BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – While the results in games after the NHL bye week have been iffy, players in the Sabres dressing room agree this break came at a good time. Not only were they able to rest their legs, but also refresh their mindset as they head into the later half of the season.
“Body gets pretty beat up during the year and if you get four straight days off the ice your body is going to heal,” said winger Kyle Okposo. “You heal some of those nicks and aches and pains and so everybody gets a chance to refresh and heal a little bit and I am a big fan.”
“It doesn’t take a whole lot to get mentally refreshed,” Jack Eichel said after Wednesday’s practice. “I try to get excited to play hockey everyday and I usually do. So, I could have taken a day or two but it is nice to get a couple extra ones, and now we just have to attack the last part of the season.”
“Obviously when you get into these bye weeks the records coming off of it are not very good,” remarked Sabres head coach Phil Housley. “You look at the teams and there is not a very high success rate. We got our hands full tomorrow and I thought our guys really prepared today and we have to have a good start against that team.
While the focus does shift to Thursday’s game, it is the trade deadline of February 26th that many have circled on the calendar. Top trade bait Evander Kane is aware his phone could ring at any moment.
“It has happened before and it is something that I am aware of and I am taking it one day at a time and one game at a time,” Kane said.
Injury update and moves from Wednesday — Nathan Beaulieu did not practice with the team due to an illness and Casey Nelson was called up from Rochester.