Buffalo Sabres PreGame Skate: Washington Capitals

Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

If there is another team in the Eastern Conference that is just as desperate for a win on Sunday than the Buffalo Sabres, it is today’s opponents the Washington Capitals.

In a twist of fate, the team that was destine to take over the reigns as one of the elite teams in the league, they could never muster up enough wins to etch their names on the Stanley Cup in June.

This year, they will be relieved when they can get just one.  The Washington Capitals under new head coach Adam Oates are the last remaining team in the Eastern Conference without a win.

They join the Calgary Flames and Los Angeles Kings as the only teams without a victory.

Buffalo skates into this afternoon’s game on the tails of an 0-2 home and home set of games with the Carolina Hurricanes.  In the first game in Carolina, the listless team in front of Jhonas Enroth and failed to support the Buffalo Sabres backup goaltender.  In game two, the effort seemed to be much better against the ‘Canes, but the lack of offense was present.

Buffalo will need to be much stronger on the puck, and win battles, and will need scoring from more than just Thomas Vanek, Jason Pominville, and Cody Hodgson.

For all the talk about getting stronger in the off season and the depth of the defensive corp, blowing a 2-0 start hasn’t sat well with fans, the media, and the recently extended Darcy Regier and Lindy Ruff.

Both teams coming into tonight’s contest should be looking at their opponent as a way to snap their funks.  The Buffalo Sabres are realling – while they struggle to gain the identity that management found to give them in the off season and find their offense, while the Washington Capitals are looking to get their legs under them.

The Buffalo Sabres powerplay should be drooling at the opportunity to play the Capitals.  Through 125 minutes of play, the Caps have given up eight goals while down at least a man; and in those games, they have held a lead for less than three minutes.

Buffalo is down and out, Washington needs a leg up; Washington has had almost zero success against Buffalo, losing three of four last year, two of them by a score of 5-1.

For Sabres fans there is a bright spot, it appears that our normal voice of the Sabres will be returning:

 

Today’s game is scheduled for 3PM, its an NHLN broadcast, it will also be seen on MSG.

The bigger question as to whether or not the Buffalo Sabres can fix their woes in time to save the season, is whether or not to send Mikhail Grigorenko back to the Quebec Ramparts after Sunday’s game in Washington, or to burn a year of his entry level deal by keeping him up for a shortened season.

Grigorenko is ought for ought, with no points, a -1 +/- rating, and has taken three shots. He jumped into the play much more in game three than he did in the first two games of the season where Buffalo did find success.

Were we expecting Grigs to come in here and get multiple points in a new area, with new teammates, in a new league? WIth his skill set, he was a man playing in a boys league, now he is a boy playing in a man leauge.

The PR moves for the Buffalo Sabres would be huge. With just 11 tweets, his account has 2734 followers.

Topics: Buffalo Sabres, Game Day, Mikhail Grigorenko, Washington Capitals

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  • Andrew

    Keys to the game:

    1. Scoring from more than just one line.

    2. Get Tyler Myers going.

    3. Stay out of the box for senseless penalties.

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