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by Brian Wheeler / Buffalo Sabres
Beyond the Boards is written by the Buffalo Sabres Website Manager, Brian Wheeler. Joining the Sabres prior to the 2003-04 season, Wheeler is the main contact and content editor for He has worked in the NHL, NFL, AHL and NLL over the past 11 years.  Click here to send him an email.

Maxim Afinogenov (photo: Getty Images)
Notes from practice today at the Amherst Pepsi Center.

A total of five players that skated in last night's 5-1 victory in Toronto were absent from the team's skate on Friday: Paul Gaustad, Jochen Hecht, Derek Roy, Mike Ryan and Thomas Vanek.  

Lindy Ruff's comments on those five below.

"Today was not a day off for anybody," said head coach Lindy Ruff.  "You can assume that the guys that weren't here were either sick or nursing some type of ailments because it wasn't optional.

"Michael (Ryan) is the worst of our group.  I've got him in the category of it probably being weeks before he plays."

When asked if there is concern among the missing players, Ruff affirmed there was.

"But we'll try to address that tomorrow morning," he said.  "[There's concern] in all of them.  Because when they miss or they're going for X-Rays, you're concerned with any of them.  

"I won't list any names right now, but we have concerns."

Tim Connolly's status for the next five home games which are each separated by a day:

"We're going to address that on a game-to-game basis," said Ruff.  "We're hopeful with the every other day that it will suit his schedule.  That's the only place we can be with him."

Maxim Afinogenov's (groin) status:

"[Afinogenov is] skating lightly right now, which is an improvement," said Ruff.  "Hopefully, progression every day now which is a good thing.  He's been on the ice I think a total of three times."

Ruff didn't provide a timetable for the return of either Afinogenov or Drew Stafford (ankle).

Sabres man-games lost due to injury table below.

Player Injury Dates Out Missed Games
Ales Kotalik Knee 10/5-10/6 2
Flu 2/8 1
Jaroslav Spacek Shoulder 10/19-10/27; 11/02-11/07 8
Back 1/12-1/19 4
Dmitri Kalinin Knee 10/26-12/15 23
Nolan Pratt Groin 11/05-11/10 4
Tim Connolly Abdominal Strain 11/07-11/16 5
Flu 12/21-12/22 2
Groin/Hip 1/10-2/8 13
Adam Mair Ankle 11/07-11/28 10
Henrik Tallinder Shoulder 11/26-12/12 8
Drew Stafford Shoulder 11/23-11/26 3
Concussion 12/28-1/1 3
Ankle 2/1; 2/10-present 8
Derek Roy Shoulder 1/8-1/16 4
Mike Ryan Eye 1/19-1/24 3
Clarke MacArthur Flu 2/5 1
Nathan Paetsch Flu 1/29 1
Daniel Paille Concussion 1/6-1/8 2
Maxim Afinogenov Groin 1/4-present 23
Total man-games lost: 126
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