The Christmas break is over, hockey went out of our mind and our families entered. Now it's time to get back to work. The Sabres will host the Washington Capitals tonight at the FN Center 4 points out of a playoff spot, tied with the Caps in 10th/11th place. All the patrons of Pegulaville wanted from Santa this year was a healthy hockey club. Well Santa delivered, Brad Boyes will return tonight, along with Jochen Hecht. Hecht is a bit of a surprise seeing he was wearing a walking boot near the end of last week. Tyler Myers still seems about a week or so away still, also some other good news is Ennis, Gerbe, and Tropp were all on the ice today. This team is getting healthier, please no more injuries.
Marc Gragnani will again be scratched on the back end and Paul Szezechura will likely be the scratch on the front end. Derek Whitmore was sent back to Rochester, he played well in Ottawa and didn't really factor into anything in Toronto.
The Sabres had perhaps their all around best effort in the past few weeks of Toronto. However it resulted in a 3-2 loss. The Sabres dominated from the 2nd period on until Patrick Kaleta decided to be Patrick Kaleta and take a dumb no need penalty. The Leafs took momentum on the PP and the Sabres ended the period down 2-1 after dominating 17 minutes of the 2nd period. The Sabres tied it earlier in the 3rd and then Patrick Kaleta over back checked, resulting in Kadri putting the Leafs up 3-2 and the game would end that way.
After the game a furious captain Jason Pominville talked about how before the game, after the 1st, and after the 2nd the team talked about not over back checking. The Leafs like to enter the zone with speed and then put on the breaks and look for the trailer. This is a perfect example of why I think Kaleta will be looking for a new squad next season or will be part of a trade.
Lets see if tonight the team can avoid the mental errors that have crushed them.
Prediction-A good win at home would be a good start to a turn around. The Caps are struggling too and are looking for points. Sabres get a boost from the return of Hecht and Boyes 4-2 Sabres.
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