If the Buffalo Sabres want to start looking for bright spots on their season so far, they just might have the motivation for today’s game. The opponent scheduled for tonight is the New York Islanders, and they are one of the few teams that the Sabres have beaten so far this season.
It wasn’t a pretty win, they probably didn’t deserve it, but a win is a win.
This will be game two for Ron Rolston, and he is hoping that the fortunes change for his club, and they start repairing the damage done in the opening portion of the season. It is time for this team to stop playing sloppy we just locked out for three months hockey, and play like the games mean something. Tonight will be the home debut of interim head coach Ron Rolston. The last time the Buffalo Sabres were home they were booed off the ice after the game against the Winnipeg Jets – which coupled with his post game remarks probably spelt the end for former coach Lindy Ruff.
It all hasn’t been doom and gloom – although it has felt like it. Since getting off to a rough start, Ryan Miller has turned his play on – and has only faltered because of the team in front of him. His last few post game interviews have sounded drastically different than the Ryan Miller of old. He is one short straw away from calling players out individually by name for the mistakes they have done in a game. Thomas Vanek is still tops on the leader board in the league with points, tied with Sidney Crosby with 25, and goals, tied with James Neal, also of the Pittsburgh Penguins with 12.
If the Buffalo Sabres can take the words of Ron Rolston to heart, and gather the strength to pull a win, they will leap frog the Islanders in the standings, and their position in the conference won’t look as bad as it is – with only the Washington Capitals residing below them. Buffalo has won one game in their last five, and three of their last ten. That coupled with the first two of the season are the only times they have put wins up on the board.
Game time tonight is scheduled for 7PM.
OUT OF TOWN SCOREBOARD WATCH
If you are hoping for the Buffalo Sabres to make a resurgence in the standings, it will be very difficult for them to gain ground, having played more games then most, and in an interconference compressed schedule.
New Jersey Devils vs Washington Capitals – The Caps sit just below the Buffalo Sabres in the standings, and with the right fortunes, could give the Sabres the last spot in the conference.
Winnipeg Jets vs Philadelphia Flyers – Both teams sit just above the Buffalo Sabres in the standings, and the Sabres could close the gap on one of them if the game stays in regulation.
Toronto Maple Leafs vs Ottawa Senators – both teams are in the top eight and are nine points ahead of the Buffalo Sabres, a tough game to call, but you have to hope for a Senators tumble given their injuries for the Sabres to have a chance to climb back into the saddle.