Very few things have gone right for the Buffalo Sabres this season. Actually that goes for the past few seasons. But on Tuesday, they could finally get some good news if Ville Leino returns to the lineup.
Leino injured his hip prior to the start of the season during a preseason practice. He has been on injured reserve for the entire season, so he has yet to see any real action in 2013. Initially, there was a great deal of concern that he’d miss the entire year. But he’s made progress in the past few weeks.
The 2011-2012 season was Leino’s first with the Sabres, and it was a tremendous disappointment. After he cashed in on a fat new contract, he finished with just 25 points in 71 games, including only eight goals. Coming off of 53 point campaign in 2010-11, many expected more.
There was a hope that he could find his game in his second season with the Sabres, after he had a year to settle in. Of course, that hope had been put on hold with Leino heading to IR almost immediately after the lockout came to an end.
There was actually a chance the Leino could have gone on Sunday against his former team, the Philadelphia Flyers. But he’s going to get an extra few days against the New York Rangers. He has been practicing for the past week, so he should be good to go by then. It will be interesting to see how he performs coming off of the hip injury.