Game Day : Sabres @ Habs

 

It's a divisional showdown in Habs nation tonight where the Buffalo Sabres are ready to take on the Montreal Canadiens.

With Ryan Miller out of the lineup due to a disgusting hit from Bruins forward Milan Lucic, the Sabres will be rolling with Jhonas Enroth who, even before this incident occured, was creating some goaltender controversy in Buffalo.  While Ryan Miller has struggled in the first month of the season, Enroth has excelled.  Enroth has already won 5 of the 7 games he's appeared in and has a Sv% of .944.  Habs fans are no stranger to goalie controversy, having seen Jaroslav Halak almost take Carey Prices job away from him a few years back.  Safe to say, we all saw what happens when you over value a career backup goalie, let's hope Buffalo doesn't make any drastic decisions regarding that subject.

Tomas Vanek, Jason Pominville, and Derek Roy are red hot.  Buffalo's top line including Vanek and Pominville has been virtually unstoppable, and have combined for 40+ points coming into tonight's game.  After a struggle out of the gate, Derek Roy is back on track.  Despite being left off the scoresheet vs the Bruins this past Saturday, Derek had 6 points in his two games prior.  Expect him to keep it up and perhaps center the top line tonight vs the Habs.  

Back to back overtime tallies have left the Habs in "OK" shape coming into tonight's contest.  While the Habs have been inconsistent all season, it is nice to see them scoring when it counts (OT).  Max Pacioretty has kept pace so far this season and is seemingly the best Canadiens forward out there.  David Desharnais also deserves a quick mention for his play in the Habs' last game.  He went from being stiff arm'd on every shift vs the Coyotes to being a dangerous player vs the Predators.  While I still don't consider him NHL material, he is definitely not making my case against him very easy.  Keep an eye on both these players tonight, especially Desharnais who will most likely fly under the radar giving Martin some of the matchups he wants.

Even after the brilliant performance from Peter Budaj vs the Predators last game, you can beat your bottom dollar that Carey Price will get the call in nets tonight.  Carey is 8-1-5 vs the Sabres in his career, with an impressive Sv% of .936.  Expect no less from him tonight.

Andre Kostitsyn will most likely sit tonight's game out again, this being his 4rd straight game.  As for Buffalo, they're rolling an almost full roster, apart from Ryan Miller.

Game starts at 7:00pm and is being aired on RDS, VS, and TSN-HDHABS.

Bon Match!

 

3 Comments

George Prax's picture

Hard to predict this one. The Habs have a tendency to pull out wins in games like this, and I'm really not sure what to make of this team anymore. Miller's departure can only make a positive difference for the Sabres for several reasons. I'll go 3-2 Sabres.

Jason Pietroniro's picture

I feel bad for him. Hoping the time off will level his mind. He looks so snake bitten out there. He'll pull through. I just hope they don't move him, for the teams sake. Backup goalies play with a different level of pressure. They also don't usually last the test of time on an 82 game schedule. 30 games in and they slide hard.

George Prax's picture

It's hard to really make any assessments based on October play. Josh Harding is having a ridiculous hear too for the limited number of games he's played, but he's a career backup and it won't last. Enroth... who knows. But Miller is proven. He'll bounce back. All players and goalies go through slumps.