Head coach Dan Bylsma spent most of his morning media session talking injuries as the Buffalo Sabres prepared to host the Toronto Maple Leafs in First Niagara Center Thursday night.
First up: Evander Kane is done for the year. "His upper body injury is about a two to three week injury which will put him out for the remainder of the season," Bylsma said.
Next up: Tyler Ennis. The forward will miss his 41st game with a concussion, but Bylsma kept stressing there is a possibility could return before season finale April 9 in New York Islanders. "There’s no question you have to be patient," Bylsma said. "There's no rushing it. He’s done some workouts now for about seven days and is improving and there is a continued sign that he’s getting better. You can’t push it sooner than his body will allow but I talked to Tyler yesterday and he's really exited where he’s at with the hope he still could come back to practice before the end of the season."
And for the money questions: Robin Lehner's surgery.
Bylsma said there was no break that the surgery was to help repair instability in the ankle.
"You deal with a high ankle sprain for months after you come back … the last two weeks for Robin, he probably had a tweak in a game that was a little more significant than the ones hes' been feeling," Bylsma said. "He came back and had the same feeling seen days later and that's when you go back for a week of rehab and get an evaluation from the doctor."
Lehner suffered the high ankle sprain in the season opener and missed three months before returning to play in 20 games. He has been out for the last six games before the Sabres announced the season-ending injury on Wednesday.
"The disappointment is he got injured at the outset of the season in Game 1 and was out for that huge period of time," Bylsma said. "Once he got back to playing he showed ... us quite a bit what kind of goalie he can be and I think look at the situation a little differently having the surgery now and a full summer of workouts and getting in shape and being able to work out and we can look forward to having him come back in training camp ready to go."
Bylsma said after four weeks Lehner can begin rehabilitation and after six weeks slide into his normal summer training program.
Meanwhile the Maple Leafs moved eight players Thursday morning. They recalled forwards Kasperi Kapanen and Tobias Lindberg as well as defensemen Andrew Campbell and T.J. Brennan from the Toronto Marlies. Kapanen, Lindberg and Brennan’s recalls are on an emergency basis. The club has also loaned Connor Brown, Zach Hyman, Rinat Valiev and Connor Carrick to the Marlies.
Finally some fun facts:
The Sabres are 16-1-1 in their last 18 home games against the Leafs, including wins in their last six.
Six of the last 10 meetings between the teams have gone into overtime including shootouts in five of the last nine.
The Sabres are 67-25-8 against the Leafs at home all-time.