Adam Pardy is back on the Buffalo Sabres’ blueline and don’t expect this trip to the NHL to be a one-game stay.
Pardy was recalled by the club and was at practice Monday in First Niagara Center. He’ll be in the lineup tonight at Tampa Bay and likely for the foreseeable future.
Pardy played well as Tyler Myers’ partner in the Feb. 5 loss at Ottawa but had to immediately return to Rochester when Christian Ehrhoff returned to the lineup after a one-game absence. That’s not happening anytime soon now, with Alexander Sulzer going on injured reserve Monday, Jordan Leopold not practicing and a trade of a someone from the crowded defense corps certainly possible.
“It was frustrating,” admitted Pardy, who was paired Monday with Mike Weber. “It’s always frustrating when you get sent down. It’s never easy to take but you have to use the time there to move forward and help yourself get better.”
Pardy has one goal, four assists and a plus-1 rating in 11 games in Rochester. His resume also includes 183 NHL games with Calgary and Dallas.
“He just gave us a lot of presence down there, big body, good positionally and really calmed the game down,” said Sabres interim coach Ron Rolston. “We’re pretty young in Rochester on the blueline. He was somebody that came in, had experience at the NHL level, is 6-5 and just kind of settled things down for us, Especially when games get hairy, you need that presence.”
Pardy said he likes being reunited with Rolston.
“He likes to keep things simple, have a structured game,” Pardy said. “Make sure we’re working together and communicating, taking care of our D zone.”
Sulzer suffered a lower-body injury in the first period Saturday against the New York Islanders and Rolston would only say he would be out “a while”. Leopold (hand) and Ville Leino (hip) did not practice Monday but Leino skated on his own afterward.
Thomas Vanek sat out for maintenance and said he expects to play tonight.
Tampa Bay forward Cory Conacher, the former Canisius College star, enters tonight’s game leading NHL rookies in scoring with 17 points. He’s the leader in assists (10) and is second in goals with seven, one behind Florida’s Jonathan Huberdeau.
Conacher, a native of Burlington, Ont., was the AHL MVP last year while playing for Calder Cup champion Norfolk as he collected 39 goals and 80 points in 75 games. He had 12 goals and 28 points in 36 games this year at Syracuse during the lockout.
The 5-foot-8 Conacher has drawn plenty of parallels to Tampa Bay veteran Martin St. Louis and has helped the Lightning to an NHL-high 69 goals and a league-best average of 3.83 per game entering Monday.
“He’s very dynamic, much like St. Louis,” said Rolston, who smiled when asked about Conacher Monday after seeing him the last two years in the AHL. “They’re similar players. Very dynamic, extremely smart and will play in hard areas. That’s the difference when you have a player like that. Those guys will play in the traffic areas and that’s enabled him to be where he’s at.”
Conacher scored 62 goals and totaled 147 points during a career at Canisius that lasted from 2007-2011.
Rolston on being part of the Sabres’ annual fathers/mentor trip: “It’s great. They go up their whole careers wanting to get to this level and their parents are a huge part of that, taking them to the rink at 5 in the morning. Just the sacrifice parents go through now in order for their son to move up the ranks. For them to be here and have the payoff that their sons are in the NHL … it’s an outstanding opportunity for both the player and the parent.”