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SABRES PROSPECTS TAKE A MAINTENANCE DAY

Saturday, 09.07.2013 / 12:18 PM
By Chris Ryndak - Sabres.com (@chrisryndak) / BEYOND THE BOARDS
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BEYOND THE BOARDS
SABRES PROSPECTS TAKE A MAINTENANCE DAY

TRAVERSE CITY, MICH. – Following an overtime win against the New York Rangers prospects on Friday, Buffalo Sabres coach Chadd Cassidy decided to give his team Saturday off.

Buffalo is 2-0 so far in the eight-team NHL Prospects Tournament with five points (each regulation win is worth three points) and currently leads the Ted Lindsay Division.

One point against the Carolina Hurricanes prospects on Sunday would clinch first place for the Sabres and a date in the championship game Monday night against the prospects of the Detroit Red Wings organization. Detroit has already locked up first-place in the Gordie Howe Division.

WATCH HIGHLIGHTS OF BUFFALO'S 6-5 OT WIN OVER NEW YORK

To prepare for the game against Carolina, Cassidy, the coach of the Rochester Americans who is serving as the bench boss for the Sabres during the tournament, decided to make Saturday a maintenance day, keeping the team off the ice and allowing them to recuperate both mentally and physically.

“As we talked about it [Friday] night as a coaching staff, we’re really impressed with the pace of play and the physical play so far here, but it takes a toll on your team,” Cassidy said Saturday morning. “…Even though they’re young – we see all the energy they have – these game are high-tempo, very physical [and] mentally taxing. So we want them to be prepared.”

The tournament schedule calls for four games in five days. While that may be manageable, the coaching staff also must look ahead to the coming weeks when it comes to planning rest. Sabres training camp opens on Sept. 11 and keeping some of the young players with a chance to play in the NHL this season healthy is also a priority.

    Chad Ruhwedel

“So long-term gains, you have to kind of manage their energy and manage the injuries and just the nagging stuff because we don’t want them to be completely worn down by the time we get to Buffalo,” Cassidy said. “We want these guys – Joel Armia, [Zemgus] Girgensons, [Chad] Ruhwedel, all these kids – [they] need to be able to go there and put their best foot forward to have an opportunity to make that club. It is a balancing act.”

Cassidy also said he has not yet decided on a starting goalie for Sunday. Connor Knapp is the only goaltender to not yet see any game action. Nathan Lieuwen started against the Blue Jackets on Thursday and Andrey Makarov picked up the win against the Rangers on Friday.

As far as any other lineup changes, Cassidy said it depends on how some players are feeling, especially when it comes to those nagging injuries.

The Sabres’ tilt against Carolina on Sunday is set to start at 3:30 p.m. and can be heard live on 1520 AM and at Sabres.com. Full highlights and locker room interviews will also be available at Sabres.com following the game.

SCHEDULE

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Hodgson 72 20 24 -26 44
T. Ennis 80 21 22 -25 43
D. Stafford 70 16 18 -19 34
C. Ehrhoff 79 6 27 -27 33
C. Stewart 63 15 11 0 26
C. Conacher 79 7 19 1 26
T. Myers 62 9 13 -26 22
Z. Girgensons 70 8 14 -6 22
M. Foligno 74 7 12 -17 19
J. McBain 69 6 11 -13 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Neuvirth 4 8 2 .921 2.78
J. Enroth 4 17 5 .911 2.82