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NOTEBOOK: ADJUSTING IN EDMONTON

Tuesday, 01.27.2009 / 4:33 PM / News
By Erin Pollina  - Sabres.com
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NOTEBOOK: ADJUSTING IN EDMONTON
Patrick Kaleta (Photo: Getty Images)
As the Buffalo Sabres take the ice in Edmonton tonight, a two-hour time difference may be the first adjustment for the team. The next change involves adapting to some new pairings on the blueline.

The Sabres are without three of their top defensemen as they begin a four-game West Coast trip; Andrej Sekera [ankle], Teppo Numminen [jaw] and Henrik Tallinder [shoulder].

  Lindy Ruff: Video
  Marc-Andre Gragnani: Video
  Patrick Kaleta: Video
  Nathan Paetsch: Video
  Thomas Vanek: Video









With the rash of injuries, Head Coach Lindy Ruff was forced to make some changes including recalling 22 year old Marc-Andre Gragnani from the AHL Portland Pirates.

Gragnani will likely play with Nathan Paetsch, and is expected to garner around 14 minutes of ice time.

“If things are going good, they get more,” Ruff said. “If it looks like Marc, or the pairs, are having a tough time, you are going to have to back off.”

Chris Butler was paired with Sabres captain Craig Rivet and Toni Lydman played alongside Jaroslav Spacek.

Ruff said Sekera will likely be out one to two weeks after sustaining an ankle injury in Chicago. Sekera did not practice Monday afternoon in Edmonton, but participated in an off-ice workout.

Numminen did skate with the team, but with the protection of a visor after suffering a fractured jaw against the Hurricanes on Jan. 17. Numminen was hurt when a shot from the point clipped his left cheek.

“Teppo can skate, but can’t play for it looks like a week to two weeks, somewhere in that area,” Ruff said. “But it needs to heal a little before he can play.”

Tallinder is also expected to miss a couple weeks after hurting his shoulder last week in Tampa.



While Buffalo’s defense may be enduring setbacks, there was some good news up front as Patrick Kaleta skated with the team for the first time in over a month.

Kaleta has missed the last 15 contests with a head/neck injury he sustained Dec. 19 against the Los Angeles Kings.

“We can ramp up [his practice] day-to-day, add a little bit more everyday,” Ruff said. “Today was more of getting him involved in drills. After that it’s going to be light contact and then we will get him into full contact.”

“I think I can go full-board,” Kaleta said. “It’s just a matter of getting my conditioning back and getting in game shape. I think that’s the main thing is getting back out there. I haven’t practiced with a puck or any equipment on for four weeks. It’s just a matter of getting back into the swing of things.”



Maxim Afinogenov was also absent from practice. The winger has missed the last eight games with a groin injury, but was skating with the team.

“I don’t know if you would call it a setback but we want to make sure before we put him back on,” Ruff said. “He felt it a little bit in the skate at Tampa so we put him through a pretty good workout today. Still not quite convinced he wants to get back out on the ice.”

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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