I don’t think that this one will end up in a seven minute brawl that includes a goalie fight. But it could. The coming holiday season finds our heroes, the Buffalo Sabres (16-13-3) wounded, but not dead by any means. But when I say wounded, I mean literally wounded. There’s a chance that the Sabres won’t have leading scorer Thomas Vanek on the ice when the face the hated Ottawa Senators (15-14-4) on Tuesday night.
The Sabres called up Derek Whitmore and Marcus Foligno from their AHL affiliate in Rochester. Why did Buffalo have to call up MORE players? Because this is what the current Sabres injury list looks like:
- Tyler Ennis
- Thomas Vanek
- Jochen Hecht
- Brad Boyes
- Nathan Gerbe
- Patrick Kaleta
- Ville Leino
- Tyler Myers
- Colin Stuart
That’s quite a bit of talent on the sidelines. I don’t know of many teams that could survive losing so many talented players. BUt the Sabres still soldier on.
And it’s hard to overlook the fact that the Sabres goaltending has been sub-par lately. Not to mention the Sabres special teams have taken a significant nosedive the past few weeks.
While it’s easy to blame the injuries, the Sabres just haven’t played well with the players they’ve had on the ice. They certainly have had some difficult match-ups against elite teams. But you can’t make excuses. Buffalo has gotten exactly zero advantage from their home ice advantage.
Something has to give here. Maybe being on the road will actually work to the Sabres advantage tonight. But now is the time where they’re going to have to lean on Ryan Miller to carry them through this tough stretch. That’s what franchise goalies are supposed to do. The Sabres spent up to the salary cap and they have talent to show for it.
Now it’s just time for the “Tell” portion of the game to end and the “Show” portion to begin.