Buffalo - January 27, 2015 - The Sabres officially return to action tonight in Calgary, but they’re already coming out of the All-Star break the wrong way.
It’s bad enough that the team is in the middle of an 11-game losing-streak, but now they’ve announced today that they have suspended defenseman Nikita Zadorov for failing to return to the team on time, missing Monday’s practice.
“We anticipate Nikita joining the team at some point during this week’s western road trip,” said Sabres GM Tim Murray. Buffalo will play in Calgary on Tuesday, Edmonton on Thursday, and Vancouver on Friday.
Things were made even worse when it was learned that the team will be without goaltender Michal Neuvirth, who suffered a lower-body injury while working out during the break. He’ll miss the team’s west coast games, with Matt Hackett earning a call-up to serve as the team’s backup.
It was going to be enough of a battle for the Sabres as it was, but things like this not only damage the eventual product on the ice, but affect the mentality in the dressing room. It’s become a Murphy’s Law season for the Sabres and it doesn’t look like it’s going to let up any time soon.
The only bit of good news is that forward and captain Brian Gionta will be back from injury tonight. He’d missed a significant amount of time before the break with an upper-body injury. He’s currently eighth on the Sabres in scoring with four goals and 11 points in 34 games so far this season.
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When not inanely bantering about the Sabres, Ryan Womeldorf can be found here and at TwoPadStack.net talking all things hockey. He's usually got a lot to say, but sadly most of it is wrong. If you have any questions, feel free to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org