Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) -- The Sabres have been back on the ice for three days and the question is, how long does it take to get it back when you’re away from the game for over two weeks? Ted Nolan said, “From the first day we had practice until today, we’ve had vast improvement since a couple of days ago.” Nolan added, “These guys are professionals and usually it doesn’t take that long. The first thing to go when you’re off that long is your hands and your timing so, we try to work as much as we can in those areas, but it should take hopefully a period or so.”
Sunday the team was back to using lines. They were,
John Scott played defense to give them six at practice.
Nolan said he wasn’t expecting Girgensons on the ice so he just threw him on Hodgson’s line. He said Girgensons will continue to play center.
Now that practice is a little more normal Steve Ott said they’re getting it back, “Today was a big difference. It’s our third day so to say it usually takes a couple is probably correct, just to get your hands and your feet going again. Guys are in pretty good shape so yes, a couple of weeks you might lose a little bit, but most guys I’m sure did a little something over the last couple of weeks.” Ott took his family to a warm climate, but he said that doesn’t mean you just let your conditioning go, “If you’re on vacation or in a resort, I think most guys still brought their gym shoes, it’s just part of being a professional and being a hockey player.”
Coming out of the Olympic break, the hockey has historically been fast and good for the first couple of nights. Ott said, “It is, myself I can say personally I feel great, my body feels great, my mind feels good. Taking a couple of weeks off you really start to turn the corner after that first week of all that soreness and throughout the season you get so sore that you get used to it and you just continue to play daily.”
Nolan said he hopes Ryan Miller will be back and ready to practice on Monday. Miller only played one game in Sochi, but Nolan is worried about the nine hour time change, “The time zone, it’s tough. I don’t care if you go over on a business trip or an athletic event, its nine hours ahead so it’s going to take a little time. Zemgus and myself, we’re still battling with that here so it’s going to take a little while.”