Kukla's Korner Hockey
from John Vogl of the Buffalo News,
Miller is out of the lineup indefinitely after suffering a left ankle sprain during the Sabres’ 4-2 victory over the New York Rangers on Saturday.
“It’s stiff and it’s tender,” Miller said after limping to his locker stall in HSBC Arena. “These are things you have to kind of feel out. There’s no timetable, really. It’s your comfort level….
The injury happened 1:54 into the third period. Miller went behind the net to retrieve a New York dump-in, and Scott Gomez chased the puck. As Miller played it around the boards, Gomez crashed into the netminder’s right leg, simultaneously twisting the opposite ankle….
Sabres coach Lindy Ruff didn’t hide his anger for Gomez.
“I don’t think there’s any secret it was deliberate,” Ruff said. “He knew what he was doing.”
more and watch the video of the play below…
from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,
Thomas Vanek is back doing some light exercise but the Buffalo Sabres’ leading scorer says returning in 3-4 weeks from his fractured jaw may be an overly optimistic timetable.
“I hope that I haven’t lost too much of my fitness but we’ll see about that once I start skating again,” Vanek wrote in a diary entry posted on his official Web site for fans in his native Austria. “The doctors said that I would miss at least four weeks altogether but it also could be five to six weeks. We’ll just have to wait and see.”
The Buffalo Sabres discuss the tragic plane crash in Clarence as they prepare for tonight’s game.
The Sabres will also be observing a moment of silence to respect those lost in the tragedy of Flight 3407 prior to tonight’s game vs. San Jose.
From David Pollak at Mercury News:
A very sad day here in Western New York, but there will be hockey tonight.
Several Sabres players live in Clarence Center, the suburban-rural area where the commuter flight from Newark crashed and they talked about the experience. Defenseman Teppo Numminen heard both the sound of the plane coming down and the noise from the impact. He and his wife opened the shade on the bedroom window and could see the flames and the red sky. Goalie Patrick Lalime lived even closer. Former Shark Craig Rivet lived nearby, but far enough away that he and his family weren’t aware of the 10:20 p.m. crash until they woke up this morning.
continued… with more on the Sharks
BUFFALO, NY (February 8, 2009)—- Buffalo Sabres General Manager Darcy Regier today announced that Thomas Vanek fractured his jaw when he was hit in the face with a puck during last night’s game vs. Ottawa. Vanek had successful surgery on his jaw today in Buffalo, and will be sidelined for at least 3-4 weeks.
from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,
But unless some ridiculous offer comes their way, the Sabres shouldn’t do anything at the deadline other than plan for the future. Doing nothing shouldn’t be a chore for Regier, who has been ripped royally for doing exactly that. This year, though, doing nothing makes the most sense.
The Sabres have their core players locked into long-term contracts. If they can land a good player who will be under contract for the next several years, fine. Otherwise, dumping dead weight or hefty salaries should be the goal. And that, alone, is a tall order because of the salary cap.
From Eric Duhatschek in the Globe & Mail:
“People ask me about fighting and I really don’t know sometimes what I want,” said Regier. “I believe that things are going to happen over time, where I don’t think society is always going to accept (fighting).
“I see it in Canada now. There was a poll about fighting (conducted by the Harris-Decima firm, in which 54 per cent of Canadians surveyed favoured a unilateral ban on fighting, while 40 per cent wanted to retain the status quo). If you go back 10 years, I don’t think those numbers would be anywhere close to where they are right now.
“So I think it’s going to be more of a statement of the position of society – and I’m talking about true hockey fans, and their culture.”
From Pierre LeBrun at ESPN (h/t to Sabres Insider):
Coach Lindy Ruff was more blunt: The trap is back.
“Most teams now have four, five guys back,” Ruff said. “It’s a 1-4 now. They’re lining up, a five-man group in the neutral zone.”
So the Sabres also felt the need to tighten up. But hey, let’s not get carried away here. The Sabres remain a skilled and entertaining team, underlined most recently by a 10-2 drubbing of the Edmonton Oilers. But if there’s an overwhelming reason for Buffalo’s turnaround, it is that Ruff has finally gotten through to his players about defensive awareness after pounding them with the message since training camp.
from the CP via the Sporting News,
Lindy Ruff figures there’s no way to put together this kind of streak without a little good fortune.
As the longest-tenured man in a volatile profession, the Buffalo Sabres coach doesn’t get surprised when he hears that another member of the fraternity has lost his job. It’s something he’s seen happen time and again.
There have been 137 coaching changes in the NHL since Ruff was hired by the Sabres in July 1997, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. While that number alone is staggering, consider the anecdotal evidence - Craig Hartsburg has now lost three NHL head coaching jobs over that period.
All the while, Ruff keeps plugging away with the Sabres.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
We can’t help but harp back to the Edmonton angle. Not only would the Oilers not have Penner on their hands right now if the Sabres had not matched, but they would have an elite forward to play with star winger Ales Hemsky, something the local Edmonton media has pointed out as a major issue with right now.
For as much heat as former Oilers GM/now team president Kevin Lowe got around the league in the summer of 2007, give him credit on this point—he was right about Vanek being worth the money.
more and some Pogge talk too…
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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