So, while we head into the month of December, the Sabres find themselves with a slew of injuries, which even the best of teams would have a hard time overcoming. Let’s take a look at those injuries who is injured:
Ryan Miller – Concussion
Tyler Myers – Wrist
Robyn Regehr – Upper Body
Mike Weber – Upper Body
Brad Boyes – Lower Body
Tyler Ennis – Ankel
Cody McCormick- Upper Body
Patrick Kaleta – Lower Body
and following last nights loss to Columbus its being reported that a mystery forward is hurt and might miss tonight’s games. (UPDATE: Drew Stafford is reported to have a groin injury, according to WGR’s Paul Hamilton.)
Day-to-day injuries happen, and they are expected over the grueling 82-game season. The Sabres’ injuries fall mostly into the “wait and see what happens” category, with no real timetables for any player’s return. The only two players from the above list that have been skating in no contact drills are winger Tyler Ennis and defenseman Mike Weber.
To try to alleviate the pain from these injuries, the Sabres were forced to call up many players from the Rochester Americans. The Sabres must be relieved that they remade this partnership with the Amerks before the start of the season. So in case you’re having trouble matching the numbers to the names in tonight’s game here is a list of those players who were called-up:
54 – Zack Kassian – 1 NHL GAME – RW
58 – Paul Szczechura – 83 NHL GAMES – C
78 – Corey Tropp – 9 NHL GAMES – RW
33 – T.J. Brennan – 2 NHL Games – D
81 – Brayden Mcnabb – 0 NHL GAMES – D
31 – Drew Macintyre – 4 NHL GAMES – G
Hopefully the injured mystery player doesn’t prove to be too costly, and the Sabres can find a way to battle hard and pull out what should be a tough 2 points against a Washington team that is also in need of an important 2 points.
Today, Lindy Ruff and the Buffalo Sabres announced their captain and alternate captains for the upcoming season. To the surprise of some, Jason Pominville was announced as the 15th full-time captain in Sabres history. His assistance for the upcoming season will be long time teammates Paul Gaustad, Derek Roy, Thomas Vanek, and Drew Stafford.
All of these players have been playing together on the Sabres since the 06-07 season, Pominville, Gaustad, and Roy playing together since the 03-04 season (Sabres and Americans). In this day of free agency and the trade deadline frenzy, its rare for groups of players to play long amounts of time together. It has long been used as an excuse for past events, saying things like we believe in our core group of players and that the loss of former players wasn’t going to be a problem.
Ruff is putting all of his confidence into the core right now. With this move he, is telling them this is your team now lead us to the goal. In the past a veteran player who developed in another organization would have been named captain. The last Sabres captain that was drafted by the team was Mike Ramsey. Ramsey was last captain back in the 1991-92 season. Ruff could have easily named new veteran defenseman Robyn Regehr as captain and most would have been alright with this. Instead, Ruff is putting this team on the back of the core group of players he has developed.
I couldn’t agree more with this move. It is finally time to show the faith you have in these players and not just talk about it. Let this group prove you made the right decision in investing in them (35% of the cap hit). This group will be entrusted in leading a group of players with high aspects for the upcoming season, along with mentoring possible future leaders like Tyler Ennis, Nathan Gerbe, Luke Adam and others currently on the Rochester Americans roster.