After finally stopping the bleeding and beating one of the NHL’s hottest teams – the Buffalo Sabres have a tough four game schedule ahead of them this week. With back to back games Monday and Tuesday, and games on Thursday and Saturday – the Sabres are still limping holding onto the last place in the league heading towards the Olympic break and roster freeze.
Monday January 27th, 2014 @ Pittsburgh Penguins
The Pittsburgh Penguins are, in a short sentence in a league of their own. With 74 points, they are 7 points ahead of the next two teams, so a serious breakdown in communication and some of the leagues best players would have to happen for then not to claim the first ever Metropolitan division banner. Oh and in case your short term math isn’t that strong, there is a 34 point difference between the Buffalo Sabres and Pittsburgh Penguins. Buffalo has still yet to hit 100 goals, while the Penguins are the highest scoring team in the Eastern Conference.
Tuesday January 28th, 2014 vs Washington Capitals
Buffalo comes back home to face-off against Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals before heading West. Shootouts have been the game of choice between the Capitals and the Sabres. Despite the woeful ways of the Sabres this season, they are 2-0-0 against the Capitals and look to sweep the season series against the Metropolitan division foes. In two games the Sabres have kept the NHL’s league leading goal scorer off the box score in each of the first two games of the season series.
Thursday January 30th, 2014 @ Phoenix Coyotes
The second of two games between the Desert Dogs and the Blue and Gold this season. The first ending in a Buffalo Sabres overtime victory on the now infamous “butt goal”. No doubt Michael Smith will want retribution for how that game ended.With stability in the region finally coming, Phoenix is just four points out of the wild card race for one of the final playoff spots. Despite uncertainty in their future, Phoenix missed the playoffs last season, one year after losing to the Los Angeles Kings in the conference finals. The only problem with the Sabres playing spoiler at this point in the season – it could spoil their efforts to have the best advantage in the draft lottery. Oh you missed the butt goal? Lets replay it for you.
Saturday February 1, 2014 @ Colorado Avalanche
An afternoon affair in the mile high city to close out the season series with the Colorado Avalanche. This will be the first time the teams have met since back in October, when the Buffalo Sabres were struggling to find a win in their home building, something they didn’t do until November 12 – a month after the Av’s visited Buffalo. At 17-7-3 on home ice at the Pepsi Center – the Avalanche will make a difficult opponent to end the week for the Sabres.
Your predictions for the week?