The Sabres are getting one of their top defensemen back tonight, with Steve Montador ready to returning following a five-game, concussion-related absence.
"We’ve certainly taken the patient route, but it’s tough to watch hockey," Montador said this morning after preparing to face St. Louis in HSBC Arena. "I did it early in my career, and I gained another perspective and appreciation for the guys that have to sit and watch because they’re basically doing what you want to be doing. It’s not easy. It’s a chance to learn a lot, but you really get the itch every game."
Montador has four goals, 11 assists and a plus-9 rating in 51 games. He will rejoin blue-line partner Jordan Leopold. The other defensive pairs will be Shaone Morrisonn with Mike Weber, and Tyler Myers with Andrej Sekera. Chris Butler returns to the sidelines after filling in for Montador.
Captain Craig Rivet will also be a blue-line scratch, but he made an impact this morning by addressing the players on the ice after coach Lindy Ruff chatted with them. He wanted the team to be clear this is an important stretch.
To hear Ruff's thoughts on Montador, Butler and Blues goaltender Ty Conklin, click the audio file below.