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KOTALIK LEAVES PRACTICE, CONNOLLY IMPROVING

Thursday, 09.27.2007 / 4:33 PM / News
By Brian Wheeler  - Sabres.com
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KOTALIK LEAVES PRACTICE, CONNOLLY IMPROVING
Tim Connolly (photo: Brian Wheeler)
The bad news for the Buffalo Sabres is that Ales Kotalik became the latest player to be hobbled during the preseason. 

The good news?  Kotalik may now be in a minority that was a majority only a few days ago.

RELATED LINKS
Audio:  Lindy Ruff discusses injuries (9/27) 
Video:  Lindy Ruff Post-Practice (9/27) 
Statistics: Sabres Preseason Totals (PDF)





Speedster Maxim Afinogenov and defenseman Dmitri Kalinin each returned to action on Thursday morning, while centers Paul Gaustad and Tim Connolly could return by the weekend. 

That's good news for a team that was forced to dress four rookies and only one defensive backup last night against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Connolly will be treated with the most finesse. 

Having only appeared in a handful of games last season and with pressure mounting to fill the void left by the departure of last season's co-captains, his longevity during the regular season is the Sabres top priority.

"The most important part before he plays is getting him healthy," said Ruff.  "We're not going to stick him in a game just to get a game in.  We have another week to get ready for the season. 

"Unless he feels really good, my feeling is that we're not going to put him in the game."

Connolly could make the Sabres lineup for their final exhibition game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night (7 p.m., Buy Tickets).   Physically, he could be ready.  But the team isn't going to take any unnecessary risks with one of their top centers before the regular season begins.

"Chances are he'll be ready [for Saturday]," said Ruff.  ""But again, personally, I'm not going to take any chances."

Kotalik is at the other end of the spectrum.

Skating in a full-ice, three-on-three drill, the winger came up hobbling in the corner.   He left practice but wasn't favoring his leg as he left the locker room.

"Al looks like he tweaked his knee a little bit," said head coach Lindy Ruff following practice," so we'll see what that looks like."

Mike Ryan (bruised foot) and Andrew Peters (undisclosed injury) were also held out of practice.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

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