PreGame Skate: Toronto Maple Leafs

If it wasn’t bad enough that the Toronto Maple Leafs shutout the Buffalo Sabres just two nights ago, we face the same TML team tonight this time in front of a home crowd at the First Niagara Center. 

Despite the news that Jason Pominville and Luke Adam will be attending All Star Game festivities in Ottawa, I would expect the boo birds to be in full force tonight if the team cannot muster any sort of energy against a team they are desperately trying to chase in the standings. 

Sabres fans looking for that shakeup trade will probably have to wait, and the trade deadline may not offer the solace that many are looking for.  The team is leaning on the fact that they cannot make a fair assessment of what is going on with the team because of injuries.  It seems that the buzzword around Buffalo has been changed from patience to injury. 

2012 has not been kind to the Sabres.  After starting the year off on the right foot by defeating the Edmonton Oilers, the Sabres have only been able to muster one other point – in a game which the one ice officials gift wrapped for the Jets.  Tonight’s contest is the last game on home ice for the month of January, as they hit the road for a seven game road trip. 

A lengthy time away from home just might be what the doctor ordered, as the team struggles to get healthy, returning players will be able to rebond with their team without the everyday distractions that home might bring.  The Sabres have lost their last seven road contests – and is tied for last in the leauge in road scoring with the Anaheim Ducks

Buffalo will have to fix its road problems if they want to maintain any sort of chance at hockey in late spring, they are still only four points out of the playoff hunt – but a bad road stretch could have them fighting off teams like Carolina and Tampa Bay for a seat on top of the New York Islanders.

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