Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Season Outlook: Buffalo Sabres vs. St. Louis Blues

Former Buffalo Sabres center Derek Roy and former Sabres defenseman Jordan Leopold will face their old team twice in the 2013-2014 NHL season as the St. Louis Blues and Buffalo Sabres have a pair of meetings in the coming year.

Roy and Leopold are part of a group of several new members of the St. Louis Blues crowd, along with Keith Aucoin and Maxim Lapierre. The Blues also face the loss of David Perron, who was traded to Edmonton in exchange for youngster Magnus Paajarvi.

In addition, Mark Mancari, who has been a part of the Sabres organization several times, is now property of the Blues, though it’s undetermined at this point whether he’ll end up in the NHL or the AHL. Mancari spent all of last season bringing a strong veteran presence to the Rochester Americans lineup.

The last time the Blues and Sabres met was January 21, 2012, when St. Louis took a 4-2 victory over Buffalo. Blues captain David Backes scored four points (2-2), with additional St. Louis goals coming from Perron and B.J. Crombeen. Jaroslav Halak had 19 saves. On the Sabres side of things, Mike Weber and Tyler Myers scored, while Ryan Miller stopped 23 of 26 shots faced. (Backes’ second goal was an empty-netter.)

The Sabres team coming into this season is quite different from the one that faced the Blues back in 2012. In fact, of the 18 skaters who appeared in that game for Buffalo, just nine remain with the team. Gone are: Jordan Leopold, Joe Finley, Derek Roy (my, my, how the tables have turned), Marc-Andre Gragnani, Brad Boyes, Jason Pominville, Nathan Gerbe, Andrej Sekera, and Jochen Hecht.

On a similar note, ten of 18 skaters from the 2012 game are still with the Blues. Those still remaining: Barret Jackman, Vladimir Sobotka, Patrik Berglund, Kevin Shattenkirk, Chris Stewart, Alex Pietrangelo, David Backes, Roman Polak, T.J. Oshie and Ryan Reaves.

Players to Watch

  • ST. LOUIS: Do I even need to say it? Watch Roy and Leopold – I think we all know the effect that players can have on their former teams, and I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel like watching Derek Roy dominate against the Sabres in those pair of games. Sabres fans should also keep an eye out for Berglund, Backes, and Oshie, who have been with the Blues for a while and have become mainstays in their lineup.
  • BUFFALO: Although many of the current Sabres players have little to no experience against St. Louis, there are a small few that do. Tyler Myers has averaged a point per game against St. Louis in his career, with three points in as many games. Christian Ehrhoff has seven points in 26 games against the Blues. That’s about all I’ve got, but it’ll be interesting to see how guys like Mark Pysyk and Brian Flynn stack up against a St. Louis team they’ve never seen before.

Meetings This Season

  • November 19 @ BUF
  • April 3 @ STL

Tags: Buffalo Sabres St. Louis Blues

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