency ahead of him in July, this evening was a time to look back. The Sabres' erstwhile perennial scoring leader is back in First Niagara Center for the first time since being traded to the Islanders in October. He has since been dealt to Montreal and will take the ice as a visitor tonight.

"Last night coming in and today was a different feeling, for sure," Vanek said. "I felt actually pretty good all day. As soon as I walked in here I started to get the jitters.

"I don’t know what to expect really. All I know is I have a lot of good memories in this building, in this town. It’s something I’ll cherish forever."

There are regrets, however. He wishes the organization had done more following its failure to keep Chris Drury and Daniel Briere in 2007.

"Looking back at it and even talking to some of the guys who are not here anymore, it’s unfortunate," Vanek said. "I thought we were a good team, a solid core. We always talked about not getting to the next level, but I thought if you really look back at what happened is that Danny and Chris left at the time, and they told us to step up, which is great. We all wanted that to happen, but we never replaced two good players.

"In this league you need depth, and I think five, six players can only take you so far. The way I look at it, I wish we would have went and got two, three, four more good guys. We really could have made some runs."

Instead, the core is gone. So is Darcy Regier, the general manager who assembled the players and started shipping them out. One of Regier's final moves before being fired in November was to trade Vanek.

"It looked like I was the last domino to fall, and then things started to change," Vanek said. "It’s tough to see some of the guys go through this, but I think change was needed, and it happened."

While Vanek loved his time and teammates in New York, his stint with the Islanders had an unfortunate moment for him. Intent on becoming a UFA, Vanek turned down a $50 million offer from the Isles, and the decision was leaked to the public.

"I don’t know what the right word for it is. Unnecessary, I guess," Vanek said. "I don’t think it did good for both sides of us. At the end of the day, whoever came out with it, so be it. I had to answer the questions and move on.

"I think after that it was hard to focus, even though the guys in the room on the island were great. They understood it’s business. It’s nothing against them. It’s just I made up my mind a year ago that July 1 was a priority for myself.

"But now I’m glad it’s over with and I’m in Montreal. I’m going to finish the year there."

Thomas Vanek

Don't go downtown: Sabres cancel morning skate

By Mike Harrington

Tonight's game against the Montreal Canadiens is the Sabres' fifth in eight days and comes following their late-night return from Long Island and their 4-1 loss to the Islanders. And with a long flight to Calgary scheduled after practice Monday, the Sabres have announced they have canceled their morning skate today in First Niagara Center.

I've already gotten an email and some inquiries on Twitter because the morning skates on the weekend tend to be popular with fans. So this is your official notice: Don't go downtown. The building will be shuttered because there's nothing to see today.

The Sabres haven't been much to see of late either. They've lost five straight, equaling their season high, and have scored just five goals in those games. The Habs, meanwhile, were four minutes away from falling to 0-4 with old friend Thomas Vanek in the lineup but pulled off a miracle rally Saturday night against Ottawa.

Trailing, 4-1, Montreal scored three goals to tie the game -- with the equalizer by David Desharnais coming with three-tenths of a second left -- and got a Francis Bouillon goal in overtime to post a stunning 5-4 win. 

In fact, it was more than stunning. It was historic. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it's the first time in NHL history a team has trailed by three goals in the final five minutes and came back to win a game. Wow. NEVER happened before? Amazing.

Vanek will be making his first appearance in Buffalo since getting traded by the Sabres to the Islanders on Oct. 27. He has 21 goals and 33 assists this season in 64 games between the three teams. He has just one assist so far with the Habs, who have already bounced him between some lines.

If you missed them, here are the video highlights/lowlights of the Habs' big comeback and the Sabres' latest dreary loss:

Continue reading "Don't go downtown: Sabres cancel morning skate" »

Austrian hockey president: Choosing Vanek as Olympic captain went wrong

By John Vogl

Austria had a terrible Olympic tournament, and the country's hockey fans are reeling as to one of the reasons why. The players spent too much time partying.

