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Deja Vu



blog-0843713001364328230.jpgHere we are again for the 3rd straight season the Buffalo Sabres are looking to make a late season run to the playoffs. With 16 games left the Sabres sit 3 points out of the 8th and final playoff spot. Sabres have a date tonight with the struggling Lightning on a three game winning streak.

This week will be a huge week for Sabres management to decide what they want to do next week at the deadline. With matchups against the Lightning, Panthers, Capitals, and Bruins this week the Sabres can take 6 or 7 points this week. I'm still at put at least two weeks of solid hockey together and then I will buy in. Last time the Sabres were in this position about a month ago they followed a good 3-0-1 week with a 0-3-1 week.

This time I will admit I have more faith in the Sabres putting up another solid week. I see imporvement and changes under new coach Ron Rolston. The defensive play has imporved greatly in their own end. The Sabres PP is starting to crawl out of the basement with PP goals in 3 straight and 5 PP goals in those 3 games. One main reason is the turn around play of Tyler Myers. Myers has once again started to return to his old dominate form. He is skating better, being more physical, and getting more involved in the offensive zone. I have always felt as Myers goes so the Sabres go. His value to this team is far more important than people realize. Rolston has been a calming influence for Myers and has forced the 6'8 d-man to turn his game around. Rolston had Myers playing with Ehrhoff and logging 25 minutes a game whether he was playing well or not. I like how Rolston allowed the 22 year old to play his way out of the funk instead of style Ruff took which was to take away his minutes. Marcus Foligno, Tyler Ennis, Steve Ott, Mike Weber, and Brian Flynn have also taken off under Rolston.

Drew Stafford will again be a healthy scratch tonight for the second straight game. Rolston has cited Stafford's work ethic as a reason for his benching. I think all signs point to Stafford not wearing a Sabres jersey again. If a team comes in with an offer in the next week I believe Stafford will be sent packing.

Mark Pysyk will remain in the lineup tonight for Andrej Sekera who is still not ready to return from injury. Pysyk has surprised me in his 5 games with the Sabres. He shows his smarts and poise under pressure at a very young age. He makes great decisions with the puck and doesn't look flustered under pressure. He is not going to do anything flashy, but at 21 years old is a solid 3rd pairing defenseman. Bright future ahead on the Sabres blue line with Pysyk, McNabb, Myers, and Ehrhoff.










Prediction: Close game, but I think the Sabres keep rolling to make it 4 straight 3-2.


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