Sabres limp into Olympic break
by Peter Farrell - posted 12:53 am, February 7, 2014
KANATA, ONTARIO… Could this break in the NHL schedule have come at any better a time?
Tonight at Canadian Tire Centre in Kanata, the Buffalo Sabres fell behind 2-0 to the Ottawa Senators, roared back to tie the game thanks to highlight reel goals by Tyler Ennis and Drew Stafford, only to lose in regulation as Ottawa netted the game winner at the hands of Milan Michalek, scoring with 23 seconds left in regulation and sending the Ottawa crowd of 18,426 home happy.
“Every time there is that one moment where we have that lapse,” fumed Coach Ted Nolan after the game. Unlike some of the happy talk coming out of the mouths of some of his players about the upcoming Olympics, Nolan would not entertain any talk about the different focus that his life is going to take in the coming days as he prepares to coach Latvia’s mens hockey team in Sochi. “I will worry about Latvia tomorrow. My full concentration has been here, I never thought abut the Olympics at all. That’s a hundred miles away from me. I’ll worry about it tomorrow,” said Nolan. “My job is here. This is not the Olympics. I don’t even know when I am leaving.”
Nolan’s demeanor showed the frustration that has brought on a string of losses leading into this Olympic pause. “Maybe it’s time to give everybody a mental break.”
Tyler Ennis isn’t on Canada’s Olympic team, but admits he will be watching. Will he be cheering for Team Canada? “I’m rooting for Ryan (Miller) and Zemgus (Girgensons) and the guys on this team and especially Jhonas (Enroth). I want to see them do well.”
Henrik Tallinder and Jhonas Enroth are both playing for Team Sweden. “I’ve read the stories and heard about the problems about the hotels and stuff. I guess I’ll deal with all that when I get there,”said Tallinder. “It’s just fun to get over there and take part in the Olympic spirit so we will play with world class players both with and against, a big ice surface.”
After yet another hard luck loss, Enroth now has his sights set on Sochi. “It’s going to be a real break for this team, but good for us to take part in the Olympics. I haven’t really talked to anyone yet about what’s going on there. Once I arrive we will have a busy schedule right from the get go so we will have to be ready to go. It will be fun.”
The Sabres will resume their season in two and half weeks, Tuesday, February 25 at First Niagara Center. All eyes will be on the NHL trading deadline and what moves the team makes, if any, with their free agents, especially Ryan Miller.