Its an ice cold night in Buffalo, NY .
The Sabres are hosting Taylor Hall and the New Jersey Devils on this balmy Western New York Monday night.
Hall, 28, is generating a lot of attention from quite a few NHL clubs, including the Sabres, who continue their quest to land a scoring top six forward.
Several teams continue tio scout the Sabres and have scouts here again tonight. Among the teams with eyes in Buffalo's sky are: Winnipeg, Calgary, Anaheim, San Jose, Tampa, Edmonton, Carolina, and Vegas.
The Sabres have a crowded blue line and are wwilling to trade a quality defenseman in a package to acquire an elite forward of Hall's ilk.
The Arizona Coyotes have their assistant general manager and special assistant to their general manager here tonight. Presumably, the Coyotes are eyeballing Hall, who will become UFA on July 1.
The Detroit Red Wings sent the AGM and a scout to Buffalo to watch tonight's game. Are they looking at Hall? Or, are they interested in one of Buffalo's quality defensemen?
Speaking of ice cold, the Devils were downright glacial in the first period of this game and before the mercury dropped below freezing, the Sabres jumped all over Devils startung tendy Louie Domingue.
After twenty minutes of play, the Sabres had dropped five goals on Domingue and took a 5-0 lead to the room.
The Sabres scored five even-strength goals while shouting at the Devils.
Jack Eichel opened the scoring for Buffalo with his 17th goal of the season.
With his first period goal, Eichel became the 10th player in the Sabres' 50 year franchise history, and fourth in the last 30 years, to score multiple point streaks of 10+ games.
Jeff Skinner added his 11th goal of the season. Conor Sheary scored his 4th and 5th goals of the season.
Rookie Rasmus Asplund scored his first career NHL goal.
Domingue was banished to the shower after his atrocious performance in the first period agains the Sabres. Mackenzie Blackwood replaced Domingue to begin the second period and surrendered Victor Olofsson's 11th goal of the season.
The Devils go on the board with a second period power play goal scored by Nico Hischier.
The Sabres answered back with a PPG of their own with a Henri Jokiharju clapper from the point to give Buffalo a 7-1 lead after 40 minutes of play.
Speaking with a couple of my NHL sources here tonight who tell me they think the Devils will be firing John Hynes after this debacle. The Devils players appear to be listless and disconnected from the process of competing hard inside shifts and periods. In my opinion, the Devils have too many talented, character players on their roster to play this poorly on a consistent basis.
Were I Devils GM Rray Shero, I would fire Hynes and replace him immediately with Devils assistant coach Mike Grier, who played 1060 regular season NHL games over 15 seasons. Grier scored 162 goals and 221 assists while collecting 510 PIMs. In 101 career playoff games, Grier scored 14 goals and 14 assists.
Grier has been an assistant to Hynes for the last two seasons.
Prior to joining the Devils' coaching staff, Grier served as a pro scout with the Chicago Blackhawks and also served as an assistant coach for St. Sebastian's High School in Needham, MA, where he played his scholastic hockey, and coached the Boston Junior Terriers.
Taylor Hall was held to four shots on goal, no points, skated 16:53 TOI and was -3 in the bludgeoning in Buffalo.