The backlash is in full swing, and Thomas Vanek is in the middle of it.

The former Sabres captain wore the "C" for Austria, which went 1-4 with a goal differential of minus-12. The Austrians disappeared with a meek 4-0 loss to Slovenia in the elimination round.

"Chose Vanek as team captain to have an experienced player and this obviously went wrong," Austrian Ice Hockey Federation President Dieter Kalt said at a news conference.

Several players reportedly spent the night before the elimination game in the Austria House and a local bar drinking until 6 a.m.

"After internal discussions there will be consequences," said coach Manny Viveiros in this Eishockey.at story that was translated through Google. "I am very disappointed by the team. ... The behavior of individual players is inexcusable."

Viveiros said he didn't feel he needed to babysit the team, but in retrospect that was a mistake in judgment.

"We will publish their names in the next days," the coach said.

Vanek, who is regarded as an Austrian sports hero, had no goals, one assist and a minus-4 rating in four games. The Sabres traded him to the Islanders in October, and he is set to be an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Sabres, Bruins discussed a Vanek-for-Seguin trade

By John Vogl

Thomas Vanek is in line to be traded for the second time in a year. He went from Buffalo to the Islanders the first time, but he almost went to Boston.

The Sabres and Bruins discussed a trade package that would have sent Vanek to Boston in exchange for center Tyler Seguin, multiple sources told The Buffalo News today. It's not clear why the talks, which took place at the June draft, didn't result in a deal, but it is known the Bruins were seeking another NHL-ready player off the Sabres' roster.

The Sabres' biggest problem is the lack of a No. 1 center, and Seguin would have solved that dilemma. Sent from Boston to Dallas in July, the second overall pick of the 2010 draft is tied for 12th in the NHL in goals (24) and points (54). He is only 22 years old.

Seguin wore out his welcome in Boston because of maturity issues. The Stars got Seguin, Rich Peverley and Ryan Button in a deal that sent winger Loui Eriksson, Joe Morrow, Reilly Smith and Matt Fraser to the Bruins.

Vanek wound up with the Islanders in October. Buffalo received left wing Matt Moulson, a first-round pick in either 2014 or 2015, and the Isles' second-round pick in 2015.

Vanek has reportedly turned down a contract offer from the Islanders, who will be looking to move the pending unrestricted free agent. Moulson, also a pending UFA, is on the trade market.

Replay denies Vanek OT winner, ex-Sabre rips NHL war room

By Mike Harrington

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Here's a glaring example of video review failing.

Old friend Thomas Vanek scored the winning goal in overtime this afternoon for the Islanders against St. Louis. Blues goalie Jaroslav Halak was even headed for the dressing room. The officials on the ice called it a good goal.

But the NHL war room in Toronto inexplicably said Vanek kicked the puck in with his left skate. Here's the official explanation. I have no clue what they could have possibly been looking at. There's zero "distinct kicking motion". At the end of this video, Islanders broadcaster Howie Rose exclaims, "Are you kidding me?"

No Howie, they're not. Would have loved to have heard what else he said too. Especially when the Islanders lost in a shootout.

For his part, Vanek is likely going to get fined for a postgame comment that was 100 percent right: "I think it's a terrible call. I don't know if it's who we are. If that's Pittsburgh or a top team, that's maybe a goal. It's just a terrible call. We all know what a kicking motion is."

The war room saw something different. Here's the video:

Continue reading "Replay denies Vanek OT winner, ex-Sabre rips NHL war room" »

Sabres' rebuilding plan takes huge step with trade of Vanek

By John Vogl

The rebuilding of the Buffalo Sabres took its biggest step yet Sunday night as the team traded co-captain and perennial scoring leader Thomas Vanek. It’s a deal that added substantial assets to the organization and has the potential to bring even more.

The Sabres shipped Vanek to the New York Islanders for accomplished scorer Matt Moulson, a first-round pick in the 2014 NHL draft and a second-round selection in 2015. It’s a blockbuster swap that would generate headlines at the frantic trade deadline, and it’s even more significant this early in the season.

