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Around the boards on an off day from Calgary

CALGARY, Alberta -- The Sabres took their CBA-mandated day off today and it probably comes at a good time. Disappointment was in full force across the locker room Monday night in Vancouver following Buffalo's 5-2 loss to the reeling Canucks.

As our Web-only extra story on the game details, Ryan O'Reilly took charge of the team during a second-period timeout and spoke up again afterwards about the team's back-to-back clunkers in Western Canada that came on the heels of a 3-0-1 burst.

"The team last year had a losing mentality and we’re still trying to find that constant thing, having no casual moments," O'Reilly said. "Teams that consistently make playoffs, there’s never casual moments. They’re on every night. We have to find that. These last two games weren’t consistent enough."

The team will practice Wednesday at the Saddledome and will certainly have an eye on the standings during Thursday's game against the Calgary Flames. The Sabres are currently 25th but could get passed by three or four more teams the next couple of days. Calgary is currently last overall but hosts San Jose tonight and could pass the Sabres with two points against the Sharks and a regulation win over Buffalo.

Elsewhere around the league:

---The NHL has reverted back to its previous policy on compensation for teams that lose coaches or executives to other teams, which means there is none. But if you lost a pick during the last year under the new policy, tough luck. That means the Sabres aren't getting back that third-rounder from Pittsburgh for signing Dan Bylsma, who had been fired by the Penguins but was still getting paid. Goofy.

---Speaking of Pittsburgh, same sad news there today as veteran winger Pascal Dupuis has been forced to retire due to the side effects from his recurring battle with blood clots. He was key guy for Bylsma's 2009 Cup champions.

---The family of former Sabres defenseman Steve Montador has announced it's suing the NHL,  saying the league failed to provide him with medical information about brain damage. Montador died in February at age 35 and was found to have CTE symptoms.

---South Buffalo's Patrick Kane tries to extend his point streak to 23 games tonight when the Chicago Blackhawks host Nashville. The Hawks, remember, are in Buffalo on Dec. 19 and Kane would hit town at 28 straight if he gets a point in every game up to then.

 

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