Brian Gionta Is The Man To Watch Against The Calgary Flames


The All Star break is now over and the Buffalo Sabres are back in action tonight against the Calgary Flames. Going in to the break, Buffalo had gone on an 11 game skid and will try to dig themselves out tonight.

There is a great returning presence to the Sabres forward lines, and that is Captain Brian Gionta. Gionta has been sidelined with a head injury since late December and he is the instrumental piece that will help the Sabres break from their losing streak tonight.

How To Watch

Gionta had been playing on a line with Torrey Mitchell and Brian Flynn before his injury occurred. Functioning as the Sabres second line, they had some pretty good chemistry and were a noticeable presence behind the top line. We cannot expect Zemgus Girgensons to do everything on this team (nor can he) and he is too young to understand all the intricate aspects of the game. Brian Gionta is the perfect presence to lead right now and he can do it by example tonight against the Flames.

Gionta has 11 points in 44 games and this includes 4 goals. Now that is not an astronomical number, nor is it super impressive, but it is respectable for a man that is 35 years old and still playing this game.

Watch for the second line to have a great impact on this game, and in turn that will also help the first line produce more. Brian Gionta offers a unity factor that the Sabres were lacking along their losing streak and his return tonight will mark an end to that.

The line of Gionta, Mitchell, and Flynn will keep the Flames defense guessing, and they will wear down the goaltender. That will pave the way for Girgensons, Ennis, and Moulson to have much more space and time to work with. Before the break, there was only ever one line working the entire night and that was the first line. Despite their efforts, you could see the frustration on their faces. With an entire team failing to support your 100% effort, it is dejecting and it took an obvious toll on Zemgus Girgensons. The returning of Gionta has to have Zemgus much calmer and prepared to play his game once again.

A second line does much more than just score. It is a tag team effort with the first line to create chances over a couple of shifts. A healthy Sabres second line is going to make a large difference tonight.


I predict that the Sabres will come out on top tonight by a score of 3-1, and that will be the case if the entire team puts in a full effort and supports each other. I do believe that they have it in them to end the streak here. I don’t know about anyone else, but I would like to enjoy watching a Sabres game after the All Star game.

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