“It was a deal that has been worked on off and on for a while,” General Manager Darcy Regier said in First Niagara Center. “It was something that we felt we had to do. Our focus is on trying to acquire assets, in this case draft picks, that are going to allow us to continue improving.”

Continue reading "Sabres' rebuilding plan takes huge step with trade of Vanek" »

Tallinder back for Sabres, Ristolainen out; Vanek facing his future team?

By John Vogl

Henrik Tallinder is ready to return from a shoulder injury, so the Sabres will make a roster move in order for him to play against Minnesota tonight. It appears Alexander Sulzer or Rasmus Ristolainen will report to Rochester to make room for the defenseman.

Sulzer and the rookie will be scratched tonight for the Sabres, and coach Ron Rolston said one will depart. Jhonas Enroth will start in goal for Buffalo, which leaves Ryan Miller ready to go Tuesday at the Islanders.

Sulzer recently went unclaimed on waivers, so he doesn't have to go through the wire again in order to be sent down. Ristolainen, drafted eighth overall in June, has no points and is minus-3 while averaging 16:47 of ice time in his six games.

"He’s had his ups and downs a little bit, but that’s with a young player," Rolston said in First Niagara Center. "He’s done a good job for us so far, and he’s still learning.

"He plays with a lot of poise. He’s good positionally, moves the puck well, heavy shot. But he’s learning the game and the speed and the tempo playing against some of these top forwards in the league, so it’s a big learning curve."

The visit by the Wild includes the return of former Sabres captain Jason Pominville.

"Who?" Sabres forward Thomas Vanek said with a grin.

Vanek says it will be more awkward for Pominville than the Sabres.

"I think we’re used to it here," Vanek said. "I’ve been here for a while, and I’ve seen a lot of teammates leave."

Vanek might be next. The free agent-to-be is a Minnesota resident, and it seems a foregone conclusion he'll sign with the Wild next summer.

"The media and the outside people always have an opinion, just like I have my own opinion," said Vanek, who reiterated he's not interested in re-signing with Buffalo at the moment. "Right now I’m not ready, but I like where we’re heading. Even though we haven’t won a game, I think there’s a lot of talent in this group. Only time and games will tell how good we can really be."

Thomas Vanek

Ron Rolston

Regier hopes to re-sign Hodgson soon, says trade window closed at moment with Miller, Vanek

By John Vogl

It sounds like Ryan Miller and Thomas Vanek could remain with the Sabres for a while. General Manager Darcy Regier hopes Cody Hodgson sticks around, too.

Buffalo's veterans gathered for physicals today and will begin skating Thursday, and Regier hopes Hodgson will be on the ice in First Niagara Center. The team has yet to work out a contract with the restricted free agent, who was second on the team in scoring last season.

"We continue to work on his contract," Regier said today. "I’ve had conversations with his agent on a couple of occasions this morning. I spoke briefly with Cody. Both sides are working hard on this.

Continue reading "Regier hopes to re-sign Hodgson soon, says trade window closed at moment with Miller, Vanek" »

Vanek not surprised to be a Sabre, hopes hard-earned victories can help Buffalo find playoffs

By John Vogl

Thomas Vanek remembers a time when the Sabres could skate onto the ice, have a lackluster performance and still leave with a victory. With two straight playoff misses and a rebuilding team in place, those days are gone.

“Whoever makes our team, we won’t be favored by anyone,” Vanek told The News today. “That’s OK. I think you can be a young team and a good team. I think we have two good goaltenders who can play.

“You have to battle, and every game’s going to be important for us. Teams in the past we’ve had, we had off nights and we would still win. I don’t think that’s going to happen too much anymore. I think we have to be on top of our game to beat the Detroits and those kinds of teams.

“In the past for us we’ve had good teams. Maybe our goals were a little too high. I think every team thinks it’ll work hard for that Stanley Cup, but I think you have to take it a step at a time. For us, I think it really is just to get into the playoffs.”

