So what do you do when you’re an NHL player and your game is called off because of a blizzard?
That was the most popular answer given in the Sabres dressing room Wednesday afternoon when players were asked what they did with their unscheduled night off.
A few players made it to the rink in the morning, but most chose to stay home after getting a text that there would be no morning skate.
Steve Ott was ready to stay home until he looked in his cupboards and found a lack of carbs for his pre-game meal. At this point in the day, the game had not been postponed.
“I actually went to Wegmans to grab some spaghetti and stuff because I knew my pasta place was probably closed,” Ott said. “So I took a chance. It was a miserable chance to be honest with you. I had to guess on a left turn. Thought I was gonna be toast, but made it through it. It was actually pretty unbelievable driving in that stuff.”
Marcus Foligno started to drive, then thought better of it.
“I started the car, got the snow off, looked both ways before exiting the driveway and I couldn’t even see five feet in front of me so I went back in my driveway and I called it a day,” Foligno said. “I watched some movies and that was pretty much it. You have to prepare like it’s going to be a game, so I kinda had a big lunch and maybe didn’t eat as much at night. Just movies, hung out on the couch and watched some other games.”
Jhonas Enroth made it downtown in the morning and the weather conditions made him recall his minor league days in Portland.
“It was definitely weird,” Enroth said. “I remember when we used to have blizzards in Maine. It was a flashback to my AHL time.”
And then there was Ryan Miller who just tried to stay upright and his biggest challenge was “trying to find a place for the dog to not get blown away while getting him outside. That’s about it. Myself included. Lot of wind, a lot of snow and a lot of cabin fever. It’s just good to get back to the rink and have something to do today. It’s good to get back on schedule and I hope everyone is safe and warm.”
Tyler Myers was surprised at his three-game suspension, but said after Wednesday’s practice he understood the reasoning.
Myers will miss the next three games for his hit to the head against New Jersey’s Dainius Zubrus. Last night’s postponed game just pushes his suspension to the next three games on the Sabres schedule, meaning he is eligible to return against Toronto Jan. 15.
He received an extra game as a repeat offender, having sat for three games for boarding in 2012. Myers’ suspension hearing was done via phone.
“I was pretty surprised … but they explained that it doesn’t matter the kind of hit it is anymore. If there’s any contact to the head it’s going to be two-five games,” Myers said. “They gave me two and then they gave me one for being a repeat. It is what it is. I like the fact that on the phone call that everyone recognized that it wasn’t’ my intention to target his head. After I saw the video, it’s clear that there is contact to the head. Fortunately he’s OK.
“I like the fact they acknowledged it wasn’t my intention to target that area and that I was trying to make a clean hit. At the same time, I still wasn’t expecting three. It is what is and I’ll just work hard until I’m back.”
Nolan accepted the suspension as part of the NHL’s effort to cut down on head injuries and joked about last night’s non-game in regard’s to the defenseman’s punishment.
“We have to get the head hits out of the game,” Nolan said. “The league does a great job on that. I’m just wondering if last night’s game counted as one of the games.”
Just in case you missed the humor, no, it does not count.
Randy Cunneyworth has been promoted to be a special assistant and player development coach for the Rochester Americans. Cunneyworth was hired by the Sabres organization as a pro scout in November. In his new role, he will serve as a liaison between the Amerks and Sabres in areas of player development and scouting.
“This is an exciting opportunity to fully utilize all of Randy’s expertise as a hockey coach and mentor,” Pat LaFontaine, the Sabres’ president of hockey operations, said in a press release. “Randy will work to ensure that the link between the Sabres and Amerks grows even stronger. Our goal is to make sure that the Amerks continue to thrive in developing and harnessing talent at the AHL level to be a reliable pipeline of NHL-ready players for the Sabres’ roster in the future.”
The Sabres are still waiting to hear from the NHL regarding the rescheduling of Tuesday’s game with Carolina. … Cody Hodgson and Villie Leino both practiced with the team Wednesday, wearing red non-contact jerseys. Both are still expected to be out of tonight’s lineup. … The Sabres are 6-0-1 in their last seven home games and have won five straight at First Niagara Center for the first time since the 2011-12 season.