Ville Leino was sitting at his locker stall, getting ready to play Nashville on Thursday, when he started feeling woozy. Despite not even going on the ice yet, the Sabres forward felt like he got his bell run.
“Those symptoms were like concussion-wise,” Leino said Monday. “You’re feeling woozy, not focused and just kind of out of your head a little bit.”
Leino ended up playing just 58 seconds and missed the next two days of practice with his mysterious ailment, which is believed to have been an ocular migraine.
“It’s something to do with your eyes and you started seeing lights and shapes, and your eyes have a delay,” Leino said. “It took me a couple days. I couldn’t really focus much because your eyes are delayed, so you talk to someone and you don’t realize you’re talking to him because your eyes fall away.
“This is the first time I ever had it. It’s a weird feeling, but I’m feeling better now.”
Leino should be ready to return to the lineup tonight when Buffalo hosts New Jersey in First Niagara Center.
“There’s no issues,” Leino said. “It kind of goes away, and I’ve been feeling better every day.”
Rookie left wing Nicolas Deslauriers skipped practice Monday to be with his wife, who was giving birth. It’s not clear whether he’ll rejoin the team today.
The Sabres worked out with 12 forwards. Tyler Ennis centered for left wing Cory Conacher and right Drew Stafford, Zemgus Girgensons was in the middle of Cody Hodgson and Brian Flynn, Johan Larsson was flanked by Marcus Foligno and Matt D’Agostini, while Leino skated alongside Matt Ellis and John Scott.
Tyler Myers (midsection), Zenon Konopka (back), Torrey Mitchell (undisclosed) and goaltenders Jhonas Enroth (leg) and Michal Neuvirth (lower body) did not practice due to injury.
Sabres prospect Mikhail Grigorenko joined the Amerks for practice and will play Wednesday when Rochester hosts Syracuse. He played two playoff games for the Amerks last season.
“This year is going to be better for me than last year because I have two, three weeks to be more part of the team,” he said. “I really have a chance to help the guys.”
The Amerks could use the assistance. They are 0-7-2 in their last nine and have fallen out of a playoff spot. They have nine games left.
“Hopefully, it’ll be a good jumpstart for us,” Amerks coach Chadd Cassidy said. “Obviously, he brings in a lot of offensive ability. We’ve had a hard time scoring goals, and every little bit helps.”
Grigorenko started this season with the Sabres but was sent to his junior team in Quebec shortly after Ted Nolan and Pat LaFontaine took over in November. The 19-year-old views this as an audition for the coach and General Manager Tim Murray.
“I think it’s a good opportunity for me,” Grigorenko said. “I’ll do my best and show the new general manager and Ted Nolan that I can step to the NHL next year.”