It remains to be seen whether Vanek will be in Buffalo come playoff time. He’s entering the final year of his contract and has been the subject of trade talks. Still, he’s not surprised he skated in First Niagara Center today.

“No, not at all,” he said. “My end-of-the-year meeting was good. I just said my thoughts. I never asked for a trade, so from that point on I’m not surprised that I’m still here. But at the same time, if they would have moved me, I wouldn’t have been surprised either way.

“This is just a story that until something happens people want to know. To me, it’s not an issue.”

Vanek said he hasn’t closed the door on a contract extension, but he wants to see how the young team and new coach Ron Rolston perform before he decides his future.

“I just want to see where it goes,” Vanek said. “I have that right, and I’m taking it. I don’t feel like I’m doing a disservice to anyone. Some people might agree with me, some don’t. That’s the way it goes either way.

“It’s a new coaching staff, it’s new everything, a lot of new players. I like Ron. I think the youth is good that we have, but I don’t know our young guys how good they can be. Until you see it over a good span of games, I don’t think anyone’s going to know.”

Regier expects Miller, Vanek to remain with Sabres through draft weekend

By John Vogl

NEW YORK – Darcy Regier entered draft weekend ready to gauge the marketplace for Ryan Miller and Thomas Vanek. As of now, he expects to exit draft weekend with them as members of the Sabres.

“Right now, I do, yes,” Regier said this afternoon.

Miller’s agent, Mike Liut, concurs in regard to his client.

“I am not expecting anything to happen,” he said via email.

The trade market has had a number of names added to it this weekend, but Regier says that doesn’t mean transactions will occur.

“As you add names and the supply gets greater, I don’t know what that will do with the asking prices and whether teams will be able to get the asking price or whether there will be any kind of adjustment in the marketplace for players or for the acquisition of players,” Regier said. “It’s really still a bit of a moving target that hasn’t settled yet.”

Miller and Vanek are the top names on the Sabres’ shopping list because they are set to enter the final year of their contracts. Buffalo is not expected to contend for the Stanley Cup and there is no guarantee the players will re-sign, so Regier cannot let them exit the organization next summer without getting assets in return.

“I entered this weekend recognizing that they both are in the last year of their contracts, and I have a responsibility to see what that means both with those players and also within the marketplace,” Regier said. “Unless you’re a highly competitive team, it’s very difficult to have players on your roster whose contracts are going to expire if you either choose not to or don’t have the ability to re-up them.

“Just to lose those assets, you try to get a sense of what the marketplace is like, and that’s a process that’s ongoing. I expect it will continue to move through the draft into maybe free agency and maybe beyond that. We’re actively keeping our finger on the pulse of what’s going on in the league, and we’ll have to just make our decision.”

The lack of trade activity extends to the draft, which will be held Sunday in New Jersey. The Sabres are set to pick eighth and 16th overall.

“Right now I expect that we will pick where we’re picking, and I say that only because there’s nothing that’s imminent or concrete,” Regier said. “But like I said, there are a lot of conversations, and they will continue right until the draft starts and even beyond that.”

Agents for Vanek, Miller: No talks with Sabres

By John Vogl

The Sabres say they are interested in keeping Thomas Vanek and Ryan Miller around. So far, they haven't tried to extend the contract of either one.

Buffalo's franchise goaltender and leading scorer are set to enter the final season of their deals. Though teams cannot re-sign players until July 1 of their last year, they can negotiate and agree to extensions, as evidenced by Pittsburgh's pending contract with Evgeni Malkin.

"I have not personally talked to the Sabres but expect to see them at Draft," Steve Bartlett, Vanek's agent, said via email today. "No special agenda though."

"Nothing in the way of an extension," wrote Mike Liut, the agent for Miller.

