By John Vogl
Thomas Vanek thought his hip was broken. Christian Ehrhoff's slap shot plunked the Sabres forward directly on the hip bone Tuesday, and Vanek seized up immediately.
"I got hit on the bone, and it just kind of froze me for two days," Vanek said today in First Niagara Center. "I couldn’t move, couldn’t do anything. Late last night it felt a little better, and this morning I woke up and had most of my motion back. I felt pretty good skating."
"I would assume so unless I have a setback tonight, but as of right now I feel good," Vanek said after practice.
The Sabres' leading scorer is coming back to a team that has won two straight and moved up to 11th place in the Eastern Conference. They are four points back of the last playoff spot, held by Carolina, but have played one more game than the Hurricanes.
Though it sounds better than 15th place, a spot they held previously, Vanek says they have a long way to go.
"We don’t have to kid ourselves," he said. "Four points doesn’t sound like much, but it’s a lot because teams are playing each other and gaining points in front of you. Most guys realize how hard it is to catch up. All we can worry about is tomorrow to get another two points and just get lucky."