Sword Play: Buffalo Sabres - Winnipeg Jets Preview

By Matt Clouden


Kevin Hoffman – US PRESSWIRE

After a heartbreaking loss the Buffalo Sabres are hoping to bounce back at home against the Winnipeg Jets who are on a three game losing streak themselves.

After losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 after holding a third period lead, the Sabres have made some changes in their lineup for tonight’s tilt. Jordan Leopold will be a healthy scratch for the first time this season, allowing TJ Brennan to get back into the lineup. Coach Lindy Ruff is obviously hoping Brennan’s presence can help improve an ailing power play, which currently is 26th in the league with a 13-percent success rate.

Leopold has struggled since the first Toronto game this season and was the main cause of the Pascal Dupuis goal that tied the game at three Sunday. Ruff is likely hoping that Leopold responds as well to his time in the pressbox as Tyler Myers has. Since his two game trip above the ice, Myers has looked much better while playing a simpler game.

The other major change to the lineup is Drew Stafford’s demotion to the fourth line, with Patrick Kaleta taking his place on the second line with Tyler Ennis and Marcus Foligno. Stafford’s play has been less than spectacular the past few weeks, and despite some more positives as of late, his lack of hustle has earned the ire of Ruff. Stafford will play with John Scott and Cody McCormick.


Quick Hits:

Lindy Ruff praised Ryan Miller calling out his teammates Sunday afternoon, even going as far as saying it should happen more often. Miller’s profanity-laced rant after the loss to the Pens has garnered a lot of attention around the NHL, but it seems his coach and teammates understand his frustration. Charlie Sheen does at least. Miller will get the start tonight.

Thomas Vanek still leads the NHL with 25 points, with Sidney Crosby currently sitting one behind at 24. Vanek also leads the league with 12 goals.

Not for nothing, but it seems like a complete and utter joke that Sidney Crosby is even in the Hart Trophy conversation right now. Yes, much like LeBron James in the NBA, the league’s best player is always in the conversation, but right now it’s bordering crazy. Not to take anything away from Sid’s season or the Pens’ success, but the Chicago Blackhawks are on another level completely right now and it has everything to do with the play of Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Corey Crawford. Vanek’s torrid start should get him some mention, but one of those three will walk away with the award if Chicago plays even half as well as it has been. Kane has the upper hand right now given his scoring touch, but never count Toews and his, deserved, darling reputation with the media.

Follow me on Twitter for NHL and Sabres news all season: @SwordPlay18.



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