One of the home games that I use to avoid were when Toronto comes to town, primarly because of the way the Leafs fans overrun HSBC arena. I don’t blame them, if I couldnt get tickets to my hometown teams homes games I would definitely travel to the next closest city to get tickets to see them play. Doen’t mean I have to like Leafs fans any for it though.
There are two teams that I hate with a supreme passion. The Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs. The Leafs have been better lately, after starting with the worst record in the East, the Leafs have put themselves into a position to start talking about getting into the top 8 teams.
Buffalo on the other hand, is looking to continue to press forward as the top team in the Northeast, something they hold a very slim margin on. Even with Boston on games, and up on Ottawa, Montreal, and Toronto – the Sabres hold a four point lead on the division. Boston and Ottawa both play tonight (Chicago and New Jersey respectively) – the Sabres need a win if they want to keep the lead.
Ryan Miller will be in the net tonight, hoping to shake off a loss the other night to Ottawa in which he saw the team in front of him play a flatlined loss and be shutout. Miller shutout the Leafs in the last go between these two teams, and will look to keep that streak alive in front of Brian Burke and Ron Wilson tonight, the two men who will name Miller to the starting goaltender position for Vancouver.
The Leafs are not without offensive power, Stajan (2,6), Kessel (3,5), and Ponikarovsy (2,5) are all on pretty hot scoring streaks in just the last three games.
Both teams are coming off losses that ended winning streaks. While the Sabres have not been able to string more than four wins in a row together this season, they look to make it 7 in a row tonight against the Leafs.
The Sabres offense needs to find a consistent spark. In their last twelve games, they have won 8 and averaged almost 4 goals in those wins. In that same stretch however, they have been shutout by the Capitals, Devils, and Ottawa, a last minute goal by Pominville against the Rangers saved that goose egg.
The good Goose will be back in the lineup tonight, as the Sabres will lose Kaleta, Butler remains out of the lineup, and Gerbe is questionable.
The Leafs get goaltender Gustavsson back after an elevated heart rate put him out of the lineup, he will act as backup to Toskala tonight. The Leafs have three on the IR – John Mitchell, Mike Van Ryn, and Carl Gunnarsson.
Tags: Boston Bruins Brian Burke Buffalo Carl Gunnarsson Chris Butler Gustavsson Hockey John Mitchell Maple Leafs Mike Van Ryn Montreal Canadiens Nathan Gerbe NHL Northeast Olympics Ottawa Senators Pat Kaleta Paul Gausted Pheonix Coyotes Ron Wilson Ryan Miller Sabres Stanley Cup Stanley Cup Playoffs Toronto Vesa Toskala