Kukla's Korner Hockey
TORONTO (November 28, 2009) – Buffalo Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta has been suspended for two games, without pay, for an incident in NHL game #356 against Philadelphia Flyers forward Jared Ross, Friday afternoon, the National Hockey League announced today.
Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and based on his average annual salary, Kaleta will forfeit $5,414.50. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
Kaleta was assessed a major penalty for boarding at 9:28 of the first period.
Head Coach Lindy Ruff had some good news to report on the injury front following Saturday’s morning skate, saying that captain Craig Rivet may not miss as much time as anticipated.
The defenseman was helped off the ice in the third period of Friday’s 4-2 win in Philadelphia after being hit by Flyers’ Arron Asham.
Although the news is good, Rivet will not be in the lineup tonight due to what Ruff classified as a “little bit of ankle, little bit of knee” injury.
Paul Gaustad, however, may miss a couple of weeks with a knee injury he suffered against the Flyers.
from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,
Just before the season, Lindy Ruff pulled his leaders aside and told them they needed to take over the Buffalo Sabres’ dressing room. He made it clear that he was finished barking after every poor performance. This was their team, he told them, and taking ownership was their responsibility.
It was as if Ruff recognized that his style had grown stale, that he knew adjustments were required if his team was going to go anywhere. He has said numerous times this season that the Sabres’ core is no longer a bunch of kids. They’re pros who know what’s needed to win and should be treated accordingly.
Ruff hasn’t undergone a total makeover, but the shift in his approach has been obvious all year. The little things don’t seem to bother him as much as they did in past seasons. He’s been quick to compliment his players in practice. He’s giving them more leeway rather than stand over them with a firm hand.
Brian Gionta thinks all he has to do is stuff the puck in the net, but Tim Thomas says not tonight.
from Jerry Sullivan of the Buffalo News,
A month from now, Biron could be part of a three-man goalie rotation on Long Island. Biron has been splitting the duties with Dwayne Roloson, who is in the first year of a two-year, $5 million contract.
Rick DiPietro, who signed a 15-year, $67.5 million contract three years ago, is practicing again after missing a year with a knee injury. Isles coach Scott Gordon said DiPietro has been on the ice every other day. Once DiPietro feels ready, he’ll begin working out with the team in earnest.
Isles coach Scott Gordon wouldn’t give a time table, but there’s a good chance DiPietro will return in early December. Something will have to give. Isles General Manager Garth Snow knew that when he signed Biron in late July, giving him three capable NHL goalies. The Isles will need to trade a goalie, and Biron is the obvious candidate.
It’s equally clear that the Sabres need a more reliable backup goaltender. Ryan Miller started for the 11th time in 12 games Wednesday night. Coach Lindy Ruff claims to have confidence in Patrick Lalime, but his actions suggest otherwise.
from John Vogl of the Buffalo News,
Biron investigated a similar option in Buffalo. Backup Patrick Lalime was coming off a down year and two offseason surgeries. Starter Ryan Miller is scheduled to play for Team USA in the Olympics. Biron saw a team that likely would give him ample starts in the crease.
“We were fairly serious,” Biron said of talks with the Sabres. “Negotiations are what they are. To be honest with you, this wasn’t about money, not anything other trying to get a fit into where I would be able to play and compete, put myself in the position where on January 1 I can look for a long-term deal with the organization that I’m with, or come July 1 next year I’m at the top level where I was last year.
“This was a very unique year just because of the Olympic year, because there’s a lot of games. I knew that a situation like Buffalo would have been a situation where I would have gotten to play some games, maybe more than usual. But at the same time, this situation [in New York] was giving me the best chance to play on a regular basis.
“I was very excited about possibly having a chance to come back, but in the end, you make sacrifices to be at the top level you can.”
from John Vogl of the Buffalo News,
After getting the wind knocked out of him, Ryan Miller thought he was trading goal posts for ring posts. The New York Islanders may as well have been Jimmy Snuka of the Fiji Islands.
“Just a good old-fashioned WWF knee drop to the back,” Miller said after his night of wrestling in the crease.
Buffalo Sabres fans howled for several goaltender interference calls Friday when the Isles visited HSBC Arena. They got one when Tim Jackman sat on Miller, which resulted in a pummeling by Paul Gaustad, who rushed to his goaltender’s aid.
“He was trying to spark his team by doing that,” Gaustad said. “It’s something that shouldn’t be allowed in this league, to be purposeful of trying to injure somebody to spark a momentum change for the team.
Max Afinogenov of the Thrashers scores against his old team, the Buffalo Sabres tonight.
added 10:54pm, Alexei Kovalev of the Senators with a goal tonight against the Canadiens can be watched below…
from Erin Pollina of BuffaloSabres.com,
Lindy Ruff delivered some good news regarding Thomas Vanek on Wednesday afternoon.
The Buffalo Sabres Head Coach said the winger may only miss a few days - not weeks - after sustaining an upper body injury in Tuesday’s 6-2 win against the Red Wings….
“They thought he would feel a lot worse today, but he’s actually feeling a lot better,” Ruff said following practice on Wednesday. “He’s doing remarkably well which is good.. I wouldn’t even rule him out maybe for a game on the weekend, as well as he’s doing today.
“It’s a stretch but it’s something I won’t rule out now.”
more on the Sabres…
from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,
Thomas Vanek left for good with 7:14 to play in the second period after scoring his second goal in the 6-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. Coach Lindy Ruff revealed Vanek will miss several weeks with an undisclosed upper body injury.
Vanek slid hard into the end boards after scoring the goal on Derek Roy’s third assist in a 4½-minute span, but Ruff said the injury actually occurred before that play. Television shots of Vanek on the bench before the shift showed Vanek grimacing while moving his neck/shoulder area.
Vanek’s shoulder was not in a sling when he left the locker room about 40 minutes after the game was over, and he was believed to have undergone X-rays on his ribs.
“It was before the goal, when I collided with [former Sabre Brad] May,” Vanek told The Buffalo News. “I went to hit him, and it happened there. I just finished the shift and felt it after. I knew right away and just tried to tough it out. After the shift, I just got it checked out.”
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