The Sabres will once again be without their top scorer tonight when they take on the Penguins in Pittsburgh (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN).
Per NHL.com, Thomas Vanek told reporters today after skating that he still isn’t ready to play, and so he’ll miss his fourth straight game with an upper-body injury.
The Sabres are 13th in the Eastern Conference, five points back of a playoff spot with just 12 games remaining in what’s been another disappointing season.
Vanek is just one of a number of key Buffalo players that’s heard his name come up in trade rumors. Captain Jason Pominville and goalie Ryan Miller could also potentially be moved by Wednesday’s deadline.
“I understand [Sabres general manager Darcy Regier] has a job to do, and he’s trying to do his best to do what’s best for the team and the franchise. By no means does it mean I’m gone or stuff like that. I think it’s just part of the process. It’s a step that he has to do and he has to deal with.
“It could happen, but would I be completely shocked if it didn’t? Probably not.”
The Rangers are getting ready for their second straight matinee game on Saturday, but head coach Alain Vigneault wasn’t done addressing yesterday’s loss to the Bruins.
After Friday’s game, Bruins coach Claude Julien wasn’t pleased with Henrik Lundqvist‘s “acting” that led to a goalie interference penalty being called on forward Brad Marchand (above) and he let everyone know it in his postgame press conference.
On Saturday, it was Alain Vigneault’s turn to lash out.
“Well, (the Rangers public relations staff) filled me in a little bit on what was said after the game,” Vigneault said via the New York Daily News. “I mean it’s a little disappointing. Obviously everybody saw the knee to the head. The comments on Hank were very inappropriate. The way Hank conducts himself, on the ice, away from the rink, off the ice, the example that he sets. Who would you rather have as a son, Henrik Lundqvist or Brad Marchand? For him to say things like that about Hank, totally wrong, and probably Claude is getting a little older and needs to check his eyesight.”
The Rangers will take on the Flyers at 1:30 p.m. ET on Saturday.
Dubinsky to have hearing for cross-check on Crosby
As you can see in the above video, Dubinsky delivers a two-handed cross-check to Crosby’s neck, so the fact that he’s getting a hearing is no surprise.
“There’s no secret. I try to play him as hard as I can,” said Dubinsky. “That being said, I don’t try and do anything dirty. I felt like my stick ride up his back a little bit. He’s kind of bent over there in front. But again, that’s not the type of player I am. I’m going to play hard, but try and play fair and play in between the whistle.”
Crosby isn’t willing to give Dubinsky the benefit of the doubt.
#Pens Crosby on Dubinsky hit: I'm OK. I'm not surprised. If I was going to get one of those shots, it was going to be from him -SK