Craig Rivet's long, infuriating wait to contribute to the Sabres is finally set to end. The captain will be in the lineup tonight when Buffalo hosts the Anaheim Ducks in HSBC Arena.
Rivet hasn't played since Nov. 20, a span of 11 games. He's been in the lineup only five times since Oct. 26, missing two with the flu and an additional 16 because coach Lindy Ruff made the captain a healthy scratch.
"It’s a good feeling that I’m going to get another opportunity to get back in and help this team, help this team get on the right track and get myself on the right track," said Rivet, who has been keeping in shape with intense on- and off-ice workouts. "It has not been a lot of fun, but it’s going to help me in the long run. It’s going to help me get back to where I want to be and where I know I can play.
"I’m excited to get back in here tonight. It’s been awhile since I’ve played, but I’m excited. I’ll keep things simple tonight and just play hard."
The full audio of Rivet's interview is available below.
Rivet will be joined in the comeback department by Nathan Gerbe. The left winger has been scratched in three straight games and will play alongside center Derek Roy and right wing Thomas Vanek.
"The last couple games offensively I thought they did some nice things," coach Lindy Ruff said. "We just need him to finish. He hasn’t been able to finish. I think putting him back with Derek and Van will give him that opportunity again."
Forward Luke Adam has been summoned from minor-league Portland but will not play.
"Portland is shut down right now, so if we get somebody hurt we wouldn’t have a player, so we’ve got another player here in case something happens," Ruff said.
Meanwhile, in the celebrity gossip department, goaltender Ryan Miller reluctantly confirmed that he became engaged to girlfriend Noureen DeWulf over the weekend.
"We’re definitely happy," Miller said. "I’m a little surprised it got out there that quick, but we’re happy, excited. She’s an awesome person. I’m really happy, and we’re just trying to enjoy the holiday season."