The Buffalo Sabres practiced again on Monday and, once again, did so without three of their Olympic athletes.
Nolan is “banking on” Miller starting between the pipes Tuesday night against the Carolina Hurricanes at First Niagara Center. One of the biggest issues the players face upon returning from Russia is the time zone changes.
“Maybe it’ll be like playing at 4 a.m. for him,” Nolan said of Miller. “It’ll be a different challenge, but hopefully he has at least some sleep and he’s somewhat awake at that point.”
However, it’s possible that the plan could change.
Depending on how both goaltenders feel leading up to the morning skate on Tuesday, it’s possible that the Sabres could recall a goaltender from their American Hockey League affiliate in Rochester.
Nolan also said that as of now, they don’t plan on bringing up any skaters from the Americans.
“What we’ve got today is what we’ve got for tomorrow,” he said.
With 25 games remaining, Nolan has set some goals for the team moving forward so that they can finish the season on a positive note.
“I think moving forward, setting a strong foundation of where we’re going to go to down the road,” he said. “You don’t win championships like the Chicago Blackhawks do overnight. It takes a little time, it takes some growth and it takes a certain amount of work and commitment by your athletes.”
Matt Moulson, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, knows that it’s possible he could be moved by the time the NHL Trade Deadline rolls around on March 5 at 3 p.m.
“I think you guys in the media as a whole have been telling me I’ve been getting traded since the first day I got here,” he joked after practice.
Moulson was acquired from the Islanders with two draft picks for Thomas Vanek on Oct. 27.
He said that he’s only going to concentrate on the aspects of the business he can control, which is primarily his performance on the ice.
A native of Mississauga, Ont., he said his experience as a Sabre so far has been a very positive one.
“I’ve definitely enjoyed my time here,” he said. “Like I said before, I think this team is going to be good. I think they have the right guys in place that are going to make this team good and the owners are willing to do anything to have a successful team. I’ve enjoyed my time here. My family’s enjoyed our time here. We’ll see what happens.”
John Scott left practice early. The 6-foot-8 forward has been practicing as a defenseman while Tallinder is overseas.
“He just fumbled the puck a few times in practice and I didn’t like it,” Nolan said. “In order for us to get better here, we have to practice better. He just had one of those moments and I didn’t like it so we sent him off.”
After being dismissed, Scott snapped his stick and stormed off to the dressing room, slamming the bench door behind him.
26 Matt Moulson – 63 Tyler Ennis – 21 Drew Stafford
9 Steve Ott – 19 Cody Hodgson – 27 Matt D’Agostini
82 Marcus Foligno / 28 Zemgus Girgensons – 23 Ville Leino – 65 Brian Flynn
37 Matt Ellis – 24 Zenon Konopka – 8 Cody McCormick
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