BUFFALO – Just two weeks into the season, having lost Mattias Samuelsson, Henri Jokiharju and two more defensemen in the minors to injuries, the Sabres are considering adding depth to their blue line, Kevyn Adams said.
The general manager said this morning Samuelsson, who suffered a lower-body injury in Saturday’s 5-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks, will be sidelined “a few weeks.”
“But much better than maybe originally we thought,” he said. “So a few weeks and then we’ll kind of go from there. He’s going to be out some time but not terrible.”
Meanwhile, Adams said Jokiharju, who was hit in the face with the puck in last Thursday’s 6-3 win over the Calgary Flames, is week to week.
Adams said the Finn has a “little fracture” under his nose “that isn’t actually overly changing his progress.”
“He’s been better,” he said. “He had a better day today. … The fact that he’s had a better day today is a good sign.”
Adams said neither player needs surgery. The Sabres have placed them both on injured reserve.
The Sabres’ defense depth, of course, is already being tested. They summoned Lawrence Pilut and Kale Clague from the Rochester Americans during their four-game road trip to add reinforcements.
Amerks defenseman Chase Priskie, a top recall option, has an upper-body injury and will be sidelined at least two weeks. Peter Tischke, who’s on an AHL contract, has a lower-body injury and will miss two to four weeks.
The Amerks have added Brandon Davidson, who spent all of last season in Rochester, on a professional tryout.
Another move could be coming.
“(The injuries in Rochester) happened at a similar time, so all of a sudden, you’re pretty thin,” Adams said. “We’re addressing it. … We may do something else here. For the last two days we’ve been looking at all options and across the league and scenario. What we won’t do is make big reaction-type move or emotional move. But if we think something makes sense that we could provide a little more depth for the organization, not at a cost where we’re giving up assets or anything, then maybe’s that’s something we’ll look to do.”
The Sabres can at least feel relieved Samuelsson, 22, and Jokiharju, 23, could be back next month.
When Samuelsson twisted his right leg and had to be helped off the ice, it appeared his injury was more severe.
“Your first thought is the worst-case scenario,” Adams said. “Part of it was because he’s a tough kid, too, and you saw how much pain he was in. But talking to him after, I think that was what shook him up a little bit, was just that he was in a lot of pain. The initial thought from the doctor was he wasn’t sure, we got to see an MRI, and they checked him out.”
In other news, goalie Eric Comrie will start tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens at KeyBank Center. Comrie played in Tuesday’s ugly 5-1 road loss to the Seattle Kraken, making 19 saves.
The Sabres will make one lineup change up front, inserting winger Peyton Krebs, a healthy scratch the past two games, for Rasmus Asplund.
Coach Don Granato started rotating his forwards during the recent trip.