If your not already exhausted from long hours as a working parent, the NHL goes and schedules the Buffalo Sabres for a West Coast trip through Canada – forcing games to start two hours later than usual. I think all games should start at 7PM EST. I kid of course.
Tonight’s game against the Edmonton Oilers is the 67th meeting between the two franchises, and is the Buffalo Sabres 21st game to occur on March 20th. The Sabres are 11-8-1 all time on this date.
Currently the Buffalo Sabres and Edmonton Oilers have had 42 players suite up for games this season. Buffalo will set a franchise record tonight when Matt Hackett gets the nod in net. Never before has the team dressed and used 43 players in a game situation. With just a dozen games remaining on the schedule can the Sabres add to that record?
While the Sabres of this team can’t find the back of the net, previous editions of the Sabres had no problem spreading the wealth of goal scoring around. On March 20, 1977 Gilbert Perreault scored two goals leading the way; and the Sabres got scoring from four other players as the Washington Capitals hosted the Buffalo Sabres and lost 6-2.
They were still talking trade in 1996 and the Buffalo Sabres swung a deal that made their team, well more enigmatic to say the least. Buffalo sent Yuri Khmylev and an eighth round draft pick (the NHL had 9 rounds until 2005 when they reduced it to the current 7 round format). That eighth round draft picked turned out to be Andrei Podkonicky to the St. Louis Blues for Jean-Luc Grand-Pierre and two draft picks, one in the third round, and one in the second round.
Podkonicky played a total of 8 NHL games with the Florida Panthers and Washington Capitals, never for the St. Louis Blues. Khmylev played just nine more NHL games before calling it a career. Cory Sarich played 46 games for the Sabres over two seasons before being traded, and Maxim Afinogenov played nine seasons with the Sabres – and is still active in the KHL.