The Buffalo Sabres are limping towards the finish line. With no hope of making the playoffs, they traded Ryan Miller, Brayden McNabb, Steve Ott, and Matt Moulson before the deadline.
Now they will also have to cope with a string of injuries. Forwards Zemgus Girgensons, Chris Stewart, and Torrey Mitchell will all be sidelined for at least a week, per the Sabres.
What makes the news even sadder for Buffalo is the fact that Stewart and Mitchell were both recently acquired in separate trades. Meanwhile, Girgensons is a rookie and a 2012 first-round selection. Even if winning might not count for much in Buffalo at this point, the Sabres at least want to use what time they have left to give their top prospects like Girgensons some NHL experience.
Buffalo will take on Chicago tonight in a game that, at least on paper, looks very one sided. Still, it’s worth noting that Sabres goaltender Jhonas Enroth is hot and Buffalo has gone 4-2-0 since the Olympic break. Chicago coach Joel Quenneville cautioned that they need to be respectful of the Sabres going into this contest.
Jakub Voracek totally understands why nobody’s expecting much from the Philadelphia Flyers. When a team finishes 14 points out of the playoffs the year before, that’s typically going to be the case.
“We weren’t good enough last year, let’s face it,” Voracek told CSN Philly.
So, no, it doesn’t upset him that the Flyers aren’t considered among the Stanley Cup favorites.
That being said, “it makes you feel you want to prove them wrong.”
The Flyers get going tonight with a tough game against the Lightning in Tampa Bay. They also play Saturday in Florida against the Panthers, before a rematch with the Panthers Monday in Philadelphia.
“My biggest concern would be getting off to a good start,” GM Ron Hextall said. “That’s one thing that we need to do.”
That’s something they didn’t do last year. In fact, they won just once in their first six games. By the end of November, they were 8-12-3 and in a big hole — one that proved too deep to climb out of.
Related: Flyers to start season with seven defensemen
The Arizona Coyotes might not be using John Scott‘s services after all.
The team waived him this afternoon, per Craig Morgan. It’s possible that the Coyotes are simply giving themselves options as Scott clearing would allow them to send him down quickly at any point until he plays in 10 games or 30 days pass. At the same time, any team looking for a gritty fourth-line forward or third-pairing defenseman might be tempted to claim him in light of his affordable $575K cap hit for the 2015-16 campaign.
Scott is an imposing presence on the ice at 6-foot-8 and 260 pounds, but he doesn’t bring much to the table other than his physical play and willingness to drop the gloves. In terms of offensive abilities, he’s among the least capable in the league. In fact, the four points he recorded last season with the San Jose Sharks represented a career-high for the 33-year-old.
Meanwhile, Dan Cleary went unclaimed on waivers, according to Bob McKenzie, setting the stage for him to be reassigned to the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins.