NOTEBOOK: KALETA RETURNS TO PRACTICE
Tuesday, 11.3.2009 / 2:04 PM ET / All News
By Erin Pollina - Sabres.com
|Pat Kaleta (Photo: Getty Images)|
It was a scary moment for Buffalo Sabres Associate Coach Brian McCutcheon on Tuesday afternoon at HSBC Arena.
|Lindy Ruff Interview|
|Pat Kaleta Interview|
|Jason Pominville Interview|
|Drew Stafford Interview|
As the team practiced the power play, Craig Rivet shot the puck into the zone and inadvertently struck the coach - who was standing on the bench - in the back of the head.
“It hit him hard,” Head Coach Lindy Ruff said. “He suffered a pretty big cut on his head…. Hopefully he’s alright but I think he’ll be okay.”
McCutcheon immediately left practice with Athletic Trainer Tim Macre to get stitches.
The good news for the Sabres is that they seem to have recovered from the flu bug that hit the team this past week.
A day after Paul Gaustad returned to the team, Pat Kaleta rejoined practice – skating for the first time since missing Saturday night’s game against the New York Islanders.
“It’s something that you just have to battle through,” he said. “A couple guys were getting sick here and there. We just have to come together as a team and play as a team in the roles that are needed.”
Kaleta was unsure whether he would be in the lineup for Wednesday night’s rematch against the Islanders, but said he would be ready.
“We’ve got a couple players back,” Ruff said. “You don’t know strength-wise where they’re at. They haven’t practiced for three or four days.
“Obviously it was but we don’t want to use it as [an excuse]… we couldn’t do a lot to stem the flow in that game. The game in the Island we came out, I think a little bit of frustration crept into our game and it was nothing more than that.”
Jason Pominville discussed his good news with the birth of his son Jayden this weekend.
“At home it’s definitely a fun time right now. We’re all excited. It was a long nine months but it was definitely worth it,” he said. “It was probably one of the best days of my life. It’s awesome. It’s tough to describe what it really is, but once you get here it’s all business and you come to work.”
The team worked primarily on special teams after failing to score a power play goal on five opportunities against the Isles.
“We’re always going to be addressing something,” Ruff said. “There are areas in the game where we have to be better. First and foremost is finish. We had some great opportunities to finish and we didn’t. We gave them some opportunities and they did.”
“it’s a big part of the game right now,” Pominville agreed. “You’ll win games on special teams and it definitely didn’t help us on Saturday.”
The Sabres will face the Islanders at 7 p.m. on Wednesday night at HSBC Arena. The first 10,000 fans will receive a free rally towel.
The Buffalo Sabres have announced Facebook Fridays. For all Friday home games during the month of November, the Sabres will offer a $20 saving on all 300 Level II tickets and 100 Level Preferred seats to Sabres Facebook followers. Click here for more info, or to become a fan.