It looks as though Chris Butler and Ryan Miller will see the ice tonight as the Sabres take on the Detroit Red Wings from Joe Louis Arena.
John Vogl reports that Henrik Tallinder will likely watch the game from the press box and it shouldn’t come as a great surprise.
Say what you will about Brian Campbell (he was a liability on defense and was overrated around the league as a physical presence) but he could get the puck up the ice better than anyone in a Sabres uniform in the last 10 years (apologizes to Richard Smehilk and Mike Wilson). Andrej Sekera has shown promise as a No. 1 puck-moving defenseman, but the defensive corps have struggled with the breakout passes for most of this season. With the first pass so important in the Sabres’ system, not having a consistent defenseman pulling the trigger has obviously caused some problems.
Butler has shown the ability and will get the chance to prove himself again tonight. It’s a little surprising that Tallinder is getting the sit down instead of Teppo Numminen, who you would think would like a rest every now and then (we’ve been saying that since he signed though). It’s another statement from Ruff to Tallinder that he needs to be on his game every game.
It also shows how far Nathan Paetsch has fallen out of the coach’s good graces. At this point, they should just waive him to make permanent room for Butler, who’s getting close to not being protected from the waiver wire. And if a team snatches up Paetsch, then so be it. It appears he’s ninth on the depth chart now anyways.
With Miller getting the nod tonight, look for Lalime to get the start in his Chicago homecoming on Wednesday.
Tonight is a good test for the Sabres. We all know what Detroit brings to the table so if the Sabres can play like they did in the third period against the Rangers and leave the other half of that abomination behind them, then we should be looking at a high-flying match. Game time is at 7 p.m.