Well here come the Blue Jackets, which continues the parade of irrelevant hockey teams into HSBC Arena. Atlanta, Saint Louis now Columbus. Philadelphia finally ends that streak only to restart again with the Islanders. Good thing its easy to sell Sabre tickets, otherwise there would be some empty houses the first couple weeks of November.
The Jackets are average at best. 7-7-2 on the year and 3rd in the central divison. They came off a bad 5-2 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes. So they probably are looking for a good game tonight against a flip floppy team in the Buffalo Sabres. Who can look great, bad and indifferent, all in the same period sometimes. The "system" that Lindy preaches sometimes doesn't get into their heads. Its like Lindy is Mr Kotter, and the Sabres are a bunch of sweathogs. Good guys but sometimes just stupid and lazy.
You look over the Columbus lineup and its a lot of who, and Unh? Like Derick Brassard is their leading scorer with 15 points, also leads in goals with 7. Rick Nash is 3 on the team in points, Jason Chimera is just in front. Jakub Vorchek has 11 points and Kristen Huselius has 10 points. Their one big acquistion RJ Umberger only has 8 points which isn't a shocker since hes no better then a 3rd line player. Mike Commodore is also playing alright. And Freddy Modin is struggling with a -8 in 10 games.
The Columbus goaltending is pretty shaky. Last year a strength, LeClaire who got a big deal is just getting off the IR but his numbers are terrible. Freddy Norena isn't much better, the only one playing alright is Steve Mason. But I think they stick LeClaire out there tonight to get him some action, since he's costing them some money.
The Sabres are once again switching up lines, due to the injury to Sir Breaks-a-lot, Tim Connolly, they should look like this according to John Vogl.
Thomas Vanek-Derek Roy-Ales Kotalik (same)
Jochen Hecht-Clarke MacArthur-Jason Pominville (new)
Daniel Paille-Adam Mair-Drew Stafford (new)Andrew Peters-Paul Gaustad-Maxim Afinogenov
Pat Kaleta is out again and Patty Lalime is in the crease tonight.
I'm sure you can get some cheap scalped tickets to this one tonight. The Blue Jackets don't pack the house. But its Friday and its getting colder, so why not head down to the Arena and have some fun.