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The new year has started off well for the Buffalo Sabres. Last night they pulled out a 4-3 win over the Oilers with a 3 point game from Drew Stafford and a multi point game from Derek Roy. Lindy Ruff overhandled his team again by making dramatic line changes that started in a poor start for the Sabres. Ruff quickly put the lines back to normal and the Sabres started to control play and earned the W. The best news in months came down today. Big #57 Tyler Myers is ready to go and will play tomorrow in Carolina. Myers is the most important player on this team, he eats big minutes, provdies offense from the point, and plays the PK and PP. The real evaluation of the Sabres can now begin. If they continue to struggle with 57 in the lineup then they really do have serious problems. I however am under the belief that Myers will start right the ship especially in the D-zone. This may also help the play of Ryan "three or more" Miller. He has looked good and awful at times since returning from his head injury. Myers returning will result in TJ Brennan heading back to Rochester, he has played well in his time in Buffalo, he will be part of a young upstart D next season (Myers, Brennan, and McNabb). Also on the injury front Tyler Ennis and Ville Leino are ready to get back into action Saturday or Tuesday at the latest. This will result in Zack Kassian being sent back to Rochester (if not before that) and Matt Ellis heading back to the press box. Still the Sabres will have a decision to make, who else sits? McCormick might be the person who watches from the press box as well, he sat last night for Kassian with Sabres looking to dress a more offensive lineup. Boyes has not played great since returning, but he provides skill and almost a given in the shootout. Here's how I expect the lines to look in the next few games: Vanek-Hecht-Pominville Stafford-Roy-Gerbe Leino-Adam-Ennis Kaleta-Gaustad-Boyes Myers-Regher Leopold-McNabb Gragnani-Weber Miller Enroth Before I end this I want to touch on the play of Nathan Gerbe. The 5'5 Boston College product has been the life and soul of this Sabres team all season. He is the smallest guy on the ice, but plays like the biggest. He has no fear and had lightning fast speed. He leads his team on and off the ice which is exceptional for such a young player. I hope to see at least a large "A" on his small jersey next season. He scored a nasty backhand breakaway goal last night to close out the Oil a true goal scorers goal. The Flyers remember how nasty Gerbe can be, check out this playoff clinching goal in the home finale last year: Sabres next 5 games are very important (@CAR vsWPG @TOR vsTOR @NYI) at least 8 out of 10 would be nice here.
Tyler Myers To Return By Friday? The Buffalo Sabers D-man Tyler Myers has been out since suffering a broken wrist Nov. 19, he said today he is fully healed and is hopeful of returning Friday when the Sabres visit Carolina. Today at the First Niagara Center Myers said to the press that he hopes he is ready to go by friday. He also said that he has no physcial pain on his writst when he does a fast moving motion (like taking a slap shot) but he would like to take it easy when playing his first few weeks back. Blue Jacket Trade Rumors Heat Up Jackets GM Scott Howson has mentioned that he is going to make his last-placed club and make it a top 10 team. He has also mentioned that his team will be shaken up in the up comming weeks leading to the Febuary, 27 trade dealine. Now the Columbus Dispatch has mentioned that the Blue Jackets' players are feeling some sort of effects that moves are comming up and they are worried who might be the next out. Some big names that have been mentioned to be traded are Rick Nash and Jeff Carter. Rumors around the web are indicating that Jeff Carter to the Toronto Maple Leafs but there is no response on who the Leafs will give back. Don't expect Center man Derick Brassard to be shiped off, he has been a target of many trade talks all season long but he has been pretty calm right now for the past few weeks and seems he has found his spot on the 4th line. I'm thinking that the Leafs and Jackets will have a trade in deal but on the Leafs end it has been quiet. GM Brian Burke has not said anything about a trade with the Jackets but yet again Burke is very unpredictable Shea Weber Back On The Ice The Nashville Predators start defenseman Shea Weber practiced without contact on Tuesday for the first time since suffering the injury on December 23 2011 againts the Dallas Stars, Says ESPN. The 26 year-old had skated with his teammates in a public practice in Franklin, but Nashville coach Barry Trotz maintains that there is still not a realistic time line for when the Predators Captian will return. Weber had played 35 games this season scoring 8 goals and racking up 21 assists for a total of 29 points. The Preds will start talking contract neogations with Weber in the up coming weeks as he is secheduled to become a RFA in July. Nashville's GM David Poile has mentioned more thn once that he realy wants to sign Weber to a long-term extension and his value will increase significantly. Detroit To Host The 2013 Winter Classic It has yet not been confirmed but it will be within the next few days to the next week. But the Detroit Red Wings will be hosting the 2013 Winter Classic, and the Toronto Maple Leafs will be visiting and or the Avalanche and maybe even the Sharks. Since the Rangers and Flyers Winter Classic had such low ratings the NHL wants to mix it up and put some "Random'' teams in. But the Leafs and Wings have a fun history together so if they where to play it be very good. And another rumor is that the Blues might have a part in that Winter Classic also, since the Blues been having a lot of issues having them play in the Winter Classic would be great for there franchise. There will also be a HBO 24/7 Road To The Winter Classic special.