I finally have a day off from my real job that coincides with a morning skate, so off I went!!!
I notice that the media contingent is beginning to swell with more of a national presence from up north and the Ranger media as well. Despite basically carrying the same market there appears to be a larger contingent of Ranger media than Islander media.
All the Sabres who took the day off yesterday(Stafford, Lydman, Campbell, and Connolly) were up and skating today. In his comments Coach Ruff stated that"all will be able to play tonight" and that "if we play to our strengths, it's our best hockey".
Coach also was asked about advice on being shorthanded(concerning Roszival) and answered" to concentrate on who you have and not who you don't."
The word is similar coming from the Ranger dressing room concerning Michal Roszival, he was skating during the Ranger warmups this morning and while Coach Renney wouldn't tip his hand he did say Roszival "look good and felt good" and didn't rule out dressing seven defensemen for tonight.....
Sean Avery was a bit low keyed answering questions saying that the team has to concentrate on doing the little things needed to win a game. But Avery being who he is found time to pop off at a local reporter(initials AB) for asking what he perceived to be "a stupid question".
Gee Sean, maybe you ought to "hold the throttle back" as the reporter said. You did find the box twice and had a -3 on the night.
Other things of note....
The playoff beards in the Sabre locker room are starting to take shape, about all the players are in on it though I noticed that Tim Connolly is maintaining the sahved head look and the matching shaved face to go with it. Assistant PR guys Chris Bandura and Rob Crean seem to be in on the act as well.
Newsday columnist Mark Hermann has been taking some good natured ribbing about his presence as guest columnist in the News for the past two-three weeks. One person joked about him being hired full time on the Buffalo News staff....after a certain blogger asked him about whether he covers the Devils too, he joked that he already had a house up here....seems like a good guy. And a far better columnist than that Ned Barnett in Raleigh....