Reprinted with permission from hockeybuzz.com
Sabres defenseman Zach Bogosian hasn't played a game yet because of a lower body injury. Last week he began practicing with the team and according to Sabres.com, he's "inching closer to a return."
One could assume that it will be sometime this week. Just in time too as the Sabres are about to play Dallas and St. Louis, two western conference powerhouse two times each within an eight-day span beginning tomorrow at home vs. the Stars. Buffalo the meets the Blues in St. Louis on Thursday before heading south to take on Dallas on Saturday. And while the Bills are in Foxboro to take on the New England Patriots on Monday Night Football, the Sabres will be at home facing the Blues.
No rest for the weary, however as the welcome the Nashville Predators on Wednesday, November 25th, the Carolina Hurricanes on November 27th before heading to Music City to take on the Preds Friday, November 28th.
Bogosian told reporters post-practice today that he was felt good, but cautioned, "I'm not gonna sit here and say I'm in. That's up to the coach. I feel like I'm ready to go and I fell like the last two days have been a step forward. For sure."
Head coach Dan Bylsma told the media that Bogosian "looks like he should be ready to play sometime this week. Today we put him in a few more situations on purpose to get some 5-on-5 situations and we’ll see how he reacts. We put him in those situations because the game ones are coming up for him.”
The Sabres have been faring pretty well with Rasmus Ristolainen and Josh Gorges on the top pairing, but it would seem as if Gorges would be better on the second pairing.
As for Ristolainen, he's been kicking it lately.
Sabres.com points out his four game points streak (3+3) and that his 11 points on the season is tied for 12th in the league amongst defensemen. I think I’ve been doing a better job than last year defensively and offensively,” he said. “I think I can still be better and better and I try to be better and better," he told Jordon LaBarber of Sabres.com. “I try to help the team offensively, lately I have some points. But I don’t think that way; I try to take care first in the defensive zone and then try to get something started on offense too.”
Bylsma was said to have been rotating d-pairing at practice today, possibly seeing what might work best as Bogosian re-entering the lineup is imminent.
The question is when?
A quick note on Zemgus Girgensons who missed practice after getting level in the San Jose game. When Bylsma was asked for an update on Girgensons he replied, "I don't have a good update right now, it's a little bit more than a maintenance day. Obviously the collision he was involved in, he's still feeling some bumps and bruises from that."
But Bylsma somewhat emphasized to the gathered media, "[It's] not something to do with his head."