Wednesday, March 7, 2007
All of a sudden, the ice is getting crowded
Sights and sounds from the Sabres morning skate at HSBC Arena...
-Back skating on the ice were Chris Drury, Jaroslav Spacek, Ales Kotalik and Andrew Peters. Drury is set to play tonight against Colorado. Spacek and Kotalik are at least a week away, says Head Coach Lindy Ruff, although Spacek was giving his injured hand some work during the drills. It was funny seeing Peters wear the red "no contact" jersey during the skate, considering his size and strength. Ruff joked "his upper body is coming along nicely."
-Ty Conklin is expected to get a start during the three game homestand, though when I asked Lindy when that might be, he replied he was still thinking about it and offered no more specifics.
-Conklin is adjusting to his new life in Buffalo very nicely. "The guys took me out and showed me around town, I'm feeling very welcome here." Conklin played on the Stanley Cup finalists Edmonton Oilers last spring, and I asked him for the comparisons between our team and that squad. "The mark of a contender and a champion is that they can get the job done no matter how dire the circumstances are" replied Conklin. "That attitude is prevalent in this room and it is something not to be disregarded as inconsequential." Conklin was the last guy off the ice this morning, and in true Marty Biron fashion, obliged some of the fans attending the skate at the arena with autographs.
-And speaking of fans in attendance, that is a nice thing the Sabres do allowing the fans in like that. Being a school day the crowd was smaller than usual. Interesting that at the point of the skate when Lindy calls the team around him for a discussion, the crowd gets very quiet, hoping to listen in.
-The season ticket renewal deadline came and went this past weekend, and PR Director Mike Gilbert tells me "the response has been overwhelming". Customers who renewed by the deadline get a reduced rate for first round games and a shot at reserving additional playoff seats. Gilbert said that they are still tabulating the orders and should have some numbers to report by next week.
I'll be home watching, while Peter will be at the game tonight covering, and he will post his game wrap up afterwards.