I’ve been trying to wrap my head around this Sabres team for a few days now, but I’m out of time: they are actually playing again. Tonight starts one of the most awkward road trips I can remember. The Sabres will play seven straight on the road, starting in Atlanta and Long Island before hitting Phoenix and then the true West Coast. It’s going to be long and tiring and may be a complete disaster, but these road trips always seem to make the difference for the Sabres.
A good trip out west can be the springboard to the trading deadline and postseason hockey, or it can absolutely murder a hockey season. Two years ago the trip out west was an outright disaster, and while the Sabres are in a much better position in the standings, tanking this trip is not a good sign.
Tonight it’s Atlanta, and I have an irrational hatred of Atlanta. It might be the 12-3-3 lifetime home record the Thrashers have against the Sabres, or maybe it’s the Sabres’ recent troubles against a mediocre hockey team like Atlanta. Either way, it doesn’t help that Maxim Afinogenov is playing well there either. Videos like this pretty much put the nail in the coffin.
7:00pm start. Burn Phillips Arena to the ground.