Sabres hope to capitalize on extra day off
After a day of watching 26 other NHL teams take the ice on the opening day of the 2012-2013 season, the Sabres will begin their season today against Philadelphia. But, is there any advantage to having an extra day off before starting the season?
There certainly is.
The Sabres were able to get in another practice that allowed players to become reacquainted with one another during a much shorter than usual training camp. It also enabled the coaches and other staff members to watch the Flyers battle the Penguins.
Key matchups could be set along with possible changes in the lineup that may be expected.
But, something that you're taught from coaches at a very young age is that as the home team you need to take advantage of a team that traveled to play, even the night before.
"Make em' go 200ft with that puck. Dump it in quickly and get on it. If they're going to beat us, they're going to be dead tired by the end." A line I am sure players have heard at least once in their career, and something the Sabres will surely be doing today.
On top of that, with the lockout lasting as long as it did, players are not in the same shape they would normally be nearing the end of January. So, with the Flyers taking on arguably their biggest rival in the Penguins yesterday, the Sabres will look to benefit from having that extra day of rest.
On the other hand, there are some things that the Sabres should be aware of entering the game this afternoon.
The Flyers were able to get their jitters out yesterday. All the extra adrenaline, nervousness, and possibly a little bit of rust could be shaken out early.
Further, with the loss to the Penguins that they suffered yesterday, the Flyers will certainly have something to prove coming into Buffalo.
Fans will be relieved to see their team on the ice and welcomed into the season with a hard fought, exciting game.
Follow me on Twitter (@JonZella) and make sure to "like" The Checking Line on Facebook and follow The Checking Line on Twitter (@TheCheckingLine) to stay up to the minute with all the latest team news and notes.
Questions? Comments? Email me at JonZella@gmail.com or leave a comment below.