The Sabres are fighting through injuries for the first time all season

December 06, 2018 - 3:28 pm
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Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) - After a day off, the Sabres were back on the ice for practice on Thursday and many players were missing. Casey Nelson suffered an upper-body injury against Toronto and is week-to-week.

Jake McCabe sustained an upper-body injury against Tampa Bay that is now more severe than they first thought, so Buffalo’s most consistent defenseman this season is now week-to-week.

Marco Scandella didn’t practice, but it now day-to-day with an upper-body ailment. Matt Hunwick continues to practice and is getting closer to playing. Phil Housley said, “That’s just a day-to-day situation. Every day we have to take a look at him. I think he looks really good right now, he’s skating well, he’s into the practices, now we’ve just got to polish him up a little bit more because he has been off a long time."

Housley gave maintenance days to Jack Eichel, Carter Hutton and Zach Bogosian. The head coach talked about how he decides if maintenance days are needed, “If practice isn’t really going to help the situation, we like to give our guys an extra day.

“Obviously, we’ve got four days off until we play Philly. We took a day off yesterday, we re-evaluate the players today and we felt we’d take advantage of the rest.”

Jason Pominville is back and will play on Saturday. Had Monday and Tuesday been playoff games, Pominville would’ve been in, but since they weren’t, Pominville said the team wanted to take it slow, “I would’ve liked to have been in, but it was precautionary and it gives me a little extra time to get some practices in and it gives me three or four days of rest to get back where I need to be, so I’ll take, it but yes I feel good today.”

With all the games the team has had to play, they’ve had maybe one meaningful practice in the past two weeks. This week they’ll get two before the Flyers hit town for a Saturday afternoon game. Pominville said they needed some time to work on their game, “It’s huge, I think just mentally for the guys, you get more touches, you can work on different things and also for the coaches to tweak some systems, details that we usually don’t have a chance to do and practice when we play every other day.

“You can do it by video, but there’s no better way than going out there and actually executing it, so it’s nice to get that quality practice time.”

With so many defensemen out, there’s no point of putting the pairs out here, but here is what the lines looked like on Thursday,

 

Skinner  Girgensons  Reinhart

Sobotka  Rodrigues  Okposo

Sheary  Mittelstadt  Pominville

Berglund  Larsson  Thompson

 

Ryan Vinz filled in for Hutton during practice.

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