It’s another cold winter day in Buffalo – so no difference there for the Buffalo Sabres
(7-23-2) who are use to braving the cold weather as they prepare for another hockey game. The difference in this game is they will host their opponents, the Calgary Flames (12-15-4) at 2PM EST.
The Sabres and Flames will face off twice this season, for the first time since 2001-2002. The last meeting between the two clubs was on November 4, 2011. That game ended with a 2-1 victory for the Buffalo Sabres. The teams won’t meet again until mid March, when the Sabres visit Alberta.
In their last ten games with the Flames, Buffalo has an even 5-5 record. Buffalo is not a comforting place for the Flames, as the last ten games that have occurred at either the First Niagara Center or Memorial Auditorium have ended in the Sabres favor more often than not. The last ten games played in Buffalo ended 8-1-1, lifetime in Buffalo the Sabres are 30-1-5. Buffalo is currently holding an eight game home winning streak over the Flames.
This will be the 99th meeting between the two clubs, and the Buffalo Sabres hold a slight advantage in the standings with a 48-33-16 edge.
The Sabres have to be looking for ways to solve their offensive problems. Tyler Ennis is the only offensive bright spot heading into tonight’s game, with three goals and an assist in his last four games. Zemgus Girgensons had a three game three point streak before getting shutout against the Senators the other night. Many fans are eager to see him progress, so getting back on the score sheet will be a huge plus for him.
Buffalo’s offense should be able to get on the board tonight, neither of Calgary’s goalies has shared the same success that Ryan Miller and Jhonas Enroth have had, while the win/loss is better from an obvious front, only Karri Ramo of the Flames has a better stat line than either Buffalo goalie with a 2.82 GAA. That stat has been helped by his latest string, Ramo has won three of his last four starts, allowing only one goal in each game – which could spell trouble for the Sabres.
Both teams are coming out of the locker room with the same answers, searching for reasons to sound better than they look on the ice. Despite a slightly better record than the Buffalo Sabres, tonight’s game will be the second for the Flames since relieved general manager Jay Feaster and assistant GM John Weisbrod on Thursday.
If the Buffalo Sabres thought it was difficult to fill their general manager spot before, now they have to contend with Brian Burke on the hunt for a general manager as well.
Today’s puck drop is 2PM, an afternoon matinee for the Sabres, and a lunchtime special for the fans back home in Calgary.