Continue reading "Agents for Vanek, Miller: No talks with Sabres" »

Around the Worlds: Sabres updates from the IIHF Championships

By Mike Harrington

Updates from the IIHF World Championships in Sweden and Finland: 

Thomas Vanek has team-highs of three goals and 20 shots on goal for Austria. The Aussies beat Slovakia in a shootout, with Vanek scoring the decisive goal. Christian Ehrhoff has been the workhorse for Germany, averaging 29:31 per game, while Andrej Sekera has done likewise for Slovakia at 24:55. Jhonas Enroth has a 1.76 goals-against average in the nets for Sweden.

In the standings -- go to the bottom of the page at this link -- Lindy Ruff-coached Team Canada has the tourney's best record at 4-0-1 for 13 points (losing only to Switzerland in a shootout). Finland leads the other group with 11 points. Team USA has nine points, tied with Russia and two behind the Finns.

Meanwhile, Rochester Amerks center Zemgus Girgensons, the Sabres' second first-round pick last June, has been suspended for one game for a butt-ending violation and will miss Latvia's game Saturday against Germany. The incident occurred during Thursday's 5-3 win over Slovakia.

Vanek if it's a long rebuild: 'It probably makes sense for both parties to move on'

By Mike Harrington

The Sabres were back at First Niagara Center today to clean out their lockers, have exit physicals and meetings with staff that included General Manager Darcy Regier. As could be expected after another non-playoff season, the mood was a somber one. The Sabres have missed the playoffs two years in a row, four seasons out of six and seven years out of 11.

Said winger Drew Stafford of this year's miss: "There's just no excuse for that."

While reporters have heard a lot from Ryan Miller this week about his potential exit from Buffalo and his 500th game -- and Miller spoke again today for more than 11 minutes -- the star attraction today was winger Thomas Vanek. And like Miller, Vanek admitted he thought plenty that Friday's shootout win over the Islanders was his last game as a Sabre.

"Let's be honest," Vanek said. "I'm not stupid. I know I have a year left and they can probably deal me for prospects, young guys, whatever else is out there. Yeah, I've thought about it. If it looks like it's a long rebuild, then it probably makes sense for both parties to move on."

Vanek wants a quick, trade-based rebuild as opposed to a build through the draft. But the latter scenario appears more likely.

"I don't know what the plan is," Vanek said. "If they're turning it over to the younger guys, it's a turnover. Or are they going to build around us again? It's all speculation at this point because you guys don't know and I don't know what's going to happen."

Miller broke no new ground today over what he's said in the last couple of days. 

"I’m convinced more and more as I play longer and longer it’s more about the attitude and the kind of team you build," Miller said. "It’s not always about a bunch of skill pieces. You have to define the way you play. And we can find a way to play here, if we can define it and do it every night, we’ll have just as good a chance as anybody."

That said, Miller knows he may not be part of any new plan about how the Sabres may play.

"Around this stage of a contract, you have to be realistic," Miller said. "In the last year of your deal, if you’re not part of the plan, you become an asset that’s tradable. So I’m just trying to stay open to coming back and trying to stay excited about playing hockey games in the NHL if it’s not going to work out."

One player that was not in the building today was winger Ville Leino, who suffered from a collapsed lung late in the season and has not spoken about that injury -- or about his status as a potential candidate for an amnesty buyout under the new CBA.

Regier will undoubtedly be asked about Leino Monday afternoon, when the GM and team president Ted Black will hold an end-of-season meeting with the media. The Sabres declined to have such a meeting last season and were openly laughed at for that decision when the Professional Hockey Writers Association met at the draft last June in Pittsburgh. Owner Terry Pegula is not expected to attend.

Click below to hear audio today from Vanek, Miller and Tyler Myers and stayed tuned to the Sabres Edge for video from today's proceedings.

Thomas Vanek

Ryan Miller

Tyler Myers

Postgame audio: A disconcerting end to playoff hopes

By Mike Harrington

OK, so if you saw Ron Rolston's postgame presser on MSG, you'll understand the headline above. Sorry, couldn't resist.

The Sabres' interim coach showed plenty of fire with me following Friday night's 8-4 loss to the Rangers that ended Buffalo's slim playoff hopes. Fair enough. Would have been nice if his team had a little more on many nights since he's taken over, but I digress.

