A strained abdomen is to blame for Thomas Vanek's absence on Saturday night against the Penguins. Vanek has been experiencing difficulty skating with this muscle strain, so it was a good idea to hold him out of what could have been a high-powered and good skating game against the Penguins. Interestingly, it wasn't a high-scoring game, finishing as a 2-1 game for the Penguins in the shootout.
There is no update on Vanek's status at the moment, but we should consider him day-to-day for now, but it has a good possibility of being worse.
In 31 games played this season, Vanek has 10 goals and 11 assists for Sabres, which is well below what you expect of Vanek in the season. He is more of a second-half scorer in the league, however, so hopefully this injury doesn't hinder that.
This is one of the few injuries that does have some money implications (for the moment), as Wayne has Vanek on his team and Wayne has had quite the ascent up to 4th spot in the standings, even seeing himself as high as 3rd at a couple points this week. Wayne only sits 2 points behind 3rd going into Sunday's action and has a slight chance of jumping into 3rd by day's end.
On the Sheet, Vanek was taken five times in Box 19 this season and ranks in the lower-half of the points in the box. His 21 points is 13 points behind box leader, Florida's Nathan Horton. A switch could be one of those small point gains, since no one has jumped on Horton's bandwagon.