MONTREAL, CANADA - OCTOBER 18: Andreas Engqvist #63 of the Montreal Canadiens and Ryan Miller #30 of the Buffalo Sabres watch the loose puck during the NHL game at the Bell Centre on October 19, 2011 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The Sabres defeated the Canadiens 3-1. (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
This could be the most interesting game of the season for the Buffalo Sabres and we are only 17 games into the season. The Sabres are coming off their most disheartening effort against the defending champion Boston Bruins which saw them give up six goals, the most they have given up thus far into the season, lose one of their starting goaltenders to a concussion after a controversial hit, and be exposed as one of the softest teams in the league.
The Sabres response to all of this comes as they have their next game under the national spotlight against the Montreal Canadiens. The Sabres have beaten the Canadiens once already this season, a 3-1 victory which saw Ryan Miller make 40 saves in the win. Jhonas Enroth is now the Sabres goaltender for the foreseeable future as Miller will be out of the lineup with a concussion. Enroth still hasn't lost a game this season, going 5-0 thus far with a .944 save percentage and 1.75 goals against average.
The Buffalo Sabres will make a lineup change tonight. According to Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News, Tyler Myers should end up as a healthy scratch and Mike Weber will get the chance to play his second game of the season. Myers has struggled a bunch in the last few games and it looks like his play has finally gotten the best of head coach Lindy Ruff.
The Lucic hit left a bad taste in the Sabres' players mouth and in the mouths of fans for more than one reason. The main reason though was the reaction of the players, or more aptly the non-reaction of the players, to the Lucic hit. No one seemed to put up much of a fight after Lucic put his shoulder into Miller and laid him out. That video has been continuously replayed around the country and the general consensus that has come out of it is how soft the Sabres appeared to be. The fact that the team allowed six goals afterwards doesn't help that perception much either.
After stumbling out of the gate, the Canadiens have rebounded themselves nicely and find themselves with a 7-7-2 record. They are coming off a two game winning streak on the road, against the Coyotes and Predators. Montreal has been dealing with some issues both on the offense and defensive side of the puck and they are finding themselves getting healthier by the day. Andrej Markov is still out after injuring himself during the preseason and is the only player of note missing from the Canadiens lineup.
Game time is 7:00 pm and can be seen on Versus tonight.