Eyes on the Prize

The Buffalo Sabres sit in a pretty good position to make the playoffs, despite their lackluster effort in the first three months of the season. 

Tonight the featured opponent is the Carolina Hurricanes and if the Buffalo Sabres can get up for the game – they will enter the playoff picture for the first time this season.  A win hurdles the Sabres over the ‘Canes, and pulls them within one point of seventh place New York Rangers.

But why should we stop there, if we can overtake seventh place, Montreal comes within reach, with Montreal in reach, the Washington Capitals are within reach as well.  Granted overtaking Montreal or Washington will take a great deal of effort and a winning streak like this team has not been able to produce all year, but if were going to shoot for the playoffs, sneaking in on the last day should be last on the list of priorities.   

Thomas Vanek will play tonight despite a noticeable limp – and his response is exactly what this team needs in a leader,

Yeah it hurts, but this time of the year you just tape it up and play through it. 

I might have been overly zealous when I said giving Thomas Vanek a letter on his jersey might throw his game off.  It might actually be what his game needs. 

The Buffalo defense is going to be a problem tonight, as Jordan Leopold remains out of the lineup, and the blue line is very shaky at best when he is in the lineup.  Carolina has no problem scoring goals, and gives up just as many.  They have allowed eight more goals than they have scored so far this year, and are the only team in the Eastern Conference in the playoffs with a minus goal differential (Tampa Bay is close with an even goals for and goals against, which is also where the Sabres are at headed into tonights contest.)

Puck Drop is at 7 PM, and hopefully by the time we go to bed tonight, the Buffalo Sabres will be playoff bound. 

The key matchup tonight is going to be Ryan Miller versus Cam Ward.  Ryan Miller has not been the goalie he was last  year, and Cam Ward is struggling to keep pucks out of the net.  It should be an interesting contest, and maybe the number of transplanted Buffalonian snow-birds in the Carolina’s will make it more of a home game to give the Sabres a little extra boost.

Tags: Buffalo Sabres Cam Ward Carolina Hurricanes Montreal Canadiens New York Rangers Ryan Miller Tampa Bay Lightning Toronto Maple Leafs Washington Capitals

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