Cody Hodgson didn’t say much about his injury or status in the lineup. Only that he’s ready to play.
Hodgson, who missed two games with a lower body injury, fully participated in practice Monday morning with his teammates and anticipates being in the lineup tonight when the Sabres host the Winnipeg Jets.
He skated on a line with Marcus Foligno and Matt D’Agostini.
“It was good practicing with Marcus and Matt,” Hodgson said. “I feel ready. That’s all I can really tell you. … Obviously I want to play and I want to contribute and I think I can help the team.”
“Today is a new day and he looks good,” interim coach Ted Nolan said. “So hopefully he feels the same way tomorrow. He’ll be in the lineup.”
Also expected back in the lineup is defenseman Alexander Sulzer, who has missed five games with an upper body injury.
But it looks like Cody McCormick might move back to the injured reserve list after suffering an upper body injury while blocking a shot in Saturday’s 2-1 overtime loss to Calgary.
McCormick missed four games from Nov. 24 to Nov. 30 while being on the injured reserve and the physical-playing forward can’t seem to catch a break in the health department.
“He is fearless,” Nolan said of McCormick. “He puts himself in front of shots that are going 90 miles an hour and sometimes they hit you in the wrong spot. Unfortunately that’s what happened to Cody last game. But he’s a tough guy. He’ll bounce back and be ready to go.”
The offense is still the glaring problem for the Sabres, who have scored two or fewer goals in 11 of their last 12 games.
For 13 games, Nolan has been looking for solutions and different ways to practice what needs to be done in order to turn opportunities into actual offense.
On Monday, they used a fire hose on the ice in practice, setting up a perimeter to force two-on-two battles close in front of the goaltender.
“I think it’s all consistency again,” Nolan said. “We did some more drills today about net-front presence. You have to go to that net. A few players told me in the past their father’s always told them, if you want to score goals, go to the net. We’ve got to go to the net. We’ve got to create some traffic, get some screens, get some tips, get some rebounds. That’s how we’re going to score.”
Life hasn’t been easy for the Jets, who come into town tonight for their second game in as many nights. They played in Columbus Monday night.
The Jets are coming off a three-game homestand with two losses and a shootout loss to Colorado. They have a home winless skid that has run to 0-3-3. After a 6-4 loss to Dallas on Saturday, the frustration level on the team was high.
After the game, forward Blake Wheeler was particularly outspoken:
“What I say doesn’t matter,” Wheeler said. “It’s what you do out on the ice. You can blow smoke as much as you want in the media. We’ve been blowing smoke for three years, everyone, myself, everyone that’s stood in front of a microphone in the last three years, we’ve said the same” stuff.
“What do you want me to say? That’s about it. I don’t know what else to say.”
Janice Cavaretta became the first women to receive the J. Michael Duffett Memorial Award, the Sabres announced on Monday. Cavaretta will receive the honor when the Sabres host Boston on Thursday.
The award, which was established in 1984, is named after Duffett, a coach for the Buffalo Bisons and Amherst Hockey Association who worked in the Sabres hockey department at the time of his death after a battle with cancer.
The award is present to a coach or administrator for contributions to amateur hockey in Western New York.
Cavaretta is an assistant coach in the Buffalo Regals organization and served in positions with USA Hockey for 10 years .
She was the Executive Director of the Western New York Amateur Hockey League for 14 years.