Sabres At Blues Game Preview: Ryan Miller Fan Club Meeting

Jen Fuller

Sabres fans have thrown their hats behind their old goalie in the playoffs. The reaction tonight as Miller faces his old team may be a different story.

So, um, that Ryan Miller guy. He's pretty good, right? I bet you that the team that got rid of him is just kicking themselves on not getting a better return on that kind of talent.

Oh. What? They're here? Tonight? The Sabres actually travel all the way this far west? You don't say.

Forgive me for not noticing the Buffalo Sabres aside from the occasional "awwww" whenever I glance at the standings. I don't mean that in a derisive way; I do feel for their fans and for the team, but when the situation in your front office is so dodgy that your GM says "screw this, I'm gone" after a trade, there're issues there that are best left for the off-season.

The Sabres have the worst record in the NHL, but ask the New Jersey Devils how much that matters. Every team is dangerous this time of year, especially a team so far out of it like the Sabres are. You have guys playing for roster spots, young guys trying to get an NHL gig, and players who are just playing for pride.

The Blues? They're still playing for points, of course. Every little bit helps when you're trying to snag home ice advantage, and games like tonight's are ones that they need to - and can - capitalize on easily.

So sure, there's going to be a sense of fun around tonight's game just because it's Ryan Miller's first against his old and only team (though he won't start - ha! No, it shall be Brian Elliott). The Blues, though need to focus on the job at hand. Don't take it seriously, and the Sabres can still make a team pay.

You'll see the Steve Ott - Patrik Berglund - Magnus Pääjarvi line out again tonight. They did not look terrible on Tuesday night. They did not look notable. At times Ott looked confused. If you want to know if it's a doable line, though, you need keep them together for longer than one game. Ott hasn't tallied a point in eight games. I'm not sure who the offensive catalyst is going to be on the line tonight - I guess I'd put a dollar down on Bergie if I were a betting woman - which I'm not.

It is surprising that Miller isn't starting considering he got the shutout on Tuesday; this breaks Ken Hitchcock's rule about earning starts. It's still a good idea to get Brian Elliott some work in, and tonight's game should be doable enough. He's 8-1-0 in his nine starts at home, and the Scottrade Center isn't an easy to play.

A guy to watch on the Buffalo side is rookie goalie Nathan Lieuwen. He has just one win in three starts, but played his ass off in the Sabres 3-2 victory over the Devils. Pepper him with shots that land on the net, will you guys?

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