The Buffalo Sabres botched their previous opportunity against a team with fewer points than they had earlier in the month. But when they lost 9-4 to the Columbus Blue Jackets, Buffalo was also facing a team that was coming off of a two-day break. Therefore, the Blue Jackets were well-rested, but that won’t be the case tonight.
Instead, tonight’s contest marks Columbus’ third matchup in four days, and they are coming off of a hard-fought win vs. the Toronto Maple Leafs. Note the word ‘vs.’ instead of ‘against,’ meaning they also had a home game with Toronto. They needed an overtime period to beat the Maple Leafs, and now they’re forced to travel to Buffalo, meaning this team should be rather exhausted heading into tonight’s 5:00 p.m. outing.
Will the Buffalo Sabres take advantage of the timing and circumstance?
Meanwhile, in the City of Good Neighbors, the Sabres are coming off two days worth of rest, and they’ve had plenty of time to righten their wrongs that we witnessed vs. the Boston Bruins. They should also be close to or at full strength tonight, since Tage Thompson and Zemgus Girgensons were practicing, so if there is ever a time to take advantage of the circumstances, tonight would be it.
However, timing and circumstance are two factors the Buffalo Sabres must start routinely making the best of, and it’s something that hasn’t happened in 2023-24. Far too often, the Blue and Gold have botched such opportunities, and it’s one reason they’re well below 0.500 at the moment.
Given the intense game the Blue Jackets are coming off of, plus the fact they will be traveling to Buffalo, it should create the ideal scenario for the Sabres. But the burning question remains the same: Will the Blue and Gold finally take advantage?
(Information provided by ESPN.com)