After a rough weekend that saw the Buffalo Sabres defeat the Boston Bruins again, then deflate late in the game and lose to the Pittsburgh Penguins – the Buffalo Sabres stay at home to faceoff against the Winnipeg Jets – the only “Western” team they will meet this year.
These two teams will not meet again until April 9th. While Ville Leino continues to lead the team in games lost due to injury this season, Andrej Sekera has been added to the list again with a lower body injury. We will find out more about the lineup today after the morning skate. So far the team has lost 42 man games to injury.
Buffalo needs the victory – they haven’t lost back to back home games since Valentine’s Day – 2012, just over one year ago today.
Winnipeg finds themselves coming into Buffalo after a poor homestand, and are below the Buffalo Sabres in the standings with a 5-8-1 record. The Jets are just two points below the Sabres – and one of two things will happen. The Sabres are going to win a game they are supposed to win, against a team below them in a schedule – or they will find their spin to the bottom continue.
The team should be fire up after the last game, with their goaltender throwing expletives and accusations out venom style in the post game.
“It’s just a [expletive] way to lose,” Miller told reporters, “I don’t understand. Your guard has to be up at all times. They get right back in the game, one broken play to seal it for them. [It's] just preventable and not what we need to be doing right now.”
Letting opponents right back in the game is something the Sabres are used to, allowing teams to negate the momentum gained by a Sabres goal in just moments.
Part of Ryan Miller‘s frustration is legit, his play has been poor at times this season, but has been keeping the team in games more and more lately – returning to the form that the team needs him at.
Lindy Ruff tells Howard Simon that the last two games have been a good test for his team. BOS and PIT are strong teams
— SabresBuzz (@SabresBuzz) February 19, 2013
Good test – sure beating the Bruins and – well – almost beating the Penguins are good barometers of how your team is doing, but the real test is following it up. Do they continue to follow up mediocre play up against a struggle team, or do they take advantage of a team down worse than they are.
The game tonight is scheduled for 7PM. The team plays every other day this week, adding the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday and the New York Islanders on Saturday before getting their next two day break.