By John Vogl
The losses aren't any fun. There's no way around that. But Sabres defenseman Mark Pysyk hasn't lost sight of where he is.
"It’s a fun game, obviously, a fun lifestyle, a fun career," the 21-year-old said today in First Niagara Center. "Playing in the NHL is a dream of everybody, and you want to make sure that what you did today makes sure you’re going to be here tomorrow.
"The nature of the game and the business is it could be gone any second. Obviously, a lot of things can happen pretty quickly, so you’ve got to enjoy every game."
There's been a lot to enjoy for Pysyk. He's third on the Sabres in ice time at 20:20 per game, trailing only defense partner Christian Ehrhoff (24:44) and fellow blue-liner Tyler Myers (21:33). More impressively, Pysyk is third among rookies behind Nashville's Seth Jones (24:42) and Winnipeg's Jacob Trouba (21:15).
In Pysyk's 14 games, he has one assist and a plus-1 rating, one of only three Sabres with a positive number. Ehrhoff and newcomer Matt Moulson are also plus-1 to lead the team.
"We’ve got to start winning here, have a little more team success," Pysyk said. "It’s fun to be in the NHL, but it’s going to be a lot more fun once we start winning."
The Sabres' next chance to win is Thursday in New York against the Rangers. They used the following lineup in practice today:
Moulson-Cody Hodgson-Tyler Ennis
Steve Ott-Marcus Foligno-Ville Leino
Zemgus Girgensons-Mikhail Grigorenko-Brian Flynn
Cody McCormick-Johan Larsson-Drew Stafford
(Injured Corey Tropp and suspended Patrick Kaleta also skated)
Henrik Tallinder-Tyler Myers
Rasmus Ristolainen-Jamie McBain
(Rookie Nikita Zadorov skated with suspended forward John Scott, making Zadorov a likely scratch Thursday.)
To hear coach Ron Rolston -- who talked about head shots, fighting and the return of obstruction to the NHL -- click the audio file below.