Buffalo, N.Y. (WGR 550) – The Buffalo Sabres know there are a lot more important things going on in the city than worrying about if they can practice or not.
With the city fighting to clean up and make sure everybody is safe from this past weekend's blizzard, some players have walked to the arena to skate, because they live close enough.
Buffalo hasn’t practiced since Thursday, and haven’t played a game since Dec. 19 in Vegas against the Golden Knights. Since then, the Buffalo Blizzard of 2022 has caused the NHL to postpone two of Buffalo's games on the regular season schedule.
One was supposed to be played Tuesday in Columbus against the Blue Jackets, where two of their players - Patrik Laine and Elvis Merzlikins - are out with COVID-19.
The NHL is coming off the mandatory Christmas break on Tuesday with 11 games scheduled.
The soonest the Sabres could play is Thursday in Buffalo against the Detroit Red Wings, but with the shape the blizzard has left the city in, that game is in danger of being postponed too.
Buffalo is in 11th place in the Eastern Conference, whether you go by points or points percentage. The Washington Capitals currently hold the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, eight points ahead of the Sabres.
If Buffalo wins all four games they have in-hand, they could tie Washington.
To get to eighth place in the conference, the Sabres must leapfrog the Caps, the Red Wings and the New York Islanders.
Buffalo still leads the NHL, scoring 3.94 goals per-game, and are second on the power play, scoring 29.8% of the time. Their .531 points percentage is 20th in the NHL overall.
Tage Thompson comes out of the Christmas break third in league scoring with 50 points in 32 games. He’s six points behind Leon Draisaitl, and 16 points behind Connor McDavid. Both Edmonton Oilers stars have played three more games than Thompson.
Thompson’s 26 goals are second in the league, just four behind McDavid. Thompson is third in power play goals with 12, but is just one off the NHL lead.
Rasmus Dahlin has 27 assists, which is 10th in the league. Dahlin is third in defensive scoring with 37 points. His 10 goals are second amongst all blue liners.
The Sabres are plus-18 in goal differential, which ranks them ninth in the NHL. The Boston Bruins lead that department at plus-58.
If the Sabres' game against Detroit is postponed, they’ll have to wait until Saturday to play in Boston. That would mark 12 days in-between games.
The trip is three games in four days, as they will go to Ottawa on New Year’s Day to take on the Senators, followed by a trip to Washington on Jan. 3.
Buffalo has won four-straight games and is 9-3-2 in 14 games. However, the Sabres would have to start from scratch to build momentum again, and Boston would’ve already played two games after the break.
The Bruins lead the NHL in points percentage at .848 with a record of 27-4-2. They’re 7-1-2 in their last 10 games.
Owen Power missed three games before the break with a lower-body injury, so he got some extra time to get healthy. Eric Comrie had been back practicing too, so he also would be closer to a return.