December 31, 2013 - 5:26 PM
By Mike Harrington
WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- Good evening and Happy New Year from the True North. If you've been following #QuestforThePeg today on my Twitter feed, you'll know I'm a little shocked to be sitting inside the MTS Centre for tonight's Sabres-Jets game. But I made it a full 10 minutes before Ted Nolan's pregame briefing with reporters after about 28 hours of rigamarole to get here. All part of the gig and part of the quest!.
And Nolan had a big piece of news: Veteran defenseman Henrik Tallinder is not playing tonight and could miss 1-2 weeks with what the coach said was an "upper middle" body injury. Nolan said he thinks Tallinder got hurt on a hit from Washington's Aaron Volpatti midway through the first period Sunday. It was a tough hit, with Tallinder going into the turnbuckle, the rounded part of the glass by the Caps' bench. You wonder if upper middle means ribs.
Tallinder has two goals and four assists in 34 games while posting a minus-12 rating and averaging 19:20 a game. (I hate plus-minus this year for the Sabres. This simply don't score. Hard to gauge anybody).
With Tallinder out, Alexander Sulzer will be back in the lineup. We'll see in warmups what Nolan does for pairings. Nolan said Tallinder practiced yesterday at Riverside Rink but was unable to play and did not come on this road trip.
"Somebody goes down, everybody has to give a little bit more," Nolan said. "Especially with Tallinder. He's been playing really good for us. We're gonna miss him but we've got to play."
December 31, 2013 - 9:15 AM
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.
April 21, 2013 - 1:58 PM
By John Vogl
The Sabres’ practice today was their first gathering since officially being eliminated from playoff contention with Friday’s 8-4 loss to the New York Rangers.
“It’s definitely tough because we still had hope and we were trying to do everything we could to finish strong and try and get in the playoffs,” defenseman Andrej Sekera said. “Even though we aren’t in the playoffs, we want to win every game when we play. That’s why you’re in this sport – because you want to be a winner. We want to go out, do our best and try to win these last three games.”
The Sabres have extra incentive Monday against Winnipeg. They lost, 4-1, to the Jets two weeks ago in a game that put a severe dent in their playoff chase. Winnipeg is just one point behind the eighth-place Rangers for the final playoff spot (New York hosts New Jersey later this afternoon), and Buffalo can get payback by trying to ruin the Jets’ season.
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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, 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.
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.
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