Game 7 Lineup Update

Good afternoon Sabres fans! The Sabres participated in their final practice before their decisive Game 7 against the Philadelphia Flyers. Although head coach Lindy Ruff did not budge in terms of who was going to play, the lines that were being used throughout practice sent some hints towards the fans direction.

Here are the lines that were used in practice:
– Gerbe/Gaustad/Mancari
– Ennis/Roy/Stafford
– Vanek/Niedermayer/Hecht
– Ellis/McCormick/Boyes

Forward Patrick Kaleta did not practice this morning and is reportedly out of tonight’s game.

Ruff shot down any reports that Kaleta suffered a broken hand, stating “You guys like to make up crap. That’s a good story, though.” Ruff was also having a little fun with the media today, evident when he jokingly stated that he had taken Patrick Kaleta to counseling.

Forward Mike Grier also did not take part in this morning’s practice and is considered a game-time decision.

Although forward Jochen Hecht participated in practice this morning, he was non-committal on his participation in tonight’s game, “It’s going to be a close call.”

Lindy Ruff was non-committal on forward Mark Mancari, who has just re-joined the Sabres after being recalled from the Portland Pirates. If you look at who took part in practice, it does look like Ruff’s non-commitment could just be mind games.

On defense, six defensemen took the ice this morning. Andrej Sekera was a part of that group. One defenseman that did not take the ice this morning was Jordan Leopold. Lindy Ruff stated that Leopold would be a game-time decision.

Ruff did re-assure the media that every player who takes the ice tonight will be ready to play. “It’s a one-game showdown that we’re looking forward to,” stated Ruff.  “We’ve got a chance to do something real special. We need a smile on somebody’s face after the game like Tyler Ennis. That’s all we need. You try to get your players to embrace the fact that these Game Sevens don’t come along very often. It’s been one heck of a series, and we need some guys to step through and be the hero for us.”

Now, for those of you scoring at home, below I have taken all the injured players and put them with their up-to-the-minute statuses and what injury they are dealing with/coming back from.

Jason Pominville – Out (lower-body injury, cut on lower leg)
Tim Connolly– Out (upper-body injury, possible concussion)
Shoane Morrisonn – Out (upper-body injury, possible concussion)
Patrick Kaleta – Out (upper-body injury, reportedly re-injured his hand)
Mike Grier – Game-time decision (upper-body injury, unknown)
Andrej Sekera – Game-time decision (upper-body injury, muscle strain)
Jordan Leopold – Game-time decision (unknown injury)
Jochen Hecht – Game-time decision (upper-body injury, unknown)
Derek Roy –  Game-time decision (almost a lock to play, returning from quad muscle surgery)