Your Expectations For The Sabres’ Upcoming Homestand

After being on the road for four straight games, the Sabres are heading home to play five straight games at the First Niagara Center. Their first game on the homestand is tomorrow night against Tampa Bay and then they play Columbus, Florida, Philly, and Calgary in that order. My question is to Sabres fans is how many wins do you expect them to get during this stretch?

In my opinion, I think expecting them to go 4-1 is very reasonable. I realize that Buffalo just got shut-out by Tampa Bay, but both teams played pretty evenly with one another. The difference in that game was a couple of big mistakes made by the Sabres that turned into goals for the Lightning. Further more, Buffalo has owned Tampa Bay for awhile now, so I’d chalk the last game up as a statistical anomaly. Even without Ennis and Hecht(?), the Sabres are the more talented team by a decent margin. Columbus and Florida are pretty much self-explanatory. The former has been horrid and will be coming into Buffalo winless and the Sabres just recently stomped the Panthers in every facet of the game.

As for Calgary and Philly, they should be able to beat the former pretty easily as well. The Flames have had a hard time scoring goals, averaging just barely over two goals per game while the Sabres are giving up just under two goals per game. Also, prior to the last game against Tampa Bay, Buffalo has scored at least three goals in all of their other games. It will be interesting to see how Chris Butler and Robyn Regehr fair against their old teams.

With Philly, you’ve got a good hockey team who is comparable to the Sabres in forward depth and goaltending. I would’ve mentioned the defense, but Chris Pronger is going to miss 7-10 days because of how badly he got high-sticked last night. I can’t embed on WordPress, so I’ll just post the link of it here. http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=130262 

Still, despite Pronger more than likely not being able to play in that game, they still have enough talent on defense with Kimmo Timonen and Co. to aid their offense and goaltending, so there is a very real chance of the Sabres losing this game and that’s ok. In this scenario, it’s only one loss in a five-game homestand and it’s not like the Flyers are a bad team. With a 4-1 record, the Sabres will have opened up with a 9-2-1 or a 9-1-2 record. I’m sure that’s a record fans could live with through the first twelve games.

Another thing that I want to mention that doesn’t really have much to do with the post topic is that Lindy said that Enroth would be playing during this homestand. He’ll probably only get one game, which is fine. Since there aren’t any back-to-back games in this stretch, my guess is Lindy throws him in against the hapless Blue Jackets.

Finally, to wrap this post up, I just want you guys to know that I will be at the game tomorrow night, so you might not get a game recap or an update in the stats & standings until Wednesday. Have a good Tuesday and try to resist the urge to tear off your ears while listening to the broadcast of tonight’s game. Unfortunately, Versus is broadcasting the Sabres-Lightning game.

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