Tuch Expected to Make Sabres Debut Within the Coming Weeks
Sabres fans are still waiting for soon-to-be fan favorite Tuch to take the ice in a Buffalo uniform, and all signs are pointing to his return in the coming weeks. The Sabres released its updated injury report on Friday, with Tuch’s status listed as out week-to-week with an upper-body injury. The 25-year-old forward has returned to the practice ice but is not game-ready just yet.
Tuch, a native of Syracuse, New York, was acquired by the Sabres in the deal that sent Jack Eichel to the Vegas Golden Knights. It’s difficult to find a perfect trade when dealing with talent and unique situations like Eichel’s. Still, Buffalo general manager Kevyn Adams managed to acquire an incredible key piece in his return package, which also included Peyton Krebs, a top-10 protected first-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft and a second-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft.
Adams has preached the desire for players who want to play in Buffalo and are proud to wear the Sabres uniform. There’s a good chance the team just got the perfect player in the league to embody Adams’ values. As Tuch tweeted following his trade from Vegas, “being from Upstate NY, it’s been a dream of mine to put on the Sabres jersey. Thank you, Buffalo and I can’t wait to get started!” He likely won’t have to wait much longer.
Anderson’s Recovery Timeline is Extended to Month-to-Month
The Sabres released unfortunate news that Anderson’s recovery time is extended to month-to-month on Friday. The 40-year-old veteran goaltender had a strong start with Buffalo, recording a .921 save percentage (SV%) and 2.49 goals-against average (GAA) in his six starts this season. The former Bill Masterton Trophy winner will hopefully get another look with the Sabres later in the regular season.
Anderson’s presence in the youthful Sabres organization is invaluable, with 658 games of NHL experience played over the span of 21 seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks, Florida Panthers, Colorado Avalanche, Ottawa Senators, Washington Capitals, and Buffalo. Just a few years ago in 2017, he led the Senators to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, an incredible feat for any goalie in the league. If he gets healthy in time, he can still add another chapter to his great career.
Tokarski and Caggiula Statuses Are Week-to-Week
Goaltender Tokarski (COVID-19 protocols) and forward Caggilua (upper-body injury) are sidelined week-to-week, per the Sabres’ injury report on Friday. Tokarski was placed in COVID-19 protocols on Thursday and is the only Buffalo player on the list. This season, he has been the Sabres’ go-to goaltender, posting a .903 SV% and 3.28 GAA in 14 games (13 starts).
Caggiula, on the other hand, remains out due to an upper-body injury sustained late last month. The forward has tallied five points (two goals, three assists) in 18 games this season, his second in Buffalo after being claimed off waivers from the Arizona Coyotes last year. His last game was a 7-4 loss against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Nov. 22. The 27-year-old will look to slot back into the lineup when he finishes his recovery in the next few weeks.
Evidently, the Sabres are going through some injury woes, but it looks like help is on the way in the coming weeks. There is a lot to look forward to, especially with Tuch’s upcoming Buffalo debut, as the season continues to roll on into the second quarter. The Sabres are still in the playoff race, just six points out of a wild card spot, so the roster will need to stay healthy and competitive to give itself a shot at returning to the postseason for the first time in over a decade.
Tom Pepper hosts The Hockey Writers Podcast and writes the “NHL Talk” column every weekday (Monday to Friday). He also writes the daily “NHL Quotes” column. He is a diehard Buffalo Sabres fan in Toronto, frequently driving the Queen Elizabeth Way to cheer on his team at KeyBank Center.