MANNHEIM, GERMANY --- Jochen Hecht
’s homecoming has been marred by another setback. The Sabres forward told the media on Tuesday at SAP Arena that he’s been suffering post-workout headaches recently, further delaying his return to the lineup.
“I worked a little harder last week and had some headaches, so I’m gonna take a step back again.”
Hecht joined the Sabres on the ice following their session today, giving the fans in attendance a chance to recognize their hometown hero. Unfortunately it was nothing more than a pleasure skate for Hecht.
“Before I was able to do practice in the afternoon, but today was almost like rest. I didn’t do much out there. I couldn’t really do much work.
The timing of this couldn’t be worse for Hecht as he returned to Mannheim with the Sabres, and was looking forward to playing in front of an appreciative crowd on Tuesday night. The frustration was evident on Hecht’s face while he addressed an expectedly large media throng this morning.
“I was looking forward to this all summer. The way it has worked out now is disappointing, but that’s the way it is. I have to get healthy for the season.”
Lindy Ruff confirmed at practice today that Jhonas Enroth
will start on Tuesday, and is expected to play the entire game.
Today’s practice took place on the SAP Arena’s seconday rink, as workers readied the main sheet for Tuesday’s exhibition game with Adler Mannheim. A Unification Day holiday crowd of an estimated 500 fans watched the practice, including 100 members of a tour group from Buffalo that had traveled through the night. They bused immediately to Mannheim from the airport, and were entertained by a stickhandling drill that turned into a team competition. The Buffalo fans were invited on to the ice after practice for photos and autographs, something that Ruff said was rewarding for all involved.
“It was great to see. Obviously they were a little giddy after getting off their plane, being up as long as they’d been up,” said Ruff. “It made for a fun atmosphere. It says a lot about our fans. To travel all this way, to give them something extra is important to us.”