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The Week Ahead: October 26th

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Coming off a complete sweep on the Florida road trip, the Sabres play three games this week including the pivotal ninth game of the season for Tyler Myers.  After Wednesday night's game in New Jersey, the Sabres have to make a decision on whether Myers is going to stay with the team or if the team is going to return him to juniors.  Daniel Paille's trade should have been the signal that the team is committed to keeping both Tyler Myers and Tim Kennedy in the lineup but Darcy Regier's comments to the Buffalo News at this point is showing that the team has not made a decision:

"I haven't [made a decision], and we haven't, because we know what the time frame is," the Sabres' general manager said over the weekend. "We know that we've got the games to watch him, and we'll take that time.

"As a group, we really haven't talked about it a lot because we're going to allow it to play out, then we'll make a decision afterward."

The Sabres most likely are just playing a bluff here due to the fact that Myers has played a phenomenal first eight games this season and is starting to get some Calder Trophy consideration this early in the season.  Whether his play will drop off as the season will have to be seen but at this point, the Sabres would be in a public relations nightmare if they sent this kid down to juniors just to save a year on his contract. 

Buffalo plays three games this week, two on the road and one at home.  They will also play another dreaded three games in four nights which will become a staple in the schedule over the next few weeks.  We take a look at the games after the jump.

Wednesday @ New Jersey:

The Devils have always been a thorn in the Sabres side as they are 29-21-12 at home against the Sabres.  Martin Brodeur is 27-14-5 in his career against the Sabres and will be starting this game as the Devils last game was Saturday.  New Jersey is 6-3 this season which puts them third in the Atlantic division, three points behind the Rangers and six points behind the Penguins.  Zach Parise is still continuing to impress many in the league as he leads the Devils in goals and in 16 career games against Buffalo, Parise has five goals and four assists. 

Friday vs. Toronto

Toronto is experiencing the worst start in franchise history at 0-7-1, with their only overtime loss coming in the season opener against the Canadiens.  The Leafs are going to be hungry for their first win of the season and for the Sabres sake, hopefully it will have already happened before these two teams meet on Friday.  Toronto plays two games before they meet the Sabres, one against Anaheim and the other against Dallas.  The Maple Leafs major problem is still goaltending with both Vesa Toskala and Jonas Gustavsson are both injured which has left Joey MacDonald in the starting position.  Both Gustavsson and Toskala should return to the lineup this week.  The one thing that the Maple Leafs do well is fight.  In eight games this season, the team has ten fights and Colton Orr has four of those fights.  Patrick Kaleta should be prepared to drop the gloves in this game. 

Saturday @ New York Islanders

The Islanders looked pretty bad against a Sabres team that struggled on their own in their first meeting on October 16th.  The Sabres chased goaltender Dwayne Roloson after he allowed four goals on 12 shots.  Backup goaltender Martin Biron looked better allowing only two goals on 22 shots.  Expect to see Patrick Lalime in this game as it will be part of a back to back series.  The Sabres will see the Islanders again four days later on November 4th. 

Around the Division

Boston will play two games this week as they are looking to try and recover from some of the major injuries that key players have suffered.  The Canadiens will play four games this week, two on the road and two at home.  Toronto will also play four games this week all on the road.  Finally, Ottawa will play three Southeast division teams this week as they try and catch the Sabres for the Northeast division lead.