BUFFALO, N.Y. — Training camp is really starting to kick into high gear for Sabres players.
Monday night, more than 10,000 fans filled the seats at First Niagara Center, while the team went through a simulated game - many players for the first time this season.
Lindy Ruff then followed the game with a high-tempo, strenuous practice - in which the team skated for more than an hour and a half.
To go from a game to such a hard workout is extremely difficult for players, but viewed as necessary in conditioning themselves into game shape.
Many players have spent the past nine months training on their own, and workouts like this hope to shock them back into mid-season form.
"Even the guys who didn't play, they stayed in good shape. I think you can see the pace of the game was good yesterday. I thought practice today was good again. Hopefully we can continue that again and be ready for Sunday," said Thomas Vanek, left winger.
"I think just the pace of the game, the quickness of making decisions, and having that kind of pressure on you weighs on your body a little bit more than just skating on the ice in a practice. These guys are professionals, and obviously I'm impressed by all of them. I'm sure they'll be in game shape quickly," said TJ Brennan, defenseman.