The doubts kept growing for Ville Leino. He figured he was destined for hip surgery and would not play a game this season.
Then he skated today, and his outlook changed.
Leino took part in the Sabres' optional morning skate in First Niagara Center, and the winger left the ice feeling better than he has all year.
"I felt surprisingly good," Leino said. "It was definitely positive. We’ll try to build on that, and we’ll see later on today and tomorrow how it recovers from that. It's really definitely felt the best I’ve felt so far.
"To be honest with you, before today I was having my doubts. It’s not like I can say now I’ll play in a couple days or so, but today I really was positive and feel good about it. Now I’m trusting more it will happen soon."
Vanek sat out practice today for maintenance and should be ready to go tomorrow. Jordan Leopold, Alex Sulzer and Ville Leino also sat out, with Leino skating on his own afterward. Rolston had no update on Sulzer other than to say he would be out "a while."
Sulzer has been put on injured reserve as the Sabres have called up Adam Pardy from Rochester.