After a disappointing loss on Friday and a day off on Saturday, the Buffalo Sabres went through a grueling, physical practice at the HarborCenter on Sunday morning. Head Coach Dan Bylsma made some changes to the top lines, flipping Sam Reinhart and Kyle Okposo around for a new look.
The session ended with an intense 5-on-5 drill where the players really dialed it up and had Bylsma gushing about finally seeing how he wanted the team playing.
"Really we just got down to the basics of what our game is there at the end and how we need to play.
"That last 20 minutes was how we need to play and you're going to see more of that drill form us in practice and hopefully see it in the game."
Alternate captain Ryan O'Reilly also spoke after the practice.
"I think we had a good day off. Obviously that was a tough loss. We needed a good practice, we needed to regroup here, and I thought it was a good one. A lot of compete drills and battling, and that's what it comes down to at the end of the day is winning battles. The team usually that wins the most battles wins the game and it was just a good practice to get us physical and get us back into that mindset."
There was more positive news from the injury front as defenseman Zach Bogosian is now skating on his own. Bogo has missed 18 games with an MCL sprain that happened in early November.
Tyler Ennis is also close to a return to the ice after missing the last 15 games with a groin injury. It might still be some time before we see him skating with the team though as he is yet to hit the ice and will have to go progressively from skating without gear, to skating with gear before taking part in drills.
After missing three games with a shoulder injury, defenseman Taylor Fedun could return to the ice after tomorrow’s game against the Los Angeles Kings.