First the good news: Coach Lindy Ruff said Jason Pominville was sitting up in the Sabres' locker room after Monday's game, dealing with only a concussion and a seven- or eight-stitch cut above the eye after taking his vicious hit from behind from Chicago's Niklas Hjalmarsson.
Of course, the bad news is that Pominville is certainly going to be out of the lineup for an undetermined period of time.
"He's doing OK," Ruff said of Pominville. "He got sewn up [7-8 stitches above the eye], he's sitting up. Obviously, he has a concussion. [Hjalmarsson] made a big mistake. He caught a player in a tough spot. It will be addressed. ... That was bad. He's not that type of player but he made a mistake obviously."
"That was a terrible hit," said Thomas Vanek. "It was a hit to the head from behind. [Hjalmarsson] is not a dirty player. That was just a bad hit obviously. He got penalized for it and I'm sure they'll look at it again."
Pominville, the team's iron man, was playing in his 336th consecutive game but that streak will almost certainly end. Ruff wouldn't speculate how long Pominville would be out, but concussions usually are seven days or more.
"I'm not even going to guess right now," Ruff said. "Obviously, it's going to be a period of time."
Ruff said the Sabres had to battle through the mental trauma of seeing their teammate taken off on a stretcher and refocusing on the game.
"You're first and foremost worried about a teammate," ruff said. That part was tough but we worked through that part. ... I was worried. It was a quiet bench for a while. Sometimes that's understandable. We've had some bad things happen in this building [referring to the 2008 injury to Florida's Richard Zednik] where you have to put the player first."