Buffalo Sabres sensational sophomore puck mover Rasmus Dahlin has misssed his team's last 8 games due to a concussion. The injury was the result of deliberate blunt force trauma to his Dahlin's brain at the elbow of Tampa defenseman Erik Cernak, who was suspended two games for his act of atrrocity.
Dahlin was placed on IR on November 27.
The second year puck mover extraordinaire appears to be ready to return to game action on Thursday night when the Sabres host the Nashville Predators.
At Wednesday's practice, Dahlin rolled with right shot D Colin Miller.
Dahlin also returned to his his trademark positiomn at the top of Sabres PP1.
In 24 games played this season, Dahlin has scored 1 goal and 15 assists, whiile averaging 18:59 TOI per game. Dahlin has landed 33 shots on goal while dishing out 26 hits and blocking 14 shots.
Ralph Kreuger and the team's training staff wanted to see how Dahlin performed during and dafter his first practice with contact since suffering the concusssion.
Kreuger said he liked what he saw from Dahlin during and after the evaluation.
"He looked quite strong there, so it’s trending in that direction," Krueger said of a return. "Let’s not assume anything, because it was the first time he was in battles and contact. But he’s moving in the right direction, for sure."
I'm going to go ahead and proclaim Dahlin back in the starting lineup on Thursday night.
Oops, he did it again.
Sabres GM Jason Botterill once again has eight healthy defensemen champing at the bit to play and contribute the the team's success. On Sunday night in Edmonton, Jake McCabe was a heathy scratch. On Tuesday night against St. Louis, Marco Scandella was parked in the press box.
So, which two defensemen will Kreuger be putting in street clothes when the Predators come to town?
Will it be Zach Bogosian and Marco Scandella? We will learn more on Thursday.
Well, I can tell you that Rasmus Ristolainen will not be healthy scratched. Risto was +4 against the Blues on Tuesday night.
Brandon Montour has been Buffalo's best, most consistent defensemen in the lineup on a nightly baisis.
The Sabres' D duos from Wedensday's practice:
The Sabres are 9-3-3 (.700) through their first 15 home games of the season, putting the team on pace to tie its ninth-best home record in a season. Buffalo’s plus-17 goal differential at home ranked fourth in the NHL.
Sabres captain Jack Eichel is en fuego while in the midst of his career-best 14-game point streak that began on November 16.
Eichel's 12 goals, 13 assists and +16 rating during his torrid scoring streak all lead the NHL during that timeframe.
Eichel’s streak is the longest active point streak in the NHL and the second-longest streak in the league this season, one game shy of Patrick Kane’s 15-game streak from November 2 to 30 (11G,13A)
The streak is the longest by a Sabre since Tim Connolly tallied points in 16 consecutive games from December 23, 2009 to January 25, 2010. Only four players in Sabres history have recorded a point streak of more than 14 games. They are:
Dave Andreychuk (twice)
Perreault holds the Sabres' franchise record with points in 18 consecutive games from October 24 to December 4, 1971 when the Hall of Famer scorred 10 goals and 21 assists.
With 20 goals in 32 games this season, Eichel is on pace to demolish his previous career best goal total of 28, which he set in the 2018-19 season.
Eichel’s points production through 32 games currently has him on pace to finish the season with 51 goals and 113 points, which would be the highest goal and point totals by a Sabre since Pat LaFontaine (53G,95A) and Alexander Mogilny (76G,51A) in 1992-93.
LaFontaine (83 in 1992-93) is the only Sabre ever to have recorded more even-strength points in a season than the 79 Eichel is currently on pace for.