While the Sabres continue to fight on to make the Eastern Conference playoffs, they’ll have to do so without one of their key defenseman the rest of the regular season.
Jordan Leopold suffered what turns out to be a broken hand in last night’s 4-2 win over Florida. Sabres GM Darcy Regier said before tonight’s game that Leopold will be seeing a hand specialist to see how long he could be out, but for now they’re anticipating that Leopold will miss the rest of the regular season at the least.
With 13 goals and 22 assists this year, Leopold has quietly been the Sabres top scoring producing defenseman. Tyler Myers has had a rough time in his sophomore season but still has 35 points of his own, but Leopold has been getting the goals to find the net and giving Buffalo a steadying, veteran presence along the blue line.
If they’re without him for any longer through the playoffs, the focus will shift to Myers to be more of a leader offensively for the Sabres. Playing in that spotlight this year has seen Myers go through struggles at times. He hasn’t been bad, he’s just looked more like a 21 year-old defenseman instead of the 2010 Calder Trophy winner. If Buffalo makes the playoffs, the prospects for Leopold to return and again lead the team are good and they’ll need him as they’ll be facing off with one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference.
Chances are Robin Lehner won’t look back fondly on his first game as a Sabre.
Midway through Buffalo’s season-opener against Ottawa, Lehner — facing his old team for the first time since getting traded this summer — suffered a lower-body injury, and was forced from the contest.
During the second intermission, the Sabres ruled out Lehner for the night.
It was a difficult turn of events for 24-year-old, who admitted he was keen to go up against the Sens. He had a bit of a chip on his shoulder about his time in the Canadian capital; Lehner felt he never got a full opportunity to run with the No. 1 gig, and probably wasn’t thrilled GM Bryan Murray opted to keep Craig Anderson and Andrew Hammond instead of him.
As for tonight’s injury, details are scarce. All that’s known is the ailment was serious enough for Lehner to leave and not return, forcing backup Chad Johnson into duty.
Prior to getting hurt, Lehner had stopped 11 of 12 shots faced.
James Wisniewski‘s time as a Carolina Hurricane is off to a troubling start.
Wisniewski, acquired by the ‘Canes at this year’s draft, exited Thursday’s season-opener against Nashville early in the first period with a lower-body injury.
Shortly thereafter, the team ruled out his return.
Wisniewski, 31, was expected to play a fairly significant role on Carolina’s defense this year.
It’s unclear what the injury is or how severe it might be, but initial reports don’t sound good; Wisniewski appeared to be in significant pain and had to be helped off the ice.