Buffalo Sabres Captain Craig Rivet continued his improvement, making it through his first full-practice after suffering a knee/ankle injury Nov. 27.
“It was a good day,” Rivet said. “There is still some discomfort but for the most part pretty positive.”
The defenseman was hurt late in the game of a 4-2 win in Philadelphia after being hit by Flyers’ Arron Asham and crashing into the boards.
“The way it felt, when I went in, it was painful,” Rivet said. “I thought I did a lot more damage than what I did. The angle that I went in on, you would think that there would be more damage, but I’m happy with the way things are progressing so far and I’m hoping that I can get back soon.”
Head Coach Lindy Ruff said the team will wait to make a decision on whether Rivet is ready return to the lineup for Thursday’s match-up against the Montreal Canadiens.
“Yesterday I skated and I had pain,” Rivet said. “Today I woke up and the swelling was down a lot. I was able to get through a full practice, so I’m pretty happy with that. Tomorrow could be a different story so we’re just going to take it day-by-day.”[UPDATE: THR, DEC. 3, 11:25 AM -- Lindy Ruff said Craig Rivet will be a game-time decision. Click here for more]
Whether Rivet is able to play or not, the Sabres should have at least one player returning to the lineup.Patrick Kaleta
has served his two-game suspension following his hit Nov. 27 on Philadelphia’s Jared Ross, and is eligible to play Thursday. Kaleta received a five-minute penalty and game misconduct for boarding the rookie on the play.
The winger said the suspension will not, however, change his game.
“I don’t ease up,” Kaleta said. “I’ll go out there and play the same way I play every single game. That’s my style of play and that’s what got me here so nothing is going to change.”
The lines at Wednesday’s practice were as follows:
Vanek – Kennedy – Grier
Hecht – Roy – Pominville
MacArthur – Connolly – Stafford
Mair – Ellis – Kaleta
The only player that did not participate in the skate was Paul Gaustad, is still recovering from a knee injury he suffered Nov. 27.
Said Ruff; “He’s going to be weeks. It could be anywhere in that couple weeks [range] to even longer. When he starts skating it will probably be at least a week [until he returns to the lineup]… it’s just going to take time.”
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“Sometimes you can embrace this. Players don’t like the rigorous practice schedule and the hard practices. If you can get on a roll playing every other night, it really gives you almost a playoff-type of atmosphere. You go through your game, you debrief your game, you get a light practice in, you work on maybe a couple things you want to improve on and then you’re right back at it again.”