attended the “Sabres UnPucked” music event Thursday night and got acclimated with his fellow players in a more relaxed setting. On Saturday, it was back to work as he took part in his first on-ice practice with the club at HARBORCENTER.
“I guess it’s a good way to break the ice. That was a good event,” the newest Buffalo Sabres defenseman said. “I’m still trying to make my way around to get to know everyone, but that’ll just take some time.”
He was part of the Sabres bigger of two trades on Wednesday which brought him, Evander Kane and goaltending prospect Jason Kasdorf to Buffalo from Winnipeg.
A native of Massena, N.Y., which is about two-and-a-half hours north of Syracuse, he knew with him playing in Buffalo, there would now be more opportunities for there to be an audience full of familiar faces.
“Once I heard [it was] Buffalo, it was a good feeling, knowing I was going to come close to home and play in front of my family and friends,” he said after practice on Saturday at HARBORCENTER.
Bogosian likes to play a physical style and prides himself on being making things as difficult as possible for the opposition. Sabres coach Ted Nolan is looking forward to working with a player who has that mentality.
“Getting a player of his style certainly adds to the mix. It’s kind of entertaining and it’s fun,” Nolan said. “Especially here in Buffalo, people want to see some energy. They want to see some body collisions out there and he likes to play that style. He should fit right in perfectly.”
His fellow defensemen are also well aware of what he can bring to the table and they’re also eager to take the ice with him.
“As a defenseman, watching Zach play, he’s a big, strong guy to play against,” Mike Weber said. “He’s always been hard to play against. He eats shots, can contribute offensively also. He’s going to come in here and big part of this team for a lot of years to come.”
INJURIES AND ILLNESSES
Chris Stewart did not practice because of a flu-like illness and Josh Gorges was also not a participant.
As of now, if Gorges is unable to play, Bogosian will be paired with Andre Benoit.
The Sabres last practiced on Thursday and Gorges was given a maintenance day then also. There is a chance he might not play Sunday night when the Sabres host the Philadelphia Flyers at 7:30 p.m.
“We kept him off for a maintenance day,” Nolan said. “He wasn’t feeling too good so we’ll probably send him to the doctor here to get another look and see if it’s more than just a maintenance day. We’ll keep our fingers crossed.”
The Sabres may have to call up a forward from the Rochester Americans if Stewart is ruled out.
IN THE DRIVER’S SEAT
With Jhonas Enroth now in Dallas, the Sabres will turn to Michal Neuvirth to carry the load in net.
“I think we owe it to him,” Nolan said. “He’s paid his dues and unfortunately, maybe he would’ve had a bulk of the games if he didn’t get injured from the get-go so we’re looking forward to what he has to offer and he’s excited about it. So yeah, we’ll ride him for a while.”
28 Zemgus Girgensons – 63 Tyler Ennis
26 Matt Moulson – 17 Torrey Mitchell – 12 Brian Gionta
82 Marcus Foligno – 65 Brian Flynn – 19 Cody Hodgson
44 Nicolas Deslauriers – 37 Matt Ellis – 36 Patrick Kaleta
Defensemen: 6 Mike Weber, 24 Tyson Strachan, 41 Andrej Meszaros, 47 Zach Bogosian, 51 Nikita Zadorov, 55 Rasmus Ristolainen, 61 Andre Benoit
34 Michal Neuvirth
35 Anders Lindback