Friday, January 20, 2017

Not a selfie (Sabres - Red Wings preview 1/20/17)

Back (again).

What is or isn't a selfie? For all you olde tymers out there, Robin Lehner seems to know and he definitely wasn't taking one after getting yanked against the Maple Leafs for leaking three quick tallies.

Fortunately for Ol' Crazy Eyes, his guy got inaugurated today, and he's got the night off, with Dan Bylsma opting for Anders Nilsson to take a peppering between the pipes tonight.

Coming off a barn-burner of a comeback win against Boston, the Red Wings roll into town looking for sweet revenge against the Blue and Gold. Detroit has found its scoring touch since the turn of the new year, although that hasn't necessarily translated into Ws. They get the hard-skating Darren Helm back tonight who should supply a bit of a boost, despite probably getting limited ice time.

The Sabres will also have their line-up bolstered by the return (again) of Tyler Ennis. The pint-sized powerhouse showed how much the Sabres have been missing speed on the forecheck and seeing him all over Detroit's susceptible D will be a welcome sight.

Despite suffering what felt like 1000 losses against the ahead-of-schedule Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday, Buffalo did control momentum or hold serve for much of that game. While that Street Fighter II-style combo of three goals were a shock to the system, the quick jolt of cold water is consistent with what this edition of the Sabres have been about all year -- inconsistency.

The Sabres have been led by youngsters since October and the lack of a veteran core making significant contributions has been painfully evidence. Veterans fuse a coach to the rest of the team. They run the room and are supposed to set the example when it comes to embracing a system. They're also supposed to step up and stop the bleeding when the going gets tough.

Gionta, Moulson, Gorges and Foligno have done none of that and the result has been uneven play, from week-to-week, game-to-game and even period-to-period.

Once again, they have a chance to step up tonight against a very beatable Red Wings side. Or they could just let the youngest drive the car with reckless abandon.

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