Josh Gorges will likely watch the rest of the Sabres’ season. Mike Weber might miss significant time, too. Nikita Zadorov could join them on the sidelines every now and then.
Gorges, who hasn’t played since Feb. 10 because of a lower-body injury, is close to being shut down until next year.
“It’s leaning that way, but we’ll see in the next little bit here,” Buffalo coach Ted Nolan said Friday. “He’s getting final information. He’ll make a final decision in probably 24 to 48 hours.”
If Gorges is indeed done, he’ll close a disappointing first season with the Sabres. Acquired via trade from Montreal in July, Gorges has no goals, six assists and a minus-28 rating in 46 games. He leads the Sabres with 148 blocked shots and is skating 22:21 per night.
Weber suffered an upper-body injury during the first period of a 3-1 loss to the New York Rangers and did not return.
“He took a pretty good hit,” Nolan said. “He’s getting evaluated now as Josh Gorges is, so it looks like we can lose a couple there, for sure.”
Zadorov, meanwhile, was a healthy scratch. The 19-year-old has one goal and seven points during his last nine games, but Nolan hasn’t been enamored with Zadorov’s overall play.
“We found he’s getting a little overwhelmed lately, so we’re going to give him a day off,” Nolan said. “In order for the proper development to take place, you can’t keep putting him and keep putting him. You have to sit back and watch and learn.”
Tyson Strachan took Zadorov’s place in the lineup. The rookie is averaging 19:05 of ice time during his 42 games, but he’s been scratched six times during the last six weeks.
“He’s going to be a heck of a player,” Nolan said. “He really is, but you have to be patient. You have to wait instead of just throwing him and hope. Hope is a good thing once in a while, but you’ve got to make sure you put the kids in a position of success versus failure.
“We’ll hopefully make the right decisions and give him a little break here and there and look forward to seeing him. When he’s 23, 24 years old, he’s going to be a specimen in this league, for sure.”
Michal Neuvirth, who won Thursday for the first time since November, started in goal for the fourth straight game. Nolan has no timetable for inserting backup Anders Lindback, acquired last week in the trade that sent Jhonas Enroth to Dallas.
“We’ll just ride the horse,” Nolan said. “As long as he’s galloping down the road, we’ll ride him. If he gets a little tired, we’ll tie him up for a game and put the other one in.”
When Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist went to the sidelines with a neck injury Feb. 4, New York was allowing 2.3 goals per game. They entered Friday night with 26 goals allowed in their eight games without Lundqvist, an average of 3.25.
Still, New York arrived in Buffalo on a 5-1-2 run without the Olympian.
“You’ve got to look at the bottom line, and the bottom line is our record’s pretty good,” Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. “This game is about winning and finding ways to win. Maybe we’ve given up a few more goals, but when need be, we’ve scored a couple more also. That’s what this game’s all about. It’s about W’s, and that’s what we’re working on.”
NHL.com has unveiled a new statistics page, complete with advanced stats such as Corsi, Fenwick and zone starts. The league uses “shot attempts” for Corsi and “unblocked shot attempts” for Fenwick.
The additions are the first in a four-step process to revamp NHL.com/Stats during the next year.
“Hockey is extremely fast-paced with very little stoppage in play, which results in many aspects of the game failing to show up in the box score,” said John Collins, the NHL’s chief operating officer. “The new NHL stats platform goes beyond data to offer insights that will help avid fans go deeper and help casual fans understand the game better. There are also unlimited storytelling opportunities as we provide our fans with a personalized and interactive experience.”