Tonawanda News

Sabres

March 16, 2012

Sekera nearing return, will force a Sabres defenseman to the bench

(Continued)

BUFFALO —

“I’ll see how it goes from period to period,” he said.

Sekera said he also had pneumonia once when he was 13 or 14 years old.                                                          

“That was also with mono … so I was in the hospital for like a month,” he said.

It could’ve been much worse this time.

xxx

Chew on these startling Sabres shootout numbers.

They’re 5-0 in road shootouts, converting a gaudy 65 percent of their chances (11 of 17). With Wednesday’s defeat, they’re 2-5 at home, scoring at a 24 percent clip (seven of 29).

“The shootout is always a tough one to figure out,” Ruff said. “Brad Boyes has gone cold on us. He was money in the bank earlier in the year. (Colorado goalie Semyon) Varlamov we knew had a great shootout record going into the game.

“I got no way of explaining why the road’s better than home. That’s a tough one to figure out.”

The Sabres usually shoot first at the FNC. Home teams can pick their spot.

“I like to try to apply the pressure to the other team, get the first goal,” Ruff said. “I think I’ve done it once where I let the other team shoot first. Just to switch things up I’ve thought about letting the other team go. I’ve thought about standing on my head behind the bench, too.”

Notes: Winger Nathan Gerbe (muscle pull) skated alone Friday and accompanied the Sabres to Florida, where they also play Monday in Tampa Bay. … Ruff mixed up some lines during practice, putting rookie Corey Tropp on the left wing with Derek Roy and Jason Pominville. Thomas Vanek went beside Cody Hodgson and Ville Leino. … Ruff, who broke three ribs in a scary practice collision last month, wore a jacket Friday featuring stop and yield signs that his friend, PGA golfer Dudley Hart, sent him. “I said, ‘I’ll wear it once,’” Ruff said.

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