Scandella is enjoying his new team and city

Head coach Phil Housley also updates the status of Alex Nylander's injury

Paul Hamilton
September 15, 2017 - 3:19 pm

Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) - Marco Scandella had his first day on the ice as a Buffalo Sabre on Friday. “It was a great first day. The first day of camp is always pretty tough, but you just get the legs going and get to know everybody.”

“I think it’s just the hunger, coming to a new team, it feels like my first year again.”

Scandella came over in the trade from Minnesota with Jason Pominville. Scandella said that always makes things easier, “Yes for sure, I played with him for a bunch of year in Minnesota and he’s played here before too, so I’m just asking him a lot of questions like where to live, what restaurants to go to, it just makes me feel a lot more comfortable.”

Scandella has also played with Johan Larsson, Matt Moulson, Justin Falk and Benoit Pouliot. He also works out with Nick Deslauriers in Montreal.   

Scandella had hip surgery in May. He’s able to practice fully, but it doesn’t sound like he’s at total 100-percent, “I’m just starting the skate hard again and battle, so it’s getting better.”

Scandella has played many times against Nashville, so he knows how Phil Housley coached their defense. Buffalo’s new defenseman is very much looking forward to Housley coaching him, “He wants north-south hockey and he definitely wants the D to be involved, so I feel like I have pretty good skating ability, so I think I’m going to mold pretty well into this system.”

It seems pretty obvious that Housley has told this team not to talk about what they’re going to do, but show it. Scandella said, “I don’t want to talk right now, I just want to show what I can do on the ice and work my way into the role that I earn.”

Sam Reinhart was the other player that said that “We've been talking about letting our play do the talking," Reinhart said. "We know we have a lot to prove. You can stand here and say, 'I had the best summer of my life, I'm ready,' but we're all going to let our play do the talking this year."

Scandella is settling into his new city after arriving from his summer residence in Montreal. He said he’s loved it so far, “So far the weather’s been great, everyone says that it’s going to be terrible weather here, but you know what? It’s a small town with really friendly people. I’m just living out here by the water and I feel like there’s a lot of green space, a very beautiful place, so I’m excited.”

Housley got very upset during practice with Group B and called them to center ice. Housley really lit into them and he said there was a big reason why, “The second group started a little slow. It was tough on them because it was getting warmer outside and because of the testing we did before, so we tried to push the pace a little bit with them and they responded well.”

“I just thought it was a little sloppy, our execution needed to be better and I just thought I’d address that because we want to play fast and if you don’t execute, you’re not going to be able to play fast.”

Alex Nylander and Sean Malone did not practice due to injuries. Housley said Nylander isn’t getting better as quickly as they hoped, “He’s probably a week-to-week thing. It’s unfortunate that in the first game of the Prospects, he got a lower body injury, so he’ll be assessed.”

"We’re guarding on the side of caution because it’s so early in the season for him and will reevaluate him on a day-to-day basis.”

Housley said Malone is week-to-week too.

Victor Antipin has been in town practicing with some of his new teammates. I got a chance to do the first English interview with him about three weeks ago and Housley said they are having no problems communicating, “He’s a student of the game. He was talking to Chris Hajt and he really absorbs a lot, he likes to watch a lot of video, trying to understand our concepts, so he’s like a sponge.” Housley added, “Obviously you’ve got to speak more slowly and really get the message across, so he does understand it and he absorbs it quickly and relays it to the ice.”

The Sabres are back on the ice Saturday in HarborCenter at 9:45 a.m., but be aware that both sessions on Friday started early.

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