The loss of Zach Bogosian for at least a month will affect the Buffalo Sabres' defense corps. It will also affect Bogosian.
"It's a tough blow for him, too," Sabres coach Phil Housley said Thursday. "He's been fighting through injuries this year. It's difficult, but it's how the business goes, how the game goes. It's unfortunate."
Unfortunately, it's nothing new. A lower-body injury kept Bogosian out of the opening 25 games, and now he'll miss four to six weeks with a different lower-body injury suffered Wednesday during practice.
Bogosian hasn't been healthy for a full year since his rookie season of 2009-10. After playing in 81 of 82 games for Atlanta, he hasn't topped 71. He missed 26 games for the Sabres last season and 18 in 2015-16.
Housley liked what he saw during the 18 games Bogosian was on the ice. The coach named the defenseman an alternate captain prior to the season, and Housley felt his faith was rewarded.
"He was really, really good right when he got back, especially being out that long of a time," Housley said in KeyBank Center. "A lot of those games early on when he got back in, he was our best defenseman.
"Certainly, we missed him up to that point, just having the depth and what he brings day in and day out to the team. Moving forward here, it's a setback."
The Sabres' bye week, which runs Friday through Tuesday, is coming at a good time for Victor Antipin.
The defenseman is finally healthy after an illness that kept him away from the team for 10 days. The break will allow him to eat and recover after he lost a noticeable amount of weight.
"Certainly, him being out that amount of time has taken its toll on his body," Housley said.
The illness cost Antipin six games, including Thursday's visit by the Columbus Blue Jackets. But the rookie from Kazakhstan was a healthy scratch in eight of 12 games before that. It hasn't been the North American debut many expected for Antipin, who has four assists and a minus-3 rating in 24 games.
He has work to do when the Sabres return from their bye.
"I want to see him get back to where he was when he was really playing well," Housley said. "That's taking charge back there, getting back to pucks first, using his speed and evasiveness to break down forechecks, making that good first pass, defending hard, being tough to play against, and that would include good stick detail, just being engaged.
"I think he can join the rush. He's a very smart player when he comes up from the back end on getting his shots through."
Derek Roy's Olympic dream is a reality.
The former Sabres center is one of 25 players who will represent Canada at the 2018 Games next month in South Korea. Hockey Canada unveiled the roster Thursday, and it also included former Sabres defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani.
With the NHL unwilling to send players to the Games, Roy is one of the most recognizable selections for Canada. He spent nine seasons in the Sabres' organization, helping the team advance to the Eastern Conference finals in 2006 and 2007. The 34-year-old played 738 games in the NHL, recording 189 goals and 524 points.
Roy has spent the last three seasons overseas and is playing in Sweden this year.
The Sabres drafted Gragnani in the third round in 2005, and the defenseman spent five seasons in the organization. He played 59 games for Buffalo, scoring twice and adding 13 assists. The 30-year-old is playing in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League.
Left wing Benoit Pouliot returned to the Sabres' lineup after being scratched in two of the previous three games. The benching came after he put up just two goals and one assist in 23 outings.
"I haven't been playing the way I should be playing," Pouliot said. "The beginning of the year, I thought I was skating, forechecking, creating chances or turning pucks over, but the past few games haven't been this way for me. That's all on me. It's on no one else."