Let’s sneak another look at those standings:
Pittsburgh did us a favor this afternoon and beat the Flyers, but that puts the Pens just two points out of 8th. I guess the definition of “favor” depends solely on how the Sabres do tonight.
Each playoff race takes on a life all its own, but the rules for success are always the same: move up or keep pace. Tonight the Sabres desperately need to keep pace, and the opponent only makes the situation that much more dire. The New York Rangers are struggling, and a win tonight for the Sabres will give them a bit of breathing room between Carolina and Pittsburgh, as well as put them in a tie with the Rangers.
It’s a big game for sure, but it feels like every game is big these days. The fact of the matter is that the Sabres need a good showing on home ice against an opponent ahead of them in the standings. Every team may have a clunker every now and then, but Buffalo is running out of games to give away.
Teppo is out tonight with Tallinder returning, meaning Butler stays with the big club. I thought Numminen had played better lately, but I don’t disagree with keeping Butler in the lineup. To be honest, it will just be nice to have a healthy blue line for once.
7:00 PM from HSBC Arena. Just another four point game, right?