Buffalo, N.Y. (WGR 550) – Peyton Krebs returned to practice for the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday after exiting the NHL's COVID-19 protocols.
Krebs will play on Monday against the Detroit Red Wings, and head coach Don Granato said there are things he likes about him coming back.
“He’s excited, enthused and he’s skilled, so all that can help us," Granato said on Sunday.
“His interaction with the four guys on the ice, he can track what’s going on around him on the ice and he’s got hockey sense. He’s got a feel for time, space, potential plays, situational awareness that’s really, really good. It’s strong for a young guy, and players want to play with him. They want to be on his line, and that says a lot for a young guy.”
Krebs was very frustrated, because he never felt any symptoms. However, he couldn’t get the two-consecutive negative tests to get out of protocols. His girlfriend also tested positive for COVID-19, so they quarantined at their place in Rochester.
Krebs was disappointed, because in his three games up from the Rochester Americans, he had been getting better every game.
"I was just getting my stride up here, and starting to feel good," Krebs said following his first practice back on Sunday. "I wanted to keep things rolling and show them what I got.”
The forwards up here are new to Krebs, except for Dylan Cozens and Brett Murray. He said getting a chemistry with his new teammates will be a process.
“I think when you really figure out a guy, it’s about 10 games," Krebs said. "Me and 'Okie' [Kyle Okposo] have been on a line since I’ve been here, and I’ve really started to figure out where he is on the ice and what he likes to do.”
Krebs said Okposo has been a huge leader for him, teaching him the league both on and off the ice. He said he leans on the veteran often.
After playing one of their worst games of the year in Detroit on Saturday, the Sabres get them again in Buffalo on Monday afternoon.
“We need to help ourselves," Granato said. "It was a game where it was very clear and evident that they set the pace, and we did not do enough from the work ethic side or the tactic side to make it hard on them. We didn’t even make them have to work.”
Tage Thompson is in the voting for the NHL’s "Last Man In" for the All-Star Game next month in Vegas. Thompson has worked hard on his game, and he’s thankful that his work has paid off.
“It’s an honor," Thompson said on Sunday. "Anytime you get recognized like that it’s a good feeling, but there’s still more to do. I can always get better and continue to grow and improve, and I shouldn’t be satisfied.”
Jacob Bryson missed Sunday's session with an upper-body injury and will miss at least two games. Zemgus Girgensons also didn’t practice and will miss Monday’s game with a lower-body injury.
Hinostroza – Krebs – Okposo
Bjork – Eakin – Hayden
Skinner – Thompson – Tuch
Asplund – Cozens – Olofsson
Murray – Jankowski
Dahlin – Jokiharju
Butcher – Pysyk
Hagg – Miller
Join Brian Koziol for pregame coverage starting at 12 p.m. EST on Monday over on The Bet 1520. He’ll be joined by Granato, Krebs and Tage Thompson.