No news isn’t exactly good news for Thomas Vanek
Head Coach Lindy Ruff said there was ‘no change’ in the winger’s status on Tuesday afternoon, making him doubtful for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in Boston.
Vanek missed Game 3 of the series after suffering a lower body injury, getting tangled up with defenseman Johnny Boychuk in Game 2 and smashing into the end boards.
Ruff was initially hopeful the winger would be able to return in time to face the Bruins in the post-season. However, Vanek did not participate in the team’s skate Tuesday afternoon and is not expected to join practice on Wednesday.
“That would have to be one of those ‘be healed [moments],” Ruff said. “I’m not getting discouraged. We just understand that it could be one of those things where the next day could be better. We’re running into that point now where, with no exercise for a few days, even if it is better he’s going to need a couple practice days.”
Vanek was not the only Sabres forward missing from the skate. Matt Ellis
was also sidelined after taking a punishing hit from Boychuk during Game 3 at center ice.
Ruff said Ellis was given a maintenance day after experiencing soreness, and was not sure whether he would be available Wednesday night for Game 4.
“If he’s not available we’ll have to call somebody up,” Ruff said.
Ellis said he was not experiencing any symptoms of a concussion and hopes to be ready in time for the match-up.
“It was a pretty good jolt,” Ellis said. “That’s a heck of a hit. I’m sure that one is going to turn up on some Don Cherry tapes or something later on. It was a good jolt, a good hit. That’s playoff hockey.”