Buffalo Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said after practice forward Jochen Hecht is progressing and getting better. Ruff acknowledges that when Hecht is good to go, he'll have a difficult decision as to which forward to pull from the lineup.
On an aside, Hecht wasn't practicing on a regular line Monday. If you want to read the tea leaves, it would seem to indicate Hecht won't be a go Tuesday night in Montreal but things do have a habit of changing over the course of 24 hours.
Other notes, Ruff referred to the fourth line of Paul Gaustad-Patrick Kaleta-Cody McCormick as "the dirt and the oil for us.
"They're hard to play against, they're a good defensive. They're a line I can throw out there when we've had a little trouble in our own end. ... They've been in on some good opporutnities but for the most part we're relying on them to provide some of the dirty work for us."
Ruff also said it's not a given that defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani will be one of the six in the lineup Tuesday even though the game is in Gragnani's hometown. Gragnani is on the Sabres' top power-play unit but struggled with the puck in his own end during last Saturday's win in Pittsburgh.
"We know what he provides for us. He's made some great plays on the power play for us. It's the defending that Marc still has to work on. ... No guarantee (he'll play Tuesday)," Ruff said.
Below is audio from Ruff's meeting with the media following Monday's practice, one in which Patrick Kaleta scored on a shootout toward the end, a tally similar to the one-handed backhand against the grain Forsberg used during the 1994 Olympics.