The Buffalo Sabers have taken a hit to their roster, as Rasmus Dahlin is day-to-day and Mattias Samuelsson and Eric Comrie are injured week-to-week.
Dahlin and Samuelsson played the entirety of Saturday afternoon’s 2-1 overtime loss to the New York Rangers. It is therefore not known exactly what caused their injuries. Both defensemen were deemed useless in the game, with Dahlin registering two shots, one hit and two blocked shots in 27:01 of ice time, while Samuelsson had two shots, two hits and five blocked shots in 22: 17 ice time. .
It’s a tough loss as the two are the Sabres’ best pair, or at least what’s been their best pair for most of the season. Sabers head coach Don Granato said if Dahlin were to also miss Monday’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, they would opt for a defensive roster consisting of Owen Power, Henri Jokiharju, Riley Stillman, Ilya Lyubushkin , Jacob Bryson and Kale Clague, but Dahlin hasn’t been ruled out yet.
Dahlin is the bigger hit of the two, so if you had to pick one to be day-to-day, it would probably be him. He’s had an incredible year for the Sabers, already setting new career highs with 14 goals, 49 assists and 63 points, and he’s third in NHL scoring among defensemen.
Losing Samuelsson for a longer period still hurts the Sabers, as Samuelsson is one of the most effective defensive backs on the team. His one goal, seven assists and eight points in 48 games aren’t stunning, but his 2.82 expected 5-on-5 goals per 60 minutes rank third on the team among regular defensemen.
The Sabers are also losing Comrie, who is dealing with a lower-body injury week in and week out. It’s unclear when the injury occurred, but Comrie was ruled out of Saturday afternoon’s game after allowing 10 goals on 49 shots for the Dallas Stars on Thursday. Instead, Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen and Craig Anderson were in the game for Saturday’s game, with Luukkonen stopping 24 of 26 shots in the loss.
Comrie got off to a good start as a starter at Buffalo, but recent injuries and struggles have mostly slowed that down. He’s 8-9-0 with an .877 save percentage and -13.02 5-on-5 goals recorded above expectations in 17 games this season.
There’s good news for the Sabers, as winger Alex Tuch is back in practice with the team. He has been out of the roster since Feb. 24 with a lower-body injury. He has 28 goals, 34 assists and 62 points in 57 games this season with the Sabers.