Bogosian misses practice on Sunday

Defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen is ready for the new season

Paul Hamilton
October 01, 2017 - 2:36 pm

Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) - The Sabres practiced on Sunday without Zach Bogosian, Jake McCabe, Evan Rodrigues, Alex Nylander and Sean Malone. Bogosian left Friday's game in the third period. Phil Housley said, “We got some news yesterday and it's more of a day-to-day, lower body injury. He seems to be in a good spot, so we'll know tomorrow.” Housley added, “I think Bogo is not as serious as we think, but its' just the precautionary day-to-day thing.”

Dan Bylsma used to talk about keeping Rasmus Ristolainen's minutes down, but he couldn't resist in a game often getting him up to 27 to 30 minutes. Phil Housley is going to play a demanding style and he too wants to keep his top defenseman's minutes down, “It's a long season. I'd like to see him get 22, 23 to 24 minutes.”

“Maybe he's not accustomed to that, but if you look over the long haul, he'll be fresh in February. There's going to be the odd time where they're going to be playing high minutes, they're minute munchers, but to keep them fresh in the style that we want to play, we want to keep those minutes comfortable.”

As far as Ristolainen is concerned, he's ready for big minutes, “That's what I practice for, I'm in great shape and like I said last year, you don't practice to play 20 minutes, you practice to be in great shape and to earn as many minutes as possible.”

“I can only speak for myself, but I like to play as much as I earn and I don't think there are any limits, you've got to keep your mind and body fresh.”

Ristolainen has been paired this preseason with Brendan Guhle, Nate Beaulieu and Victor Antipin. He has also practiced with Marco Scandella. Ristolainen says it prepares him to be ready for anybody, “When you play with different people, you've got to be aware all the time. With new people you've got to talk more. We've got a lot of good players here, so I'm happy to play with most of them.”

Many felt that Scandella would be the guy paired with him. Ristolainen likes the chemistry with him, “I haven't played with him yet, but we were paired in a couple of practices and I felt pretty good out there and I feel that we think and play the game pretty much the same way.”

Jason Botterill made a lot of changes on defense and Ristolainen feels that will make the team better, “Yes, I think we've got a great group. Everyone can skate, move the puck, shoot, play offense, play defense, so I really like the group we have here.”

The Sabres struggled through preseason trying to play Housley's system. Ristolainen feels there's still more to learn, “I think we're still learning, new coaches, new players, new system so it takes a little time, but I feel that we are ready for Thursday.”


There were some changes in the lines for Sunday's practice:


Kane - Eichel - Griffith

Pouliot - O'Reilly - Okposo

Girgensons - Reinhart - Pominville

Larsson - Josefson - Nolan (Moulson)


Beaulieu - Ristolainen

Scandella - Tennyson (Gorges)

Antipin - Falk

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