The Buffalo Sabres let me down the other day, resulting in only a 33% success rate in my picks. Will Lady Luck bless me tonight?
The Sabres opened their four-game Western Conference road trip with an improved effort Thursday night in San Jose.
Of course, the result was the same as the Sabres’ previous three games – a loss – but at least it was a close game throughout. Twice the Sabres battled back from being down one to tie things up, courtesy of yet another two-goal night by Jason Pominville, so there was some fight in the team. And Jack Eichel enjoyed his second two-point night of the season, giving him five points in four games,.
Moral victories aside, though, the team fell to 0-3-1 and is tied for . . . wait for it . . . last place in the NHL. It is going to take a lot more than close contests and moral victories for players to stay out of the doghouse, both with the fans and with the Buffalo Sabres front office.
We need a win. Now!
Here are my three bold predictions for tonight’s contest against the Los Angeles Kings (2-0-1).
Prediction #1: Someone will score his first goal of the season tonight
I would like to be REALLY bold here and pick a player, but there are so many players on Buffalo who have not scored yet, the odds truly are against me. And truth be told, I am not sure I even believe this prediction has a snowball’s chance in hell of coming true in the first place! I can truly envision a scenario in which only Eichel, Pominville and Evander Kane score goals for Buffalo this season.
*Note: Kyle Okposo is out tonight, so I can boldly predict that he will NOT score his first of the season tonight, ha ha!
Prediction #2: Jordan Nolan will engage in some fisticuffs tonight
So far, the Buffalo Sabres have been Charmin-soft this season. It is entirely possible that they have forgotten that body checking is still allowed in the NHL. Regardless, I expect Nolan to use his body the way God intended him to: to make the Kings remember what they had in him during the six season he played in LA.
Nolan himself admitted he had a bit of a chip on his shoulder regarding his former team (courtesy of Sabres.com):
"They didn’t want me anymore. I think anytime a team doesn’t want you, you want to prove them wrong and show them what they’re missing out on. But I think I’ve moved past that and I’m just trying to help this team win."
Uh, he has most certainly NOT moved past that, if only because the Kings have a winning record and the Sabres do not. Expect a bit of frustration to spill out onto the ice tonight!
Prediction #3: The Sabres will wake up tomorrow morning the only winless team in the NHL.
The Arizona Coyotes host the Boston Bruins tonight. The Bruins only have one win so far, so it is entirely plausible that the ‘Yotes beat the Bruins to secure their first victory of the season.
The Buffalo Sabres, meanwhile? They will fall by probably one goal and head and be in sole place of last place in the league Sunday.
Prove me wrong, boys!
We hope you feel more optimistic than we don, so chime in below!