The Maple Leafs host the Sabres who are playing on back to back nights. By that account, and under normal circumstances, this is a game the Leafs should be able to win. Unfortunately, these are anything but normal circumstances.
Key injuries, bad form and lack of compete has shattered the Leafs’ home record in recent month. Given Buffalo’s recent run of form, calling this a difficult encounter is an understatement.Â Buffalo lost to Pittsburgh last night, which is all fine and dandy, but the Penguins have a “slightly” better team, one that had to bounce back from back to back defeats at the hands of the Islanders.
The teams have split the season series so far, with the Leafs outscoring the Sabres by a 11-10 margin.
QUOTE TO NOTE:
“We’ve said everything we can say. (Now) you’re looking at the inner self of the individualâ€”how can you continue to allow this to happen?”
â€”coach Randy Carlyle on getting his players to snap out of their slump.
Yep, nothing more to say really. This team changed coaches, but yet the group still hasn’t performed in games that really (I want to say mattered but…) could have showed character or fight. They failed to show any of it and chances are really getting scarce. Carlyle’s message is pretty clear. If you want to play here next year â€“ show it.
The Sabres are missing defenseman Christian Ehrhoff (left knee) and defenseman Mike Weber, who was hurt after being checked from behind by a reformed Matt Cooke in the second period of Friday’s contest. Our forwards Joffrey Lupul (shoulder) and Nikolai Kulemin (finger) are out. James Reimer is day to day.
WHAT TO WATCH:
Us NOT getting lit up. The Leafs conceded 21 goals in their last 5 games (not counting the Rangers SO loss). According to any reasonable NHL standard, that is a really big number.