Buffalo Sabres goalie Matt Hackett wasn’t the only player to get hurt in their 4-1 loss to the Boston Bruins.
Defenseman Christian Ehrhoff (concussion) and forwards Matt D’Agostini (lower-body), Brian Flynn (lower-body), and Chris Stewart (re-injured ankle) all left the Saturday afternoon tilt with separate injuries as John Vogl of The Buffalo News shares.
“It’s a tough enough year on us in our situation with the standings, but also to lose bodies the way we’ve been doing is an unfortunate thing, too,” McBain said. “I’ve never seen anything like it in my career. I’ve never heard of anything like it.”
All five players will not suit up against the New York Islanders on Sunday for the final game of the season.
The Sabres have the worst record in the NHL and will have the best odds of landing the first overall pick in the NHL Draft. The Sabres’ injury list headed into the game was already long enough with guys like Tyler Myers leading a list of others out of action.
Now the real question now is: Who the heck is going to play for this team tomorrow?
While it’s never easy to predict what New Jersey GM Lou Lamoriello is going to do, he did give a glimpse into his plans for next Wednesday’s trade deadline.
As it stands right now, Lamoriello says, “It’s not even a question” that he views himself as a buyer looking to supplement a roster he still believes is good enough to qualify for the playoffs.
“If we can get better, that’s absolutely what we’ll do,” he said. “I’m really happy with this team. You’re not going to do anything for the sake of doing it, but this team has overcome a lot through a difficult period of time right now and we have some things going in our favor.
“We have a favorable schedule, we have a sort of healthy team and the new players who we brought in are really comfortable within the system. They’re comfortable in their own skin. They’re comfortable with the coaches.”
This news will likely come as a relief to Jaromir Jagr, a pending UFA that would make for a great rental. He leads the Devils in points and did well as a sort-term addition last year for Boston, but has repeatedly stated he doesn’t want to leave New Jersey.
Historically, Lamoriello has been a buyer at the deadline. He added Steve Sullivan and Matt D’Agostini last year and Marek Zidlicky the year before (that said, he did essentially sell Jason Arnott to the Caps at the ’11 deadline). In light of what’s been said above, it’ll be curious to see how Lamoriello addresses his other pending UFAs — specifically, Martin Brodeur.
Ryan Miller got the night off, but the Buffalo Sabres still showed off one of the top targets of the trade deadline on Wednesday. Matt Moulson scored a goal with less than a minute left in the third period, eventually opening the door for a 5-4 OT win against the Boston Bruins.
That tally opened the door for Matt D’Agostini’s overtime-winner, which happened to come as he accomplished the rare feat of getting the better of Zdeno Chara:
Moulson, 30, is playing like a man who’s hoping to land with a contender and grab a lucrative next contract as a pending free agent. He notched three assists in the final two games before the Olympic break and had an assist on Tuesday to go along with tonight’s big goal.
While his overall numbers in Buffalo (25 points in 41 games since being traded) aren’t out-of-this-world, he has two more games to make an impression on potential suitors. It’s a stretch to say that these are big games for Buffalo in the sense of this season, but big results from Moulson and Miller could inspire bigger dividends for the players and their team.
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
The Colorado Avalanche have a pile of players dealing with injuries. P.A. Parenteau, Erik Johnson, Paul Stastny, Alex Tanguay, Cory Sarich, Jean-Sebastien Giguere, and Nate Guenin are helping make Patrick Roy’s job tougher. (Denver Post)
Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a $5,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Thursday’s NHL games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $1,200. Starts Thursday at 7pm ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.
Matt D’Agostini was hurt in the first period for Buffalo against Toronto. Right when he was starting to produce, too. (NHL.com)
Dave Bolland’s progress is continuing to look better. The Maple Leafs would go nuts to have him back. (National Post)
Paul Maurice is feeling confident about what he’s got in Winnipeg. (Sun Media)
In case you didn’t know, Phil Kessel and Amanda Kessel aren’t the first brother/sister pair to head to the Olympics to play hockey.
Buffalo’s Tyler Myers will have to talk to the league about his illegal check to the head of New Jersey’s Dainius Zubrus.
Myers will have a phone hearing with the NHL because of his hit on Zubrus. Myers was given a two-minute minor on the play in the third period that led to the Devils’ only goal of the game. Zubrus later retaliated against Myers drawing a penalty of his own that led to Matt D’Agostini’s game-winning power play goal.
After the game, Devils coach Pete DeBoer wondered why Myers’ penalty wasn’t a major. Zubrus didn’t like the play at all either.
Myers thought differently of the play.
“I felt like I got all shoulder,” Myers said to PHT after the game. “I’m not sure if I made contact with the head. I think if I did it was all shoulder and a result of me being so tall. It’s one of those big guy things and I don’t want it to take away from playing aggressive.”
For the record, Myers is 6’8″ while Zubrus is 6’5″.
Myers was suspended once in his career for boarding back in March 2012.
Here’s video of the play in case you missed it: