Just when you thought things couldn’t any worse for the Buffalo Sabres, you can now add Thomas Vanek
to the list of the team’s walking wounded. Vanek was one of several Sabres that didn’t take part in Buffalo’s practice at First Niagara Center today, before they boarded a short flight to Canada’s capital for a Tuesday night meeting with the Ottawa Senators.
Vanek suffered an upper body injury in Pittsburgh on Saturday that caused him to miss a few shifts in the first period. Lindy Ruff initially said that Vanek is “probable” for Tuesday, but then went on to say “my opinion is that I don’t think he’ll miss the game.”
After being dealt another three injuries on Saturday, combined with a minor league affiliate returning home from a three-game Texas road trip, the team couldn’t even ice four full practice lines this morning. With Tyler Ennis
(ankle) and Colin Stuart
(knee) now out of the lineup, that meant one of today’s lines consisted of Brad Boyes
, Marc-Andre Gragnani
“It’s dire here. It’s probably even worse in Rochester,” said Lindy Ruff. “I’ve never seen anything like it really. Hopefully we can start getting a few bodies back. It looks now like Brad Boyes
will be the first one we could get back. It’s tough, but you’ve gotta find ways to win games.”
Two players are expected to be recalled from Rochester for Tuesday's game, but Ruff said they hadn't determined yet who they would be. ** UPDATE (6:50 p.m.) -- Marcus Foligno and Derek Whitmore have been recalled from Rochester.
Ruff updated the status of a few of the injured Sabres:
- Brad Boyes (ankle): Although he skated well in a non-contact role today, he will not be available on Tuesday. “I thought he made out well, it was encouraging. I wouldn’t have said this before practice, but maybe there’s a chance for Thursday.”
- Tyler Ennis (ankle): “Tyler tried to skate this morning and couldn’t go, so he won’t be available.”
- Patrick Kaleta (lower body): “We’ll find out today. I don’t think it was a big step back. We’ve really nailed it down; it’s a little more definitive now. He could be good by the end of the week.”