Oct 11, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks celebrate their victory after the third period against the New York Islanders at the United Center. Chicago won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Sabres Pregame Skate #6: Chicago Blackhawks

Through five games of the season the Buffalo Sabres are a meager 0-4-1 – with just one point in the standings.  They are not

the only win-less team in the National Hockey League, as the New Jersey Devils (0-2-3) are still without a win.

Having rested lasted night, the Buffalo Sabres get away from the limelight of their fans and step into the spotlight of the United Center as they visit the Chicago Blackhawks (2-1-1).

Nothing seems to be going right for the Buffalo Sabres – who are only producing offensively one goal per game – no where near enough to capitalize on their opponents mistakes.

You can’t blame injuries for the rough start for the Buffalo Sabres – although they have already lost 26 man games due to injury so far this season.

Joel Armia, Corey Tropp, and Nikita Zadorov remained sidelined since the pre season, and both Ville Leino and Henrik Tallinder are on injured reserve.

Expect Ryan Miller to play in tonight’s contest- because he gives the Buffalo Sabres the best chance at beating the Chicago Blackhawks, and really – their only chance.  Although Jhonas Enroth has held his own so far.

If the Buffalo Sabres stand in awe of players on the Pittsburgh Penguins and Columbus Blue Jackets – providing listless affairs, what will happen when the kids are standing in the presence of the Stanley Cup Champions.

Buffalo’s biggest woes is its offense.  Thomas Vanek and Cody Hodgson both take scoring streaks into tonight’s game, but something has to give and more than one goal has to find the back of the net.

On top of offensive woes, the Buffalo Sabres youthful defense has to be better, allow fewer shots, and set up the offensive rush much better.

While Mikhail Grigorenko has been a healthy scratch – that could just be the first of what could be a parade of healthy players in and out of the lineup as first year head coach Ron Rolston tries to figure out what will work for the Buffalo Sabres.

Chicago will look to keep the winning going, as last night they were able to hold off the Islanders for their victory.  They should have little trouble pleasing their home crowd tonight – keeping the Buffalo Sabres win-less to start the season.  While not off to the same shot gun start that started last season, the Blackhawks are confident in their ability to repeat.


Tags: Buffalo Sabres Chicago Blackhawks

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  • Dano

    Foligno to the first line for the whole game. See what he can do with our ( supposed ) best Center and Winger. See if theres any production against top end talent ( Cup Champions ).

    • Michael McBurney

      You’re joking right? The whole implied dig of “supposed” best center and winger? Who else do you think have been in on 4 of the team’s only 5 goals of the season? Who else do you think has been up against the top end talents of other teams and managed to only be -4 while dealing with a Sabres d corps that won’t give them a break and at least tie up some sticks (if not bodies)?

      Bash Hodgson/Vanek all you like because two guys can’t do it all for 60 minutes, but the fact remains that without this duet, there’s been 1 rookie goal and zero genuine pressure on opposing teams so far.

      • Jes

        Vanek although our best player is very streaky. Unlike other star payers that show up every game. CoHo is our best center so far but can easily be surpassed by Grigorenko and or Girgensons in a couple years time. But as of right now Hodgson is the undisputed king at center for us.

        I’d like to see Rolston swap Grigorenko and Hodgson for a few games. See if Hodgson can get Girgensons going and see if Vanek can get Grigorenko going.

        Off topic here but anyone see how well Gerbe is playing for Carolina? Something is definitely wrong on this team. I honestly think we had to bring in an outside coach and a outside GM. Burke would have got shit done here.

        • Timothy Redinger

          Yes – yes – yes. The total influence on this team needs to change. Darcy will only hire a yes man – and Ron Rolston is nothing more than Darcy Jr. His vision of hockey hasn’t worked in 15 years – what would change that going forward? We have disagreed a bit Jes – but on this we see eye to eye.