Maybe it’s because they have to come across the country, maybe its because they usually are stopping here last on their road trip; but the San Jose Sharks usually don”t do well in Buffalo, and I am rather fond of that fact. And it held true Thursday night as well, as the Buffalo Sabres were able to stave off a comeback attempt in order to send the fish-sticks home with one less W.
Not that we couldn’t use the win anyways, as we are trying to creep within striking distance of the eighth and final playoff spot. Another chance for two points is set for tonight, as we face the red hot Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins. Sid the kid must not have liked all the attention Steven Stamkos was getting is his NHL, so he has gone on a tear that has put him atop the NHL lists for points and goals (50 and 26). Crosby is now pacing Stamkos by 9 points and four goals. Both players could still enter the 50 in 50 club, so we will have to keep an eye on their stats.
Quite a few streaks will be on the line in Buffalo tonight, as the Buffalo Sabres look to continue a mini streak that has them looking at a 3-0-1 record; with their only loss coming in overtime against the Boston Bruins. The Pittsburgh Penguins will be looking for their 12 win in a row; and Sidney Crosby is looking for a point to extend his personal streak from its current 17 games to 18.
While not as hot, Thomas Vanek has goals in his last four games, and the Sabres goal leader has finally turned his game on to where it should be. Unfortunately for us there is an off switch somewhere as well, and at some point we will see his game freeze back over. Jason Pominville is happy is population grew again the other night against the Sharks, as he is still no where near at the level of output that the Sabres need and expect him to be at. Ryan Miller also got a little bit of a hot streak going, as he has allowed only three goals in three of his last five games – which include the shutouts of the Ottawa Senators and Columbus Blue Jackets.
A win tonight will pull the Sabres to .500 – well below the expectations of the fans and somewhat below the level this team should be at, given the fact that this team won their division last year. You can probably excuse some of October as new teammates try to gel together – but we have gotten well past that phase.
The last time these two clubs met, the Sabres lost 1-0 on a first period goal by Pascal Dupuis, assisted by Sidney Crosby. That game featured the talents of young Sabres prospect Jhonas Enroth in net; this time around the Sabres have their All-Star and Olympic goaltender back, albeit the All-Star and Olympic goaltender that typically can’t stop Sidney Crosby (see Winter Classic Shootout, Olympic Gold Medal Game for example). If Buffalo can hold Pittsburgh to one goal and have their offense continue to click, the Sabres run might get put together to put them into the top eight in the Eastern Conference.
Tags: Buffalo Sabres Fifty Games Fifty Goals Jason Pominville Jhonas Enroth Olympic Gold Pittsburgh Penguins Ryan Miller San Jose Sharks Scoring Title Sidney Crosby Steven Stamkos Thomas Vanek Winter Classic. Streak