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Sabres defenseman Brandon Montour: 'It's tough for everyone'

Buffalo Sabres defenseman Brandon Montour said Thursday he's like most every NHL player. He doesn't have much to do other than sit and wait. Players don't know when their season is resuming, or even if it will resume in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

"Kind of losing my mind but obviously resting," Montour said during an interview on Sirius XM Radio. "It's obviously a weird time to have the season suspended and held up right now, but you're doing the best you can, trying to stay busy with whatever it may be."

Players are not allowed to work out at team facilities and most public gyms have been closed due to governmental orders, so they're relegated to workouts at home. Montour, 25, has opted to remain in Buffalo to do that.

"I have a spin bike at my house so I've been cycling every single day for about 45 minutes," Montour said. "That's kind of how I'm getting my exercise right now. You never know what's going to happen. The season could start up and you obviously want to stay in shape. It's tough for everyone, but nobody really knows what's going on and what's going to happen in the next couple of weeks. You want to stay as ready as you can."

Montour had five goals, 13 assists and a team-best plus-13 rating in 54 games this season. The Sabres were 30-31-8 when play was suspended, well outside the playoff race with 13 games left on the schedule. They started the season 8-1-1 and had a 5-1 rush to the trade deadline but struggled for most of the way in between those two points. Then after the deadline, they lost six straight to fall from contention.

Buffalo's final game to this point was its 3-2 shootout win over Washington on March 9 in KeyBank Center. The Sabres were in Montreal for their scheduled game on March 12 when the season was suspended.

"The consistency was a big thing with us," Montour said. "You've got a lot of games in a season. I think we need to come to a time here where we need to realize every point matters, regardless of whether it's Game 4 or Game 50 or Game 60. It's something where we were playing well, playing good hockey for 5-10 games and it reverses on us and we're losing five in a row or playing bad hockey for 10 games. That happened this year a couple times in different strands. At the end there, we were hot for a bit. ... Then we lost six in a row. It's a consistency thing with our team."

Montour was not asked about the suspension of play at any other point in the interview.

The Sabres, like most NHL teams, have followed a league directive to not have players and management personnel speak since play was suspended. General Managers Lou Lamoriello of the New York Islanders, Bill Guerin of Minnesota and Jim Benning of Vancouver have done interviews with local reporters but most teams have been silent.

The Sabres are among several teams that have tweeted short videos from players, with captain Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart offering good wishes to fans during the coronavirus outbreak.

"I hope everybody is safe and doing well," Reinhart said. "I've just been hanging out, staring at a wall, not doing much just like the rest of you. Hopefully we see you guys soon. Stay healthy."

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