It doesn’t feel like the season should be winding down to a close for the Buffalo Sabres (20-43-8) with the temperatures still at December levels and snow falling regularly as the month of March comes to a close. In the seventy-second game of the season the Sabres skate into the Bell Centre to take on the Montreal Canadiens (40-26-7).
There is little to play for tonight, as the Canadiens are nestled nicely in the top three of the Atlantic Division. The Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs might be the only bubble teams remaining that could possibly catch the Canadiens, although it is more likely they will be aiming for the wild card spots. Montreal enters tonight’s contest to host the Sabres 6-4 in their last ten games, Buffalo is just 2-8, as they have pretty much grabbed hold of the final spot in the league, almost guaranteeing themselves the first overall pick in the 2014 draft.
Buffalo and Montreal have faced off 261 times so far in the history of the franchises, and Buffalo has a 119-105-37 record against the Habs. Their 119 wins against the Canadiens ties a franchise record with the Boston Bruins. The Sabres have beat both the Bruins and Canadiens 119 times. The Sabres have played the Bruins 272 times, ten more than the Canadiens.
A loss tonight against the Canadiens would not only continue their current losing streak, but would be the fifth straight time that the team has lost to the Blu, Blanc, Rouge. This would be the first time the Canadiens won consecutive wins at home however since 2010.
While the Buffalo Sabres playoff hopes have been dashed for quite some time, the hopes of a nation ride on the Montreal Canadiens. While the Vancouver Canucks have a Russian chance for gold in hockey at the Olympics, and Toronto being on the bubble in the East, any chance of a Stanley Cup return to Canada falls on the Habs. The last time a Canadian team won the Cup – Montreal in 1993.