Things started off nicely for the Buffalo Sabres this season after winning their first two games. Two losses in a row to the Carolina Hurricanes, however, have coach Lindy Ruff shaking up his lines.
Mike Harrington of the The Buffalo News has the update on how Ruff is juggling things and it’s thanks to a lack of production with three other lines. The Sabres have only one goal from a forward not named Jason Pominville, Thomas Vanek, or Cody Hodgson and that’s bad news for the rest of the team.
Vanek had rest from practice this morning and Marcus Foligno subbed for him on that top line. His usual line with Ennis and Stafford, however, has been broken up. With Gerbe back healthy and Ville Leino (hip) still out of action things aren’t quite back to normal.
Meanwhile, Ruff tells the press, as Bill Hoppe of the Olean Times Herald notes, Grigorenko could sit out to keep him from reaching his fifth game and forcing the team to decide to keep him or send him back to juniors. He also had this to say about how the team is going to play from now on.
Right on, man.
Mike Babcock admitted that there might be a painful transformation as he tries to fix the Toronto Maple Leafs.
His old friends made that abundantly, painfully clear on Friday.
As of this writing, the Detroit Red Wings are up 4-0 on the Buds. Justin Abdelkader just completed a hat trick with James Reimer in net, so the subplot isn’t just about Jonathan Bernier having another tough start.
The big story might just be Detroit’s varied new line of Abdelkader, Dylan Larkin (who scored his first career goal) and Henrik Zetterberg. At the moment, they’ve combined for seven points.
This post will be updated if Detroit’s tribute video to Babcock surfaces.
Really, though, this beating has been about as ugly as this blanket so far.
It wouldn’t be a regular season game without a Columbus Blue Jackets injury, right?
OK, the Blue Jackets hope that 2015-16 looks different from the medically challenged mess of last season, but at least one player is banged up tonight.
Alexander Wennberg suffered an upper-body injury and won’t return on Friday, as the team noted.
There’s no word yet regarding how serious the issue might be. It looks like he might have suffered an injury thanks to a Chris Kreider check:
Naturally, the Blue Jackets must hope that this doesn’t begin another trend.