When the NHL breaks for its annual All-Star game at the end of January, none of the veterans from the Buffalo Sabres will be in attendance. When the NHL is represented on Saturday, no one wearing a Buffalo uniform will play for either team in the non-tradition player selected All-Star teams.
Buffalo will not be completed unrepresented that weekend, as Tyler Ennis has been chosen to represent Buffalo as part of the rookie squad; but the rookies will only take part in the skills competition that will take place on Friday night.
I am surprised that “fan” voting did not get Ryan Miller elected to the All-Star game, which gives hope to the fan balloting process. What didn’t surprise me was that none of the members of the Buffalo Sabres were selected. You could probably make a very vague argument that Thomas Vanek belongs in the All-Star game festivities for the Buffalo Sabres. If Derek Roy were not injured, I think that the league would have dubbed him the representative for Buffalo.
Regardless, it is what it is, and the games will continue. Does not having a representative on the ice for Saturday effect how you are going to watch?
In addition to announcing the team members for the 58th All Star festivities in Raleigh – the NHL released the uniforms that the teams will be wearing on Saturday:
I like the return of the NHL crest to the front of the jersey, however I do miss the jersey’s of All-Star games past when the teams wore the league colors. I can’t say that I am unhappy with the American-like theme of Red, White, and Blue jerseys, but they aren’t original at all.
Tonight, there is an actual real hockey game worth two points that the Sabres are probably worrying about much more than a gimmick of a contest at the end of January. Tonight the Buffalo Sabres host the Philadelphia Flyers. The Sabres are going to try and use their recent winning streak to break the curse of the Flyer, as the Broad Street Bullies are 7-3-0 in their last ten games, the Sabres are playing .500 hockey, going 5-4-1 in their last ten.
500 seems to be the number of the season, 500 wins for Lindy, and the percentage of wins the Buffalo Sabres have this year. The Buffalo Sabres will need to aim high if they are going to make a run for the playoffs, they only sit ten points out of the top spot in the Northeast, which gets them the third spot in the playoffs. If you are going to shoot for the playoffs you might as well should for the division, since eight points gets you in the playoffs, ten points puts you in position to take over the division.
I would not expect to see Patrick Lalime more than just at practice, as the Buffalo Sabres have a favorable schedule to work Ryan Miller. The Sabres have tried this route before and failed, but will try it again to see if he can be the one that carries this team far into the post season. As he is starting to return to some form of his Vezina winning self, it might not be too bad to rely on him minding the crease for the rest of the year.