Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE

PreGame Skate: Colorado Avalanche

Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE

And then there were 12.  24 points are on the table, and the Buffalo Sabres are 4 points out of eighth place, trailing the Washington Capitals for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. 

 
The Buffalo Sabres are on a crazy run, hitting on all cylinders going 9-2-1 in their last twelve.  If the Sabres can keep that pace for the next twelve, the season should continue. 
 
If the Buffalo Sabres are going to win tonight against the Colorado Avalanche, they are going to have to do it without Tyler Myers.  Myers was handed a three game suspension for his hit against Scott Gomez in the Canadiens game.  While Myers will be missed, the addition of Sulzer to the blue line, and McNabb’s ability to step in and become a presence (if the Sabres choose to recall him) will lessen the blow for the Sabres to be without the former Calder Trophy winner. 

Colorado will not be an easy opponent for the Buffalo Sabres.  With a big two points on the line tonight for both teams fighting for their playoff lives, if both teams come out swinging, this could look like a game between heated rivals, not between teams that rarely meet.  The odds are against Buffalo though, as Colorado has won the last four meetings between the cross country foes. 

While the Buffalo Sabres are going to be without their former rookie of the year player, the Avalanche will be playing with their rookie Gabriel Landeskog, who has the potential to be in the running for this years ROY honor.  Landeskog is not the only weapon on the Av’s roster that is playing well, trade deadline acquisition Jamie McGinn has five goals and seven points in his last five times on the ice, and goaltender Semyon Valramov is 7-2-0 with a 1.32 (including two shutouts) in his last nine. 

With Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos hitting 50 goals last night, it prompted me to take a look at the production of the Buffalo Sabres forwards, and only two of our beloved blue and gold have reached the 20 goal plateau this year, Vanek and Pominville.  Vanek will need to go on a solid run in the final games if he wants to hit 30, Pominville only needs 5 goals to reach 30 goals. 

As much as they have drawn the ire of fans around Sabres Nation, Roy and Stafford are the next closest to 20, with 14 and 13 goals respectively.  These numbers, despite being numbers 3 and 4 on the scoring chart, are too low for guys who are the “core” of this team.  Rookie Luke Adam and energetic Tyler Ennis are the only other Buffalo Sabres with double digits in the goal column.  Cody Mccormick is the only Buffalo Sabres forward this year with more than 10 games to not score a goal this year.  Tradedeadline pickup Cody Hodgson has not scored one in a Buffalo uniform despite suiting up for 8 contests. 

Its a 7:30 faceoff tonight, courtesy of the broadcast being carried by NBC Sports, formerly Versus.

Tags: Buffalo Sabres Colorado Avalanche. Forwards Montreal Canadiens Scoring Scott Gomez Steven Stamkos Tampa Bay Lightning Tyler Myers Washington Capitals

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