Rasmus Dahlin stayed in Buffalo while his teammates traveled to the other side of the continent this past week, still recovering from the concussion he sustained in Tampa on Nov. 25.
He watched the games on television and tried to make the most of them, though it wasn't easy. His roommate, Casey Mittelstadt, said the defenseman had been "bouncing off the walls."
"I was home alone, and it was boring," Dahlin admitted Tuesday. "It's good to have them back."
Dahlin skated with the Sabres for the first time since his injury on Tuesday morning. He still has not been cleared from for contact and remains day-to-day, but simply sharing the ice with his teammates was enough to have him excited.
"I woke up this morning at 6:30," Dahlin said. "I was nervous, it felt like Christmas. Good to be back. I was really happy to skate with the boys today."
Video: RASMUS DAHLIN
Dahlin's injury occurred with the Sabres on a power play during their game against the Lightning. He carried the puck low into the offensive zone and had just passed it off when defenseman Eric Cernak stepped up and delivered an elbow to his head.
Cernak was not initially penalized for the play, though he did receive a two-game suspension from the Department of Player Safety the following day. The Lightning defenseman texted Dahlin to say there was no ill intent on the hit.
"I just texted back, 'It's hockey,'" Dahlin said. "Stuff like that happens on the ice all the time. It's fine."
The concussion marks the first injury of Dahlin's young career. He appeared in all 82 games as a rookie last season, earning a nomination for the Calder Trophy. He's tallied 16 points (1+15) in 24 contests this season.
"This stretch has been really helpful for me," he said. "I've been learning a lot from watching the game and not playing it, so it's been good and bad."