Tonight, the Sabres host Philadelphia, the team that knocked them out of the postseason last April. Buffalo is looking to get its revenge on the Flyers, who will be without Chris Pronger and Daniel Briere, as well as ex-Flyer Ville Leino.
Leino has struggled to find his comfort zone so far this season, but maybe he a game against his former team can assist him in the process.
The teams split the season series last year, each winning a pair of games, but Philadelphia won the playoff series, 4-3.
The Sabres have been sliding lately, losing three of the past four games. This game against Philadelphia should only motivate them even more to get back to winning ways.
The Flyers are off to a 5-4-1 start and the last goal they scored in Buffalo was an overtime winner coming off stick of Leino. Then, of course, was the rout in game 7 to end the Sabres’ season.
“We threw in two bodies that haven’t played and … you are asking them to play a major role in a Game 7 and Jochen Hecht hadn’t even had a practice with the team,” said Ruff. “Derek has been out for four months, I know he has been doing conditioning and everything, but there is nothing like playing in games.
We had Leopold, who was sick all of the night before and we decided to still dress and play him, but he had no energy. There were some guys that were able to muster up some energy and get up ice. I thought Myers and (Tyler) Ennis did. I think there were guys that played more than their role and a guy like Gaustad, who had really given everything he had, maybe lacked a little bit, too, but those guys emptied the tank for me.”
Tonight’s game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. and will air on Versus.