Sabres' Eichel and Kane miss practice

November 8, 2017

Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) - The Sabres had a very short practice on Wednesday and did it without their top two scorers. Phil Housley said Jack Eichel and Evander Kane had maintenance days and he anticipates they’ll be at practice on Thursday.

More players were back on the ice as Josh Gorges, Nate Beaulieu and Justin Bailey all practiced.

That means others not on the ice were Zach Bogosian, Evan Rodrigues, Jacob Josefson, Matt Tennyson and Rasmus Ristolainen.  

Gorges declared himself ready while Beaulieu and Bailey were a little more cautious. Gorges said, “I feel ready, so that’s now up to the coaching staff and what they feel is best. I’ve trained hard and got myself feeling good again, so no questions on my part.”

Gorges has missed eight games.

As far Beaulieu goes, he’s missed seven games and he doesn’t sound quite as ready, “It’s getting there, missing that much time, it’s a slow process, but the good news is that things are picking up and headed in the right direction.”

When I asked him if he was at 100 percent yet he said, “Getting there.”

Bailey was back with his teammates for the first time. He’s been out three games and had a noticeable limp midway through practice. Bailey said, “I felt good, I was eager to get back. It’s not going to be perfect your first day back, mentally or physically, but it was good to be out there and get around the guys again.”

Gorges was a healthy scratch for the first three games of the season. He got his opportunity to play in San Jose and played four good games. Phil Housley and Chris Hajt put Gorges out there in positions to succeed and kept his minutes in a very comfortable 14 minute range. I believe that’s when Gorges can be most effective. For Gorges, getting the injury came at the wrong time, “Yes and that was a bit of the frustrating part. With the way the season started you want to get in there and you finally get your chance.”

“Things were getting better each game and progressing and that happens, sets you back and takes you out of the lineup.”

In the win against Washington, it may have been the first 60 minute effort this team has played all season. They worked to win battles and take away time and space from the Capitals. Phil Housley said, “I think it was a total complete game by our team. I really liked the way we worked away from the puck and didn’t allow Washington to pullup and give them the freedom.”

Housley said he wanted Wednesday to be a lighter practice after a game. He said they’ll go harder on Thursday which will help test Gorges, Beaulieu and Bailey.