The Buffalo Sabres will look to get off the schneid this afternoon against the Capitals, but they’ll be doing it shorthanded.
Coach Lindy Ruff says the team’s leading scorer, Thomas Vanek, will not suit up thanks to a muscle strain. Ruff says it’s nothing to worry about just yet, per John Vogl of The Buffalo News.
“I anticipated really that Thomas was going to be able to play. I thought cases like this you can usually bounce back, but it’s a day-to-day type situation.”
How good has Vanek been so far? His nine points are more points than the Capitals have goals this season.
Meanwhile, 2012 first-round pick Mikhail Grigorenko will play today. It’ll mark his fifth game this season meaning it’s his last chance to prove he can stick in the NHL. Judging by the lines the team used in practice yesterday, he’ll get a strong opportunity to show what he’s got playing between Steve Ott and Drew Stafford.
Mike Babcock’s reign with the Detroit Red Wings ended in another first-round defeat, yet it may be lost in time just how close that series was.
Yes, the Tampa Bay Lightning shut down the Red Wings to win Game 7 at home, but Ben Bishop deserves a ton of the credit. The Red Wings snagged the puck for much of the contest, just not enough to beat the big goalie.
While change is in the air in Detroit, the Bolts are largely the same squad that generated a nice showing in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final. We’ll get to see if the Red Wings gain a measure of revenge on NBCSN tonight, with home-ice advantage this time around.
Damon Severson was a healthy scratch on Saturday.
It’s the last game he wants to miss this season.
“I had a good chat with a few people and just pretty much said, ‘I want to be in the next 80 games,’” Severson said, per The Record. “I sat out my game and that’s all I want to be out for for the year.”
Severson is one of the Devils’ most important young players. But this is also the 21-year-old defenseman’s sophomore season, and that’s when slumps can occur.
Hence, the early message he was sent by the coaching staff.
Severson is expected to be back in the lineup tonight when New Jersey hosts Nashville.
“He doesn’t have to be perfect,” coach John Hynes told reporters. “We’d just like to see him have a high compete level. We know he’s ready to go. We had a couple of good meetings with him. He’s in a good spot mentally. I know he’s ready to roll.”