PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 17: Thomas Vanek #26 of the Buffalo Sabres hits James Neal #18 of the Pittsburgh Penguins during the game at Consol Energy Center on December 17, 2011 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Lindy Ruff has never seen anything like it.
Jason Pominville suggested the team call in a priest to change their luck.
No matter what they do, the Buffalo Sabres simply cannot stop the parade of injuries that continues to plague the team without mercy. Today, there were three more players sitting out of practice, most notably the guy who's scored just under 20% of his team's total goals, Thomas Vanek.
Luckily, head coach Lindy Ruff said that Vanek's upper body injury only bumps him down to "probable" for tomorrow's game in Ottawa, but that's still worse than any Sabres fan wants to hear. Joining Vanek on the sidelines were the freshly injured Tyler Ennis and Colin Stuart. Ennis re-injured his ankle and was unable to skate, and Stuart's knee injury he suffered against Pittsburgh will keep him out for at least a month.
The Sabres could only field three forward lines in practice today, and, well, I'll let you be the judge:
In order to actually have four lines tomorrow, two players will have to be recalled from Rochester, most likely Marcus Foligno and Derek Whitmore (though the Sabres haven't confirmed anything yet), and they would probably be joined by Marc-Andre Gragnani at forward. Brad Boyes skated today in a non-contact role, and has a chance to return on Thursday against Toronto, thus giving the Sabres the
scoring boost actual professional hockey player they are severely lacking right now.
In other practice news, Ryan Miller was unhappy for some reason with his goaltending performance on Saturday night. To his credit, he was the last one out of the building today, and said that he's just trying to control the things he can right now, via TBN:
"You want to put it away and you come the next day to do as much as you can to work through it,' Miller said. "My cousin Kevin taught me that when I was a kid. He played a long time and when he had a bad game, the only thing you can control is how hard you come out and work. I'm trying to put the work in and get caught up to where I need to be."
Let's hope the extra work pays off tomorrow night.