The Buffalo Sabres will officially debut their third jerseys today - yes, those third jerseys, the ones that everyone seems to hate and the team seems to not know how to market. And they're doing it against one of the most classic sweaters in all the league as they host the Detroit Red Wings. Oh, and did we mention that this is a match up of 6th versus 16th in the Eastern Conference? Yeah, this should be fun.
There is some hope for the Sabres, as the Red Wings are coming off of a 4-2 loss to Ottawa yesterday, and will be without the uber-hands of Pavel Datsyuk, who did not make the trip today after suffering a hit to the head at the hands of Jared Cowen.
As for the Sabres, they'll be without the services of Cody McCormick for at least a week as he recovers from an upper body injury. To shore up the back end, they've called up Alexander Sulzer, who will pair with Christian Ehrhoff and try to recapture some of the Fenwick magic they shared as partners last season. Also returning to the lineup are Brian Flynn, Corey Tropp, and Mark Pysyk (thank you) and the healthy scratches today look like Jamie McBain and Mike Weber (also thank you).
(5-18-1) vs. Detroit Red Wings (10-7-7)
Puck Drop - 5:00pm EST - First Niagara Center - Buffalo, NY
TV - MSG, Bell, FS-D | Radio - WGR 550-AM
SBNation Red Wings Blog - Winging it in Motown
1. Can the Future Line be as productive as we all hope?
Mikhail Grigorenko centering Luke Adam and Zemgus Girgensons? Can we just play this line all game and forget everyone else? They won't see much (if any) special teams time, according to the power play units from practice, so ice time might come at a bit of a premium if the penalties stack up. However, these three young guys represent a significant portion of the immediate future of the Sabres organization at forward, so we'll be keeping a close eye on them all night.
2. Can the rookies spur a lifeless power play?
Mark Pysyk and Brayden McNabb were manning the blue line on the team's second power play unit during Saturday's practice. The Sabres power play ranks 23rd in the NHL at 15.3%, and as the lowest scoring team in the league (by a good margin) they need all the help they can get.
3. What will the reaction around the league be to seeing the Sabres third jerseys in action?
I'm not sure there are enough LOLs on the internet, but we'll see.
Projected BUF Lines
– Luke Adam
– Alexander Sulzer
Scratches/Injuries: Weber, McBain, McCormick, Scott
Projected DET Lines
Cleary - Zetterberg - Alfredsson
Franzen - Weiss - Nyquist
Tatar - Helm - Abdelkader
Miller - Andersson - Samuelsson
Kronwall - Ericsson
Quincey - Smith
Laschoff - Kindl
Goal: Jonas Gustavsson