By Mike Harrington
The Sabres' magical mystery tour of practice sites hit Riverside Rink today on the shores of the Niagara River. (That's two new rinks for me in two days after six years on this beat. Odd). First Niagara Center has the Bandits, the Northtown Center is filled with a big tournament, and Buffalo State has Canisius and Bentley in the Atlantic Hockey playoffs. Guess HarborCenter can't get here fast enough!
Anyway, the Sabres had a strong 50-minute session before hitting the bus back downtown and then heading for the plane to Philadelphia. The big news was that defenseman Andrej Sekera, injured in the third period Thursday in New Jersey, started practice on a regular pairing with Robyn Regehr. Sekera, who was ruled out for Sunday's game by interim coach Ron Rolston after Friday's practice, left the ice about halfway through Saturday's workout.
"It went pretty well today and we took him out about halfway through becuase we were getting into more battle situations," Rolston said. "We wanted to take it slow today. He'll be on day to day but I would magine probably not for Philly."
Pressed if Sekera had a chance to go tomorrow if he continued to improve, Rolston acknowledged, "There's a possibility. We'll see how he's feeling. I like the way he's moving. We just wanted to keep him out of battle stuff."
Rolston, as has become his custom, was pretty mum on personnel But the eyes pretty much tell you what's going on for tomorrow.
Adam Pardy was back on a defense pairing with Mike Weber while T.J. Brennan, burned by Patrik Elias and Jhonas Enroth's big rebound on New Jersey's tying goal Thursday, was on the extra pair with Jordan Leopold.
Jochen Hecht and the injured Ville Leino continued to skate as extra forwards so it's looking like Hecht will stay scratched.
For more on the Rochester-bred line of Marcus Foligno, Kevin Porter and Brian Flynn, be sure to read my story in Sunday's editions of The News.