Avanlanche vs. Sabres Preview: Alternate reality invades Buffalo as Patrick Roy and the young Avs come to town

Bruce Bennett

Tonight, Sabres fans get a glimpse of what could have been as Patrick Roy and the red-hot, young Avalanche team visit the struggling Sabres.

Despite finally losing their first game of the season, the Colorado Avalanche come to Buffalo as a team that represents everything the Sabres currently wish they were. They have a boatload of young talent that's playing well, including #1 overall pick Nathan MacKinnon, a fiery young coach in Patrick Roy who's getting results, and a 6-1-0 record. The Sabres, meanwhile, have seen Ron Rolston struggle to get wins with a young roster, and look to be a few years away from where Colorado is now. It's a trip in to the Twilight Zone for Sabres fans as Colorado comes to town.
In Sabres injury news, Cody McCormick is day-to-day after blocking a shot with his leg on Thursday, but Zemgus Girgensons is expected to return to the lineup tonight. Ron Rolston also indicated that the team would like to play Nikita Zadorov in at least one game before they decide whether or not to send his back to juniors, and it could be any time in the next few days.

Game #10

Colorado Avalanche (6-1-0) vs. Buffalo Sabres (1-7-1)

Puck Drop - 7:00pm EST - First Niagara Center - Buffalo, NY
TV - MSG | Radio - WGR 550-AM
SBNation Avalanche Blog - Mile High Hockey (Please play nice if you're going to visit.)

Three Things To Watch For

1. How will the Sabres youngsters look in comparison to the Avs?

It's a tough comparison when one team has a recent #1 overall pick, but the Avs are doing everything that the Sabres wish they could be doing. Can players like Hodgson, Girgensons, and Ristolainen keep up with MacKinnon, Landeskog, and O'Reilly?

2. Can anyone on the Sabres eclipse the elusive three-point mark?

Right now, out of all Sabres players, only Thomas Vanek and Cody Hodgson have more than two points. This is game ten, and only TWO PLAYERS on this team have three points or more. I'm starting to seriously wonder if the Sabres will score over 100 goals this year. Not really, but kinda.

3. Will the Sabres rookies' killer dance moves lead them to victory?

Hey, at this point you gotta try anything. Video courtesy of Sabres.com.

Projected BUF Lines

Vanek - Hodgson - Stafford
Ott - Ennis - Foligno
Girgensons - Larsson - Flynn
Porter - Grigorenko - Scott

Ehrhoff - Pysyk
Tallinder - Myers
Weber- Ristolainen

Goal: Ryan Miller

Scratches/Injuries: McCormick, Kaleta, Leino, McBain

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