It is a battle of teams that stand little chance of making the Stanley Cup playoffs. This afternoon the Buffalo Sabres face off against the Philadelphia Flyers, one of the few teams in the league that has less points than the listless Sabres.
Both teams know their odds of the post season are fading with each day that clicks off the calendar – but both teams have not given up hope that their team can pull off an epic run to the final playoff spot.
For the Buffalo Sabres, it requires at a minimum six wins in their final game. A thirteenth point in the loss would be helpful, but it still only puts them at 51 points (fifty if they can’t manage the loser point). For Philadelphia – they have an extra game to do it with, but sit one point behind the Buffalo Sabres. The New York Rangers can end their NHL season with 60 points if they win out – well above where these two teams are looking at.
The Flyers come into tonight’s contest win less in their last three. The Buffalo Sabres are reeling from an embarrassing loss to the Montreal Canadiens after rattling three in a row off, restoring hope around trade deadline day.
If Buffalo is going to succeed against the Flyers – they are going to have to do it without Tyler Myers – who broke his leg in Thursday’s game. Ville Leino continues to sit out injured, and Thomas Vanek has been ineffective since returning from the upper body injury. Ryan Miller may have to stand on his head to steal this game for the Buffalo Sabres.
The Flyers have problems of their own. Could The City of Brotherly Love embrace Lindy Ruff as their head coach this off season? With the off and on ice problems – the orange and black could be looking for a new head coach after the 2013 shortened campaign ends.