Sabres lose McKee for Game 7
The injury woes of the Buffalo Sabres defence have been almost unbelievable to this point. Today, we learn hard-nosed shot-blocker Jay McKee has joined the team's ever-expanding IR list.
Buffalo's defence for Game 1 of the first round, sorted by icetime (with eventual injury)
Teppo Numminen (hip flexor)
Henrik Tallinder (broken left arm)
Dmitri Kalinin (broken ankle)
Jay McKee (infected shin)
Buffalo's defence for tonight's Game 7 of the conference final (with career postseason experience prior to this year)
Brian Campbell (none)
Toni Lydman (6 games)
Rory Fitzpatrick (6 games)
Doug Janik (none)
Jeff Jillson (4 games)
Nathan Paetsch (none)
In short, it's really unbelievable the Sabres are even still playing hockey. Myself and a number of other commenters talked about Buffalo's lack of depth beyond their top six way back when Kalinin went down, but Lindy Ruff's crew has certainly proved that wrong.
As for McKee's injury, an infected cut on his shin, as strange an ailment as that sounds, it's actually rather common in hockey, what with open wounds coming in contact with bacteria-encrusted equipment every second day. Staph infections have affected a number of players over the years, including Joe Thornton (hand), Mikael Renberg (hand) and John LeClair (back). It's a deadly serious complication, and in the case of Thornton and Renberg, the word 'amputation' even came up.
(So while Ruff writes off McKee's absence as 'short-term', it may be much more prolonged than that.)
The thing for Buffalo now is: Even if they can somehow scoot by a Hurricanes team that should have put the Sabres out of their misery in Game 6, Buffalo's not going to be in any position to tackle a hard-charging team like the Edmonton Oilers.
In other words, expect the Sabres' cheering section to land the support of a few million Oiler faithful — if only for one night.