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A Special Night in Ottawa



blog-0971103001324418847.pngThe Blue and Gold invade Scotiabank Place in Ottawa for a very important matchup in the Eastern Conference standings. The Sabres sit in 8th with 35 points and the Senators sit in 10th with 34 points. Depending on how tonight goes the Sabres could end up anywhere from the 6th spot to the 11th spot in the standings. A big 4 point swing is on the line tonight. For Ottawa Kyle Turris will make his Sens debut tonight after being traded from the Coyotes earlier in the week for David Rundblad and a 2nd round pick. I think the Yotes got the good end of the deal on that one, but we will see for sure in a year or two. Also tonight the Sens get back Sergei Gonchar and Filip Kuba, after struggling last season the two defenders were off to decent starts before they were injured.

Unlike the Sens, the Sabres are not getting healthier. They will be without a laundry list of players tonight: Boyes, Myers, Gerbe, Kaleta, Ennis, Tropp, Stuart, Leino and Hecht. This however paints the way for a fun storyline to tonights game. Marcus Foligno will make his NHL debut against his brother Nick Foligno. The Foligno family will be in attendance tonight in Kanata as well as of course former Sabres player and proud dad Mike Foligno. Marcus played well last season for team Canada in the World Juniors in Buffalo, which he was a long shot to make at first. He is off to a decent start in Rochester (9G 3A 27GP) and Sabres could use his 6'2 220lb frame tonight. Also making his well deserved NHL debut for the Sabres is Derek Whitmore. The 27 year old AHL vet, has played well in Rochester and I'm surprised it took this long for him to get the call. In 29 games down on the farm he has 13 goals and 7 assists. Both Foligno and Whitmore have local ties being from Buffalo and Rochester respectivley.

In other news Ryan Miller will guard the 4x6 cage tonight, hoping to rebound from his poor performance in Pittsburgh. This team needs Miller to play well in order to stay alive with all the injuries. Help is on the way with Boyes and Kaleta expected to play Thursday in Toronto and Myers to be back at the end of next week.

Also rather important to tonights game Derek Roy will be put back between Vanek and Pommer on the top line tonight. I know Ruff doesn't have much of a choice, but in my opinion Roy is cancer for whoever he plays with. Both Stafford and Vanek thrived with Roy out of the lineup last season and Vanek continues to thrive without Roy this season. Stafford has struggled after being back with Roy this season. If a trade is to be made in the near future Roy is vote for the boot.

Expected Lineup:










Prediction: See lineup above...Too many injuries and Sens could come out flying with debut of Turris...Miller has struggled of late...3-2/OT Ottawa, at least a point would be nice tonight.


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