AMHERST, N.Y.-Thursday was a long night for the Sabres. They returned to Buffalo after losing a 5-4 shootout decision to the Panthers in Florida. They arrived at home between three and four in the morning Friday.
Later in the day the team did some land training and then spent some time on the ice at the Northtown Center in Amherst. Forward Thomas Vanek did not practice with the team and head coach Ron Rolston said Vanek remains day to day and is doubtful for Saturday's home game against Washington.
Each year when the NHL trade deadline approaches it is a nerve wracking time for players. Although an accepted part of their profession the thought of packing up and moving their families at a moment's notice isn't fun to contemplate. Naturally players are asked about the trade deadline every year and when a team struggles there are more frequent questions are more rumors about different players.
Captain Jason Pominville is hearing his name in trade rumors for the first time since he's been with the Sabres. Pominville who seemed agitated by line of questioning said he thinks the rumors come from people trying to gain followers on twitter. Then said "It doesn't affect me at all. I just answered that question. It makes no sense to me right now. Again, I have a contract that has a clause in it, and I haven't been asked anything. I'm not worried about it. I've just go to go out there and play. If something happens, then I'll worry about it. Right now its just trying to win games." Forward Steve Ott had a different take on your name being out there at this time of the year. He said "I take it as a complement. "If your name is being mentioned its usually because other teams want you so that's a pretty solid complement to a lot of players and mostly I've thought of my aspect at the deadline as control what you can control and I do that by being a professional and working hard and letting the business take care of itself. That's something that's out of every single player's control but the thing you can control if your individual talents."
The NHL trade deadline is next Wednesday April third. The Sabres play in Pittsburgh Tuesday night.
Goaltender Ryan Miller is frustrated with his own performance and the Sabres overall play. "I think we're frustrated. "I'm frustrated, as you can see. I would hope they all feel the same way I do. I don't know, you're going to have to ask them. Just we aren't consistently playing to where we need to be, myself included. Every night there's something else going on where you just look back and there's mistakes; in my end, reads that need to be better. It's just night after night. We've got to clean it up and be consistent."
The Sabres are home Saturday against Washington. Face off is scheduled for 7-pm Saturday night. Buffalo is also home Sunday night as they will host the Boston Bruins. Face off for that game is scheduled for 7:30 pm.