It was common knowledge, and spoke about often. If the Buffalo Sabres were going to make the playoffs, Ryan Miller was going to have to play better to make that happen. Then it started to happen. For some reason, Ryan Miller was able to turn something on in his head, and he started playing like a winning goaltender should. I can admit, I was a little apprehensive about this West coast trip.
I didn’t want to stay up until the wee hours of the morning watching a losing team. they don’t do well on late season West coast trips, usually. With Miller returned to form, he hasn’t allowed a regulation goal in just under 135 minutes, since the tying marker of the Rangers game a week ago. He will try to continue that streak tonight against the Vancouver Canucks, in a Battle of The Class of ’70.
It’s not all been Ryan Miller, it only seems that way. Derek Roy has woken up a little offensively, and Drew Stafford has pitched in. Trade deadline acquisition Cody Hodgson has had smart two way hockey in the two games that he has played as a Buffalo Sabre.
It is a bad time of the year Vanek and Pominville to be missing the score-sheet. The Sabres sit just 4 points out of the playoff spot, trailing the off again on again Winnipeg Jets, whom they play Monday night. With two games in hand on the Jets, the Buffalo Sabres could be meeting them just two points behind them, with one game in hand. I know it might be a little optimistic, but win tonight, beat Winnipeg, then your tied with the Jets with a game in hand.
The bigger story than the Battle of the Class of 1970 is the teams facing off just traded prospects and defense men at the deadline. The Sabres added Cody Hodgson and Alexander Sulzer, while the Canucks found homes for Zack Kassian and Marc-Andre Gragnani. All could see the lineup tonight when the puck drops.
Faceoff is 10PM, and the Sabres have a hope at more of Sabres nation staying awake for this one – with it falling on a weekend.