Tonight is matchup number three for the Buffalo Sabres and Montreal Canadiens. Despite the fact that the season series is set at one game a piece, Montreal picked up a loser point to the Buffalo Sabres by taking them to a shootout – they have also outscored Buffalo 10-5 in those two games.
While the Sabres are looking to climb out of the basement of the Eastern Conference, Montreal is trying to maintain pace with the top teams in the conference for the first time in a long time.
Over the past few years, you never could tell what Buffalo Sabres team would show up from game to game. This year, it is you don’t know what team is going to show up period by period. There are times they want to roll over and die this season, and other times they look like a competitive hockey club. Buffalo will have two chances this week to earn four points against the Montreal Canadiens.
What do the Sabres need to do to salvage the season? Hang up the hat and sell sell sell over the next two weeks with the trade deadline and the roster freeze quickly approaching.
There is no saving the 2013 regular season. The recent healthy scratch of Patrick Kaleta was the straw that broke the camels back. His outspoken nature about his scratch and then Ryan Miller‘s reaction proved that the team is not a cohesive unit and needs to be torn apart. I can just imagine the locker room between periods where you have 23 indiviudals sitting around in their stalls waiting for the next period of hockey to take place.
I don’t agree with Patrick Kaleta being “suspended” by the team an extra game in addition to the five that Brendan Shanahan and the National Hockey League levied on him for the shove that sent Brad Richards into the boards awkwardly. Interim head coach Ron Rolston wanted to re-educate Pat Kaleta on how he needs to play with a more of a team approach. I read that as – you play with too much of an edge; and you need to be softer like the rest of the roster.
That – coupled with Ron Rolston keeping Ryan Miller in the game against the Washington Capitals is a bad sign. A text message I received during the Washington game from a friend of mine couldn’t have struck more of a chord – Ron Rolston doesn’t know what he is doing yet to be a National Hockey League coach.
Buffalo and Montreal have a lot in common this season, despite the fact that they are so far apart in the standings. Both teams had a first round draft pick stick around past the five game tryout. Difference – Alex Galchenyuk was given the ice time and talented linemates to succeed in his first National Hockey League season – Mikhail Grigorenko spent time on a line with John Scott and is now preparing for the Memorial Cup run with the Quebec Ramparts in the QMJHL.
Both teams have relied on American Hockey League callups to fill out their rosters when regular roster players went down for injury. Difference – Montreal is just a couple of points behind the red hot Pittsburgh Penguins for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.
Game time tonight is scheduled for 7:30. Check out Montreal Hockey Talk Pregame Show where we will join the guys from MHT and talk Buffalo Sabres and Montreal Canadiens before the game.