The Buffalo Sabres are getting closer to having some key components back in the lineup.
Head coach Lindy Ruff reported that everyone will be joining the team on its three-game road trip, implying that although it may not take place this week, the return of two injured defensemen is approaching.
“Dmitri [Kalinin] was back almost skating full-board with the team,” Ruff said.
Kalinin suffered a knee injury Oct. 24 when he and Carolina Hurricanes centerman Rod Brind’Amour collided, going knee-to-knee. Kalinin was unable to skate until last week.
Although he is making strides, Ruff doubts that Kalinin will make an appearance on the west coast tour, but will continue to recuperate.
“I don’t think we’ll get any meaningful practices in him,” Ruff said. “At the same time we can get some really good conditioning skates in and we may be able to do a little bit of one-on-one work with him later in the week.”
Henrik Tallinder is also improving after injuring his shoulder Nov. 24 against the Montreal Canadiens. Ruff said it was not likely the veteran would practice with the team yet, but “will be able to skate in rehab.”
While the defenseman may not break into the lineup this week, Ruff said Adam Mair [ankle] should be ready to go Wednesday against the Anaheim Ducks.
The forward, who played in all 82 games last season, missed nearly a month of play after spraining an ankle Nov. 5. Mair made his return Friday night against the Carolina Hurricanes only to be struck on the opposite side of the ankle by a shot.
“His ankle really blew up on him again,” Ruff said. “This is more of the bruised ankle type of scenario. It has nothing to do with his sprained ankle so we’re hoping he can get his foot back in a boot tomorrow and be ready to play.”
Finally, Derek Roy
was hit with an elbow at practice today at HSBC Arena, but Ruff said concern that he will miss a game is unwarranted.
“Derek is ok. He took an elbow and was bleeding a little bit but we feel he is going to be ok,” Ruff said.
The Sabres have 49 total man-games lost this season. They will take on the Ducks (Dec. 5), Los Angeles Kings (Dec. 6) and San Jose Sharks (Dec. 8) before returning home to Buffalo.