By John Vogl
Henrik Tallinder is ready to return from a shoulder injury, so the Sabres will make a roster move in order for him to play against Minnesota tonight. It appears Alexander Sulzer or Rasmus Ristolainen will report to Rochester to make room for the defenseman.
Sulzer and the rookie will be scratched tonight for the Sabres, and coach Ron Rolston said one will depart. Jhonas Enroth will start in goal for Buffalo, which leaves Ryan Miller ready to go Tuesday at the Islanders.
Sulzer recently went unclaimed on waivers, so he doesn't have to go through the wire again in order to be sent down. Ristolainen, drafted eighth overall in June, has no points and is minus-3 while averaging 16:47 of ice time in his six games.
"He’s had his ups and downs a little bit, but that’s with a young player," Rolston said in First Niagara Center. "He’s done a good job for us so far, and he’s still learning.
"He plays with a lot of poise. He’s good positionally, moves the puck well, heavy shot. But he’s learning the game and the speed and the tempo playing against some of these top forwards in the league, so it’s a big learning curve."
The visit by the Wild includes the return of former Sabres captain Jason Pominville.
"Who?" Sabres forward Thomas Vanek said with a grin.
Vanek says it will be more awkward for Pominville than the Sabres.
"I think we’re used to it here," Vanek said. "I’ve been here for a while, and I’ve seen a lot of teammates leave."
Vanek might be next. The free agent-to-be is a Minnesota resident, and it seems a foregone conclusion he'll sign with the Wild next summer.
"The media and the outside people always have an opinion, just like I have my own opinion," said Vanek, who reiterated he's not interested in re-signing with Buffalo at the moment. "Right now I’m not ready, but I like where we’re heading. Even though we haven’t won a game, I think there’s a lot of talent in this group. Only time and games will tell how good we can really be."
taggedJason Pominville | Thomas Vanek