The Buffalo Sabres have a busy schedule this week with two home games against Western Conference foes – and then they hit the road for two games. Three of the four teams are on the outside looking in at the playoffs. One game carries the weight of a friendly bet that could cost me a six pack of local Buffalo brew being shipped to my friend over at Cardiac Cane. Here is a brief look at the schedule for the Buffalo Sabres for March 9th to the 15th.
Sunday March 9th, 2014 vs Chicago Blackhawks
The Buffalo Sabres play their third straight 7:30PM start in a row as they host the defending Stanley Cup champions, the Chicago Blackhawks. Ted Nolan‘s roster is set for the rest of the season, and it is right in his wheelhouse. Mostly a bunch of guys who would be relegated to the third and fourth line on most other NHL teams – but who have the propensity to play extremely well together in an undergone fashion.
Chicago is nestled amid the top three teams nicely behind the St. Louis Blues. With a significant upgrade at the goaltending position in St. Louis, it is unlikely that the Blackhawks will catch the Blues, and are almost a lock to make the playoffs. I say almost because, well anything could happen and until the league starts putting little asterisks next to team names in the standings, well, anything can happen.
Tuesday March 11th, 2014 vs Nashville Predators
Nashville hasn’t quite mailed it in for the season, but the worst team in the Central division invades Buffalo on Tuesday. While the situation was slightly different in Nashville, the team is still likely getting over the fact that the franchises first every draft pick David Legwand was traded away last week to the Detroit Red Wings.
This is the first meeting of the two teams all season, as both games in the non conference season series will take place this month. The Sabres will visit Nashville on March 27th.
Thursday March 13th, 2014 @ Carolina Hurricanes
Of all the games this week, this one interests me the most because there is a six back of local beer riding on it. My friend and fellow FanSider from Cardiac Cane continue our tradition of betting on the season series between the Buffalo Sabres and Carolina Hurricanes. This will be the third annual bet. The team with the worst record in the best of three season series has to send a six pack of local brew to the other. I have faith that the boys in Blue and Gold will help me stay on the receiving end of the bet this year.
The Sabres and Canes have split the season series so far this year at 1-1, with the home team getting the victory each time. Buffalo won their home game 3-2 in an entertaining game, while the Hurricanes blew out the Sabres on their only other trip into Raleigh 5-3 back in January.
Saturday March 15th, 2014 @New York Islanders
If there was ever a game you just didn’t want your team to show up for this would be the one. While it is likely that the New York Islanders will give the Buffalo Sabres their conditional first round pick this year as opposed to next year, I would still rather see the Sabres lose this game and keep pace on the last spot in the league, and the first spot in the draft lottery. While the Sabres have an 11 point lead on the Islanders for the last place spot, the Islanders have played three more games than the Sabres.
It makes sense that the New York Islanders would be relieving Garth Snow of his General Manager duties after the Thomas Vanek debacle, so it is uncertain whether or not Snow will be the one making the decision on the draft pick that the Islanders owe the Buffalo Sabres.