This will not be an easy game tonight. We know this, the Blues players know this. Maybe that will ensure the team comes out strong, plays physical and controls the game. The Sabres are in first place in Northeast Division with 48 points, nine more than the Blues. They've posted a 6-2-2 record over their last 10 games. They're used to this cold weather and a hell of a lot more snow than this.
Center Derek Roy is the leasind scorer for Buffalo with nine goals and 21 assists in 37 games. He has a goal and three assists in his last three games. He has a famous last name. After scoring 81 and 70 points in his last two seasons respectively, the pressure is on Roy to keep producing as close to a point a game as possible.
If you want to win an easy bet, turn to your buddy and wager a beer that he (or she) can't name the second leading scorer on the Sabres. Off three guesses even and I doubt the person will come up with Tim Connolly.
The Sabres only have two players who have double digits in goals, Thomas Vanek with 11 and Clarke MacArthur with 10, another possible beer bet. Roy and Jason Pominville both have nine goals which reminds me of the Blues' scoring with multiple players right around nine or 10 goals.
I think you can call Vanek a disappointment so far this season. He scored 40 goals last year, 36 the year before that and 43 the year before that. He's going to have to start filling the net if he even wants to sniff 30. He's one of the new generation of players who have benefitted financially from the salary cap and restricted free agency. The Sabres didn't want to see Edmonton give Vanek an offer sheet as a UFA so after just his second season in the league when he scored the 43 goals they locked him up with a seven-year contract worth $50 million. In other words, those 11 goals this year are somewhat expensive per goal for the Sabres organization.
Ryan Miller is a good goaltender. Root for him for team USA at the Olympics. Give him a hard time tonight.
This should be an interesting test for the Blues tonight. We have a combination of a dangerous team that the Blues won't overlook, the team has won three out of the last four, the Blues could be worn out from the travel and then there's the pressure of winning at home. Let's see where this thing goes.
This is the GDT. Fill it.