Matt Tennyson looks ready for game action. But the Buffalo Sabres want the defenseman to get his timing back with some time down in Rochester.
Before he can play for the American Hockey League affiliate, he has to clear waivers.
And Sabres coach Phil Housley sure hopes he does.
"Well hopefully he does clear because I thought Matt brought a lot to the table," Housley said Thursday afternoon after the team practice in HarborCenter. "He had a really good, solid camp. He was really consistent with his play when he was in the lineup and then he got hurt and unfortunately we've got numbers coming back at us. On a personal note I'd like to see him get through, get back his timing, and get some games in."
Tennyson has been on the injured reserve since Nov. 7 missing 11 games with a foot injury. He was an everyday defenseman in the lineup, twice skating more than 20 minutes in a game.
The Sabres have an abundance of defensemen, nine total participating in Thursday's practice, as players start to return from injury. Zach Bogosian continues to inch forward to playing his first game of the season after suffering a lower body injury in the last game of the preseason.
"Monday his practice was really good," Housley said of Bogosian. "Yesterday and today were really good practices for him. There's a lot of battles involved in our practices so we'll evaluate that tomorrow and see how he gets through today after a hard practice."
"I feel like I've had a couple good days of practice," said Bogosian, who skated with Nathan Beaulieu on Thursday. "I feel ready. We'll see what tomorrow brings, but I'm sure I'll have a conversation with coach and go from there."
Marco Scandella and Rasmus Ristolainen retained their top pairing status. Jake McCabe was paired with Antipin. Tennyson rotated with Justin Falk on a pairing with Josh Gorges, who has been a healthy scratch two of the last three games.
Meanwhile, Housley tweaked the lines a bit again as the Sabres look for any type of chemistry that will bring them goals – or even just one goal. Buffalo is looking to end a goalless drought that has stretched to 120 minutes, 51 seconds, including back-to-back shutouts.
The only line at Thursday's practice that stayed the same as Wednesday's was Ryan O'Reilly's line with Jordan Nolan and Kyle Okposo on the wings. Sam Reinhart rejoined the top line with Jack Eichel and Evander Kane. Kyle Criscuolo centered Benoit Pouliot and Jason Pominville while Johann Larsson was between Zemgus Girgensons and Matt Moulson.