The ACC in Toronto will feature two teams who have seen similar fates so far this season. The game in Buffalo last Friday, a 5-4 Sabres victory, was perhaps one of the best games so far this season. Both the Sabres and Leafs started off hot, but as of late both have sunk in the Eastern Conference standings. The Sabres currently sit in 10th place with 35 points and the Leafs in 7th with 36 points. A Sabres win tonight propels them into the top 8 again and a Leafs win propels them into 6th. With a Sabres and Sens victory tonight the Leafs could fall out of the top 8 for the first time all season. Both teams are 3-5-2 in their last ten. Both have received helter skelter goaltending, both have players under performing, and both have their fair share on injuries. The Sabres have Stafford and Roy, Toronto has MacArthur and Grabovski. Both teams need a win tonight badly, it should be a good hard fought game.
News is starting to get better on the injury front for the Sabres. Patrick Kaleta will be back in the lineup tonight causing chaos all over the ACC ice. Brad Boyes is expected to return Monday against the Caps and Tyler Myers may be back Monday or Wednesday against NJ. Myers is the big name this team NEEDS back, they need his offensive skill and size. Both the PP and PK have suffered in his absence. Ryan Miller will again be between the pipes he played well in Ottawa Tuesday, but is coming in with a GAA over 3. Not where you want to see your former Vezina goalie. I think Miller is still trying to get into the groove since returning from his concussion, the same fate that Leafs goalie James Reimer is dealing with now since his return.
Again all eyes will be Drew Stafford and Derek Roy. Will one or both of them give Vanek and Pominville a hand in goal scoring. Roy will continue to skate between Pommer and Vanek, which I cannot stand, I am puzzled why Ruff won't put Adam back where he started the season. For the first time in a while no player will be making his NHL or Sabres debut tonight.
The Leafs have recalled Nazem Kadri and Darryl Boyce, Kadri will skate on a line with Connolly and MacArthur. Kadri is feeling the pressure in Toronto, he has been a slight disappointment so far.
Prediction: This is tough, the Sabres are still hurt, but so is Toronto. This may be a goaltender dual and I like Miller's chances against Toronto, he's owned them his entire career. 3-2 Buffalo.
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