As of right now I have no idea who’s playing tonight. Sabres Edge will be all over it, but as of right now there is no real answers as to who plays tonight against Pittsburgh. Fellow Paul Gaustad fan Paul Hamilton has this to say about the roster, but there’s not much more there other than that Miller is in goal for sure.
I’ve been looking at some numbers on Behindthenet just because I was curious to see if they matched what we’ve been watching over the past few games. I think it’s safe to say Max has been bad defensively, and his numbers show it. Also not faring well there is Teppo Numminen and, somewhat surprisingly, Craig Rivet. I still think he’s been playing hurt, but maybe that’s just me.
One place Max has been doing his job is drawing penalties, as he is second on the team with eight despite significantly less ice time. I’m not exactly sure how that metric is calculated, however, as Pat Kaleta is nowhere to be found on that list.
You can make stats say pretty much whatever you want, but it’s interesting to give them a look over every so often to see for yourself what the numbers say. Later on in the season is when they begin to mean more, but 21 games in is a good time to look back and ask some questions.
What we all know is that Thomas Vanek is the most important person on this team, and if there is any hope in beating a solid Penguins team tonight he needs to be in the lineup. We will know more shortly, but Atlas needs to be healthy for this team to do much of anything this year. If he could possibly make his injury worse tonight I hope he sits, but I think this game is pretty important, and we all know he’s a tough cat after Wednesday’s third period.
Either way, here’s my question: do you go after Lucic in January if Vanek misses time? Should they have gone after him on Wednesday? My immediate instinct was much the same of Roy Ray (as in: “some s#$t’s about to go down…”) but it never solidified. Getting the win was good, but how soft does this team look if no one stepped in after your best player gets run?
On Wednesday I called it a tough win against a tough team. Losing Vanek, however, is much more important than just two points. In a few hours all of the above may be rendered moot, but it’s certainly something to think about.