The NHL has postponed tonight’s Sabres game against the Chicago Blackhawks at KeyBank Center because of travel restrictions implemented as a snowstorm batters Buffalo and the surrounding areas.
The game will be made up Thursday at 7 p.m.
KeyBank Center falls within the area of Buffalo affected by a driving ban. Seven other municipalities in Erie Country have also issued bans.
The band of lake effect snow is expected to keep pummeling the region this afternoon.
Prior to this afternoon’s announcement, coach Don Granato said every player made it to KeyBank Center this morning for the Sabres’ pregame skate. Instead of going home following the session, players went to a downtown hotel.
Granato said the Sabres prepared for the game like it would be played.
“I can tell you it is a completely different feeling than a normal game day,” he said on a Zoom call. “It does feel like one of those COVID days again.”
Granato said prior to the skate, the coaching staff planned to show 15 to 20 short video clips to players before deciding against it.
“I just didn’t think we’d have the focus and concentration right now,” he said. “The skate was the priority today, that physical activity. So we kind of put those clips aside. There’s something that’s real easy to pick up when we know definitively that we’re playing.”
Following a scheduled day off, Granato extended the morning skate about 10 minutes.
“We did skate a little bit more than normal after having yesterday off,” said Granato, whose team was forced to take Sunday off because of a snowstorm. “And you know how I feel, it’s a challenge to get the body going again after a day off.”
The Sabres haven’t played since Monday afternoon’s 3-0 win over the San Jose Sharks.