A Friday night in Buffalo. Brings back some pretty bad memories, doesn’t it?
We all know the First Niagara Centre, formerly known as the HSBC house of horror, has been far from kind to the Leafs. Maybe it’s the awful view from the hotel rooms, but the Leafs’ trip down the QEW has usually been a welcome sight for the Sabres and city of Buffalo in general. Indeed, the only thing that briefly halts this cesspool’s population decline is Canadians traveling the QEW to watch the Leafs play.
Maybe, though, the Leafs have put an end to the curse after a sweet 2-1 in Buffalo last February thanks to Joey Crabb’s awesome shorthanded goal. At the time of that win, I remember feeling it was a crowning moment in the rivalry. The Leafs are no longer that slower, less skilled team who gets embarrassed in front of theÂ mass legions of visitingÂ Leafs fans. The Leafs went on to beat Buffalo twice at the ACC after that to even the season series.
The game has few interesting subplots besides being the battle of divisional rivals two points apart in the standings. Tim Connolly makes his return to Buffalo. Joffrey Lupul may be a marked man after trolling Buffalonians on twitter.
James Reimer starts for the Leafs, Ryan Miller goes for Buffalo.
The Leafs are well rested and should have a great atmosphere to get them up for this one.