(WGR 550) – Casey Mittelstadt is finally going to return to the Buffalo Sabres lineup exactly seven weeks after being hurt on opening night against the Montreal Canadiens.
Jourdon LaBarber of Sabres.com reports that head coach Don Granato said after Wednesday's practice that Mittelstadt will play Thursday in Florida against the Panthers.
Mittelstadt has been back practicing with the team for over a week and he said, “I think its gone good. It’s been well documented that it’s been a little slow, but over the last week we’ve made a lot of big strides and I’m starting to feel confident and like myself on the ice.”
With the ups and downs of the season, it’s been hard for Mittelstadt to watch. He said he can’t wait to play, “I’m excited, I’ve missed a lot of road trips, so I’m definitely excited to get with the boys and most of all, be back with the team and be able to go to war and to have fun.”
It’s looking like Mittelstadt will be back with Rasmus Asplund on a line. The two have played together a lot both here and in Rochester. Mittelstadt thinks Asplund will help ease him back in, “I’ve played with Aspy a lot and he makes the game a lot easier for me, he’s so good on the forecheck and he covers for me defensively when sometimes I’m not there, so he does a lot of little things that people don’t realize.”
In 22 games Asplund is sixth in team scoring with five goals and seven assists for 12 points.
Jacob Bryson and Dustin Tokarski both returned to practice in Sunrise, Florida.
The Los Angeles Kings have re-claimed Christian Wolanin off waivers from the Sabres. He played one game in Buffalo. The Amerks have some injuries on defense and it would’ve helped had the Sabres been able to get Wolanin through. The Sabres also needed to open a roster spot for Mittelstadt.
Some bad news out of Rochester as the Amerks game on Wednesday against the Syracuse Crunch has been postponed due to COVID-19 protocols.
Rochester’s home game Friday against the Springfield Thunderbirds has also been postponed.
Assistant coach Michael Peca was going to coach the team on Wednesday because head coach Seth Appert is in COVID-19 protocols. No word yet if any of the other coaches or players have been involved, but for games to be postponed, it usually takes more than one coach to be in protocols.