By Mike Harrington
It was an optional morning skate for the Sabres today in preparation for tonight's game against Carolina. Ryan Miller will be in goal, likely against Hurricanes backup Dan Ellis. The Sabres aren't expected to make any lineup changes, and coach Lindy Ruff said he's not looking to shift any lines yet, even though only Thomas Vanek-Cody Hodgson-Jason Pominville is producing any offense.
"The great thing is we got one of the hottest lines in the league," Ruff said of the trio, which has eight of the team's 10 goals. "The bad thing is it's the only line that's scoring right now. But I would take three goals out of a hot line over maybe two goals from two different lines."
One of the few guys on the ice was winger Ville Leino, who skated hard for 20-25 minutes before coming off the ice. Leino has yet to play this season with what has been revealed to be an injury to his right hip.
A report on CSNPhilly.com said Leino needs surgery on the hip (he had surgery on his left one in 2010). Asked about that report today, Ruff and Leino both denied that's a possiblity at this point. In a short season, of course, hip surgery would basically be it for Leino for 2013.
"There's no talk about surgery right now. We might as well just squash that," Ruff said. "Maybe down the road it happens. I don't know. But right now there's some other treatment options that are possible. We had an MRI on it and it looked OK. These hip things are things that can go a lot of different directions."
"We've been doing rehab trying to get the discomfort away," Leino said. "Today it felt a lot better. Hopefully it will feel better in the long run too. I felt really good today for 20-25 minutes. Then it got a little tired and it's the best so far."
Leino said this injury does not feel the same as the one he had three years ago and his frustration is rooted in missing games in a short season.
Click below to hear audio from today from Ruff and Leino. The coach spent a lot of time talking about his team's struggles on faceoffs and the power play.
taggedCarolina Hurricanes | Lindy Ruff | Sabres game day | Ville Leino