Puck Drop: 8:00 PM EST | Ball Arena | Denver, Colorado
Radio: WGR 550
SB Nation Avalanche Blog: Mile High Hockey
Know Your Opponent
Record: (31-8-3) | 65 PTS
Division Ranking: 1st in Central Division
Last Game: 6-4 win vs. Blackhawks
PP: 25.6% (T6th)
PK: 75.6% (25th)
1. Oh, Captain, Their Captain
It is no secret that Colorado has an excellent, stacked team. Captain Gabriel Landeskog is among the long list of talent on the Avalanche and is especially hot these days. In Friday’s game against the Blackhawks, the Swedish winger recorded two goals and an assist to help lead his team to their ninth straight victory. Will tonight be number 10? Probably. Though, the Sabres did well against the Coyotes last night.
In other news, the Avs have also won 17 straight on home ice. Good luck, Buffalo!
2. Are there any Sabres players left?
It has been an eventful few days for the Sabres as they have essentially run out of goaltenders and are now dealing with several players on the COVID protocol list in addition to a never-ending injury problem. Most recently added to the growing list is Will Butcher, who left last night’s game early with what appeared to be a pretty serious knee injury as he was helped off the ice.
Additionally, Rasmus Asplund, Victor Olofsson, Rasmus Dahlin, and assistant coach Matt Ellis were placed in COVID protocol Saturday afternoon, among others in the Sabres organization.
Of those that have not been slapped with the wrath of COVID or an injury, Peyton Krebs and Alex Tuch have been doing quite well since their trade to Buffalo. So far, Krebs has three goals and two assists in 9 games with the Sabres while Tuch has three goals and seven assists in 10 games. Keep an eye on these two as they were switched to the same line last night after some magic between them on the ice. Jack Eichel who?
3. Missing MacKinnon
While Colorado has no shortage of talent, they will still be missing one of their big stars in Nathan MacKinnon. During Wednesday’s game against the Boston, forward and former Sabre Taylor Hall executed a dirty hit on MacKinnon, causing a facial fracture and concussion. Prior to the injury, MacKinnon had 43 points in 31 games.
Buffalo Sabres (Honestly, it is such a mess)
Peyton Krebs - Tage Thompson - Alex Tuch
Jeff Skinner - Casey Mittelstadt - Dylan Cozens
Mark Jankowski - ? - Kyle Okposo
Cody Eakin - John Hayden - ?
Jacob Bryson - Henri Jokiharju
Mattias Samuelsson - Casey Fitzgerald
Mark Pysyk - Robert Hagg
Starting Goaltender: Dustin Tokarski (expected)
Gabriel Landeskog - Mikko Rantanen - Valeri Nichushkin
Alex Newhook - Nazem Kadri - Andre Burakovsky
Tyson Jost - J.T. Compher - Logan O’Connor
Dylan Sikura - Mikhail Maltsev - Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Devon Toews - Cale Makar
Jack Johnson - Samuel Girard
Kurtis MacDermid - Erik Johnson
Starting Goaltender: Darcy Kuemper