The blue line, especially on the right side, continues to be banged up for the Sabres.
Brandon Montour exited in the third period of Tuesday’s loss against Columbus and will now miss the remainder of the preseason with a hand injury.
Head Coach Ralph Krueger wouldn’t specify the severity of the injury, but indicated the defenseman could miss the start of the regular season.
“I wouldn’t expect him rip off the hop, but would pretty soon thereafter,” Krueger said following practice. “With the moment, we’re going through camp with this situation and as you all know it’s upper body and we’ll work on it. Again, he can keep his lower body moving which is important, he’s worked so hard off the knee injury to get up to speed so, if there is a positive, it’s that he can keep his legs.”
“I mean, he’s a very big deal, he’s doing a lot for our team so of course it’s not fun when it happens,” said defenseman Rasmus Dahlin of Montour’s injury. “He will probably be back soon and everything is going to be all right.”
“It’s unfortunate. It’s always frustrating especially in the preseason when you lose a key component of our team and a key player who plays big minutes for us, so, it’s unfortunate,” added Jake McCabe.
“I guess on the bright side, the season doesn’t start for another couple of weeks so it’s better to happen now if it’s going to happen than four weeks from now. I guess that’s one way to spin it, another way to look at it, is there is a spot for a younger guy to come up and snag and make a good first impression with this coaching staff.”
As McCabe mentioned, with Montour and Zach Bogosian, who had hip surgery in April still on the mend, it’s an opportunity for players to step up.
However, Henri Jokiharju’s focus was on his teammate’s health.
“I don’t want to think about that kind of stuff,” Jokiharju said when asked about the pressure and the opportunity to potentially earn a roster spot. “It’s tough to see a teammate get injured. It’s hard to see that.”
As for what’s next, the Sabres are on the road for a preseason tilt Friday night in Toronto and return home Saturday night to battle the Leafs at KeyBank Center.