The first game after the Trade deadline and there aren't many of these left to play. The Sabres stand barely outside the playoffs. And have just lost one of their better defensemen. Lately he has been a liability, due to his fragile mental psyche. I love how people think the power play is going to get worse. The power play was bad last year with him on it. The difference is Tim Connolly. But Nashville comes into town for a rare stop into Buffalo. Along with them they bring old friend JP Dumont. Who is quite successful at the moment. Not that anyone is shocked, since he played great here. Another one of those 2005-2006 Sabres that prospered. The Predators a team rumored to be moving and sold, well they still might, are better then expectations. They are 8th in the West which isn't a small feat. Though they play in the Central which is very weak. Especially with Detroit in a free fall. Nashville is only 4-3-3 in their last 10 and losing 2 in a row coming in. But being 2 points out of 5th and 2 points out of being 9th. This is an important game for both teams.
Who is even on the Preds?
Well their leading scorer is Jason Arnott, who is one of those players that puts up good numbers, but lives in obscurity. Alex Radulov is the leading goal scorer with 24, but he has the flu. Dumont is second in scoring with 58 points. Other players to look out for are Martin Erat, David Legwand and Marek Zidlicky. Radek "how am I still in the league" Bonk leads the lead the team with a -22. Not a shock there. In goal they go with Chris Mason or Dan Ellis, Ellis has the better numbers, but with the Preds not playing again till Saturday, who knows who gets the start.
Well these teams are pretty similar, balanced scoring, decent defense, score enough and don't give up a lot. One gets a lot of fans, the other does not. This should be a even matchup and it depends if Buffalo comes out fired up, over the Campbell thing, and ready to makeup for the Ranger and Flyer games. I look for Buffalo to come out flying and hitting. But I have no idea if they will put the puck in the net. The difference will be matchups. And how well Bernier plays.