BUFFALO – As expected, the Sabres practiced minus one player today, winger Patrick Kaleta, who’s stuck in his Hamburg home with Winter Storm Knife still decimating the area.
Update: Friday’s game against the New York Rangers has been postponed.
“Hockey seems like a very small thing when the city’s going through something that we’re going through right now,” Sabres coach Ted Nolan said this afternoon inside the First Niagara Center. “We’re just hoping that not only Kaleta, but everybody gets out of this thing relatively safe and sound.”
Kaleta couldn’t get to the rink for Tuesday’s 4-1 win against San Jose. Neither could trainer Tim Macre or massage therapist Chuck Garlow. Everyone’s OK, Nolan said.
Despite the storm, goalie Nathan Lieuwen made it from Rochester to Buffalo. The 23-year-old’s stay could be short, however.
While goalie Jhonas Enroth was expected to start both games this weekend, Michal Neuvirth, who suffered a lower-body injury Tuesday, could be back sooner than expected.
If Neuvirth’s swelling went down, he could’ve practiced today.
“It’s a far cry from thinking he was out weeks,” Nolan said.
Lieuwen, meanwhile, said he took Route 104 to Buffalo.
“I kind of got some advice,” he said.
Lieuwen has struggled badly this season, getting pulled from three of his last five starts. His save percentage is .876.
“I’m not a big numbers guy,” Lieuwen said. “I don’t like overanalyzing numbers. I think if you look at our play, just little things here and there. I think more so than that is the timing. A timely save, as we all know, can turn the tide of the game, stop the bleeding. But right now, it seems to snowball.”