If the Sabres oft-rumored, rarely seen forecheck were to make an appearance anytime soon, tonight against the Flyers would be a good night.
In their last game against Columbus, the Flyers struggled to swim upriver against the might torrent that is the Blue Jackets forecheck. A major reason Philly is vulnerable to a heavy O-zone press is a significant lack of talent on the back end. With Gostisbehere struggling, Mark Streit aging before our eyes and Del Zotto failing to do a convincing impression of a Top 4 defenseman, this D corp is ripe for the picking.
A heavy forecheck will also help keep the dangerous Giroux line from marking up the score sheet. Matt Read was recently bumped up to the top line, and the move has paid dividends. Along with Michael Raffl, Giroux and Read were driving both momentum and possession time in their last game against Columbus.
Between the pipes, Steve Mason has been reliable, but a bit shaky of late. Although, Mason is the type of goalie who can stand on his head when least expected.
For the Sabres fans, the comeback win against Winnipeg should be particularly heartening because it was fueled by veteran play. Players like Gio, Moulson and Foligno need to put in steady, reliable play. While the Blue 'n' Gold may be starting to gain a reputation for battling back to win games, a come-from-behind win is much harder to pull off against teams like the Flyers, who have cagey veterans throughout the lineup. Veterans who know how to lock down a game when necessary.