Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Bruins vs. Sabres: Stuff To Look Out For (plus other items)

Bruins play in Buffalo tonight after a long layoff. The opponents get much easier after this game; with the exception of Saturday's date with the Red Wings, we won't see another top-5 team until after Christmas.

Things to keep in mind tonight:

- The Sabres will wear their classic road jerseys. It's good for the soul to see them looking like a team that plays on ice skates and not rollerblades.

- Not to make any crazy predictions before Thanksgiving, but a regulation win in this game would put us 13 points ahead of the Sabres with a 3-1-1 record against them head-to-head, and only two matchups left (1/3 and 4/11)... that would pretty much mean we no longer have to worry about them catching up. Not that we should be thinking that way just yet. But I am.

- The Sabres have lost 5 straight. After this game they have the Pens and then the Habs. They play Pittsburgh 3 more times before Christmas. If they don't turn it around in this game, it might not happen at all.

- Ryan Miller usually plays pretty well against us, but last time he melted down and got chased. Will he be intimidated or motivated? We'll see tonight. I suspect he'll play lights-out.

- Buffalo rolls out an outstanding top line, but that's about it. Afinogenov has only scored once this season. Craig Rivet is a -5. Numminen is a great story, but -7 after 20 games is ugly. Still, they're not an easy team to defeat because Lindy Ruff is a great coach. This is a must-win and they should come out fast and furious.

Thoughts on other goings-on leaguewide:

Interesting to see how chippy the Leafs and Thrashers got last night. Combined, these two teams are a veritable chowder of suck, but that just brings frustration to the table and leads to extra intensity. Apparently the Leafs were running Kovalchuk, who finally snapped Bure-style and stood up for himself. Later in the game Jason Blake got explodified by a very illegal jump-check, something we're seeing far too often lately. Check out the highlights here. Leafs fans are now beginning to clamor for an enforcer. Meanwhile, the Thrashers are perhaps the worst-run franchise of all time, at least in terms of player movement.

Patrick Roy's son got suspended for 15 games. No, not that son. The other one. This happened 4 days after Roy's number was retired. Five days after he broke the all-time wins record, the police had to investigate him for domestic battery. Karma has a way of catching up, sometimes quickly, and the way a man runs his family is the truest window into his soul. There is no doubt that Roy was an all-time great. But his legacy shrinks almost daily.

Great writeup on Felix Potvin by Pierre LeBrun. If you liked hockey in the '90s, you probably liked Felix the Cat.

Darren McCarty is now playing in Grand Rapids of the AHL. Claude Lemieux is playing for Worcester. Tragically, Worcester does not play Grand Rapids at all this season.

Keep an eye on Habs/Wings tonight. A win for us and a loss for Montreal would open up a very nice cushion, while the reverse would draw them within striking distance. Meanwhile, we have the Wings on Saturday and it would be nice for them to be a little banged up by the typical Montreal cheapshottery.

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3 comments:

The Bastard said...

Slight correction... a win tonight would put the Bruins at 3-0-1 against Buffalo.

Its funny you should think that Miller will put up a good fight tonight since apparently the oddsmakers agree with you. Looking at TSN, the daily lines all favor Buffalo... just makes no sense to me.

Tom said...

Thanks for the correction -- another win would clinch the head-to-head tiebreaker for us.

The oddsmakers are crazy to favor the Sabres in this matchup. My gut says the hot streak has to end sometime, but statistically the Bruins should be heavily favored. Oh well, easy money to be made on that one.

Anonymous said...

Here come the douchbags, does anyone care about the bruins? Last time I checked they haven't sold out a game in a decade.