The Sabres lost left wing Thomas Vanek for about eight minutes near the end of today’s practice. He was struck by a puck during a drill.
"He got hit where you don’t want to get hit," coach Lindy Ruff said. "He’s all right, though."
Vanek crumpled to the ice in Northtown Center in Amherst and was helped to the bench. He squatted and tried to stand while being attended to by athletic trainer Tim Macre. He returned for the final few minutes of the session.
Most of it was spent working on passing and being ready to receive passes.
"We just tried to get on the same page. We weren’t working together the last couple games, and it shows up," Ruff said. "The last two games it’s turned into some individual efforts that we’ve hung onto pucks too long, we’ve tried to carry pucks too long. The big part of our game is our passing. If our passing isn’t sharp, we don’t come up the ice very well. I thought our passing might have been at a season low.
"There were some situations last night where our 'D,' they were looking at the backs of our forwards. Our forwards weren’t in good support. You don’t have a lot of outs then. We take a lot of pride in trying that our 'D' should have four outs.’’