It was certainly an interesting postgame session with Rolston's anger and Ryan Miller's emotional but calculated words. Miller and Sabres fans seem to be a relationship headed for divorce with just about no repair possible.

What an ugly night. Click the files below to hear some of the post-mortems.

Ron Rolston

Ryan Miller

Thomas Vanek

Adam Pardy

Postgame audio: A disconcerting end to playoff hopes

By Mike Harrington

OK, so if you saw Ron Rolston's postgame presser on MSG, you'll understand the headline above. Sorry, couldn't resist.

The Sabres' interim coach showed plenty of fire with me following Friday night's 8-4 loss to the Rangers that ended Buffalo's slim playoff hopes. Fair enough. Would have been nice if his team had a little more on many nights since he's taken over, but I digress.

It was certainly an interesting postgame session with Rolston's anger and Ryan Miller's emotional but calculated words. Miller and Sabres fans seem to be a relationship headed for divorce with just about no repair possible.

What an ugly night. Click the files below to hear some of the post-mortems.

Ron Rolston

Ryan Miller

Thomas Vanek

Adam Pardy

Vanek on teams' stick salute: 'It was just to appreciate the people who came'

Teams
The teams salute the TD Garden crowd after the shootout's conclusion. (Getty Images)

By Mike Harrington

The stirring national anthem sung by the entire TD Garden crowd and the postgame, two-team stick salute to the fans seem to be the most lasting images from last night's amazing game in Boston.

Home teams routinely salute their fans after a win and the Bruins were no doubt going to do that last night, win or lose. How did the Sabres get involved? Most Boston players last night were crediting Thomas Vanek.

Vanek, along with alternate captains Steve Ott and Drew Stafford, broached the idea at the morning skate with team trainers, who took it to the Boston side. Vanek and Boston captain Zdeno Chara then met on the ice at the start of pregame warmup to finalize the plans.

"Even though they play in that city, it doesn't matter where you're from," Vanek said after today's brief practice in Amherst. "Buffalo, my case Europe or whatever. Everyone gets affected by it.

"We didn't think about the publicity it's getting. For us, it was just to appreciate the people who came. The atmosphere was unbelievable. It's a few hours away from something you have to not think about. It was good for everyone, a good few hours."

Continue reading "Vanek on teams' stick salute: 'It was just to appreciate the people who came'" »

Sabres' road to playoffs might soon feature 'Do Not Enter' sign

By John Vogl

The Buffalo Sabres’ path to the playoffs is filled with signs that read “Rough Road Ahead.”

It might soon read “Do Not Enter.”

The Sabres enter tonight’s home game against Montreal in 11th place in the Eastern Conference. More important than their standing is how far back of a playoff spot they have fallen.

The seventh-place New York Islanders and eighth-place Rangers both have 44 points. The Sabres are six back with 38. Each team has eight games remaining.

The Isles and Rangers are on pace for 53 points. For the Sabres to match that, they need to go 7-0-1 down the stretch.

“Anything can happen,” left wing Thomas Vanek said today First Niagara Center. “So many teams probably thought they were out of it, then they won three games in a row. Until the end, you have a chance.”

Another loss or two would all but end Buffalo’s chances.

“There’s a lot of points up for grabs here,” left wing Steve Ott said. “It’s going to be a tough task.”

Montreal is fourth in the Eastern Conference but has the third-most points with 55. The Habs are only one point behind Northeast Division-leading Boston. Buffalo is 4-0-1 in its last five home games against Montreal and 8-1-1 in the last 10 overall.

Ryan Miller will start in goal tonight. Interim coach Ron Rolston said Jhonas Enroth will start one of the Sabres’ next two games, either Saturday against Philadelphia or Sunday against Tampa Bay.

John Scott will be scratched for the Sabres.

“Everyone in that locker room still believes we’re a playoff team,” Rolston said.

Ron Rolston

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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 | jvogl@buffnews.com

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 | mharrington@buffnews.com


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 | amoritz@buffnews.com

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