TV/RADIO: WGN for both
Other Corner: Die By The Blade
If you listen to people like Puck Daddy, then tonight's game has become quite the anticipated encounter, specifically to see how the Sabres handle the returning Niklas Hjalmarsson. If you're like me, someone cursed by his tendency to use logic, then you think tonight will be just another game between teams from different conferences who don't see each other much. I can't see how Lindy Ruff lets his team get distracted over what was a reckless but not dirty hit, and Buffalo isn't exactly equipped with a Janssen or Jackman or any other jackass like that. Sure, Kaleta will yap a lot and they'll make sure they finish their checks on Hammer, but outside of that? These teams have bigger fish to fry.
Especially the Sabres. They're 1-3-1 and could only manage one goal at home last night against Carey Price. Without Pominville, this team is light on scoring. Derek Roy is kerosene at the moment, along with linemate Drew Stafford. But Thomas Vanek is on one of his ice queen streaks, he couldn't throw a grape in the ocean right now. Past that? Lots of grindy white guys, and a grindy black guy in Mike Grier. Tim Connolly and Tyler Ennis are pretty shifty, but they haven't gone off yet.
On the backend, future War God Tyler Myers is off to a terrible start. He's -6 and bringing up the caboose in the Sabres Behind The Net. After him? More grindy white guys. Word has it the Hawks won't have to solve Ryan Miller as Patrick Lalime will get his first start. But that didn't work out so well last year.
For our side, Jassen Cullimore played more minutes than Jordan Hendry, and not awful either, so I think that tells you he'll get to man the third pairing again tonight. No word yet on if Kane is going to return, but I suspect he will. Also no word on if Dave Bolland still plans on being a corpse.
These two teams like to get up and down, and these are usually pretty entertaining. Once the bullshit subsides, let's just get to the business of trying to get a roll going before two of our favorites, St. Louis and Vancouver, come in the next week.
Also, noticed some confusion last night. There is a thread for each period, so keep an eye out for those.