PreGame Skate: Ottawa Senators 11-11-11

Tonights game against the Ottawa Senators is a rematch of last weekends contest which ended in a Sabres victory.  It was just six days ago that this division rivals met, and the Alfredsson-less Senators did not back as hefty a punch against the Blue and Gold without him.  The Sabres, with Jhonas Enroth in net claimed a 3-2 victory in that contest, and hope to continue their winning ways on home ice.

While they won against the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday, coach Lindy Ruff showed some disappointment for his blue line corp – what should have been the highlight of the Buffalo Sabres season.  The Ottawa Senators have won the last two contests that have been played in Buffalo.  Follow the jump to see more pregame notes.

  Tonight’s contest will be very similar to last weekends.  For some reason, despite any disparity between the two teams; the Sabres – Senators games always tend to be a close game as far as the score board goes.  The Sabres are not off the hook defensively with Alfredsson out of the lineup.  While the Sens captain is still day to day with concussion symptoms, Jason Spezza is still in the lineup, and despite being blanked by the Sabres on November 5th, he has 13 goals and 13 assists in his last twelve games against the Buffalo Sabres.

It is unsure of who Lindy Ruff will go with in net.  The Sabres are playing a tough series of back to back games this weekend, with Ottawa and Boston, divisional contests where points are at a premium.  Divisional games are not just about putting two points on the board, its about keeping two points off their place in the standings.  Ryan Miller will be given plenty of starts to play through whatever is ailing him either physically or mentally, but Jhonas Enroth will get his number of starts, and has the hot hand.  The rookie netminder is 11-1-1  in his last thirteen starts.  The loss came in a 1-0 showdown with the Pittsburgh Penguins.  If the Sabres are going to play harder in front of Jhonas Enroth this season, they might want to think about letting Miller play the game in a number 1 sweater.

Another similarity to last weekends game against the Senators will be the military tribute.  On November 5th the Ottawa Senators paid tribute to Canadian Armed Forces during their weekend celebration of gallantry North of the Border.  Tonight the Buffalo Sabres will have that chance to repay a debt to the United State Armed Forces.  I thought it was a very classy move that the color guard for the game last weekend included a United State Marine Sergeant carrying the United States Flag.  If the Buffalo Sabres parade an honor guard onto the ice for pre game festivities, I hope it includes members of the Canadian Armed Forces appropriately.

The Buffalo Sabres will be wearing specially designed camouflage sweaters during the pregame warmup.  Those jerseys will be auctioned off after the game, with the proceeds going to the Buffalo Sabres foundation.  Prior to puck drop; the Buffalo Sabres will loan the facilities to the Department of Defense, with Western New York Heroes founder Chris Krieger receiving the Purple Heart.

Veterans can purchase a ticket package for $111 dollars, and that incldues tickets to the pregame tent party, two 300 level tickets, and refreshments during the game (two hot dogs, two popcorns, two sodas).

Thomas Vanek and Tyler Ennis will both have members of the Western New York Armed Forces present during the game in their respective suites, as well as the VIP suite donated tonight by Blue Cross and Blue Sheild.

The Buffalo Sabres will also be continuing the theme of honoring its alumni members, using the 11-11-11 date on the calender to honor Mr. Sabre himself, Gilbert Perreault.  The first Buffalo Sabre and former captain of the Blue and Gold will be in attendance.  Gilbert will be the host for the pregame tent party, and will make appearances in the arena during the game.

Game time is scheduled to begin at 730.  With the pregame ceremonies scheduled, I would anticipate faceoff to be closer to 745.  The Buffalo Sabres pregame show will start at 7PM.  Join us and the readers and staff from SenShot in the Live Chat hosted here on Sabrenoise.com.  Chat will go live between 6:50 and 7PM.

A very somber Veterans Day to You All.  With the tempo of armed conflict since the fateful day of September 11, 2011, there are not many families throughout the United States who have not felt the pain of loss or sacrifice.  My prayers go out to the families of those that paid the ultimate sacrifice – in any armed conflict.  Their true patriotism has kept this country free from tyranny and oppression for many generations.

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Tags: Armed Forces Blue And Gold Buffalo Sabres Camoflauge Sweaters Chris Krieger Cover It Live Gilbert Perreault Jhonas Enroth Lindy Ruff Live Chat Ottawa Senators Ryan Miller Thomas Vanek Tyler Ennis

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