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KALININ IS READY FOR ACTION

Tuesday, 12.18.2007 / 3:27 PM / News
By Brian Wheeler  - Sabres.com
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KALININ IS READY FOR ACTION
Dmitri Kalinin (photo: Getty Images)
The final piece of the Buffalo Sabres blueline puzzle will fall into place this Wednesday in New York.

Dmitri Kalinin will basically make a second debut against the Islanders when he plays for the first time in 23 games, marking the first time since Oct. 19 that Buffalo will have their full arsenal of defenseman available.

Kalinin was sidelined for seven weeks after a knee-to-knee collision in the defensive zone with Carolina Hurricane's captain Rod Brind'Amour on Oct. 24.

The six-foot-three, 206-pounder's injury compounded the Sabres injury issues on the blueline in the opening weeks of the season.  Jaroslav Spacek sustained a shoulder injury in just his fifth game. 

Kalinin's case causing the Sabres to seek out the services of Nolan Pratt.

"There's nothing you can do about it [injuries]," said Kalinin.  "Things happen and they could happen to anyone.  You just have to battle through it and do the rehab work.

"You want to play.  That was the hardest part."

Kalinin believes that the work he put in with assistant coach James Patrick during rehabilitation will payout and that he shouldn't be limited from certain situations come game time.

 WANT MORE CONTENT?

Watch Lindy Ruff's post-practice comments regarding Dmitri Kalinin and the team's recent performances.

Ruff Interview
Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff takes a little more realistic approach to Kalinin's status; he'll have to walk before he runs.

"Initially, you expect a little bit of rust," said Ruff.  "There's nothing like game conditioning.  There's nothing like someone running you.  There's nothing like playing the opposition because it doesn't happen in practice.

"But I expect after his first two or three shifts, he'll settle right in and play as good as he did previous to being injured."

Kalinin's return creates a level of competition for the sixth and seventh defensive spots that wasn't previously there.

Pratt and Nathan Paetsch will fight for playing time the remainder of the season.  Ruff indicated that he wasn't in favor of dressing seven defensemen as long as he continues to like the fourth line's production.

Paetsch has experience at left wing, but Ruff is hesitant to move him there.

"I'm a little bit superstitious," joke Ruff.  "Every time I put him on left wing [last season], he ended up on defense the next game.  It meant that somebody was going to get hurt, so we're going to keep him on the backend."

[Editor's Note:  Watch Kalinin's post-practice comments by clicking play below.]

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