Buffalo Sabres take on the St Louis Blues
The Sabres’ second game of the road trip is in St Louis tonight
Buffalo Sabres (24-19-3) at St Louis Blues (23-21-3)
Puck Drop: 8:00 PM EST | Enterprise Center | St Louis MO
TV: MSG, ESPN+
Radio: WGR 550
SB Nation Blues Blog: St Louis Game Time
Know Your Opponent
St Louis Blues
Last Game: 5-3 loss vs Chicago Blackhawks
Division Ranking: 6th in Central Division
PP: 23.0% (15th)
PK: 74.6% (25th)
What to Watch For
1. Oh My Dahlin’
Rasmus Dahlin started the season off in fine form with a goal streak, and while that has cooled off a little, he’s maintaining his torrid form in recent weeks. What is more interesting is that in games that he’s been held point-less the Sabres have gone 4-6-2. A couple of those wins are six-burgers where everyone else piled on, but it really does underscore the importance of his offensive game to Buffalo’s overall play.
The 22-year-old will continue to develop the defensive side of his game, we know this. Defensemen tend to hit their stride in their own end as their career’s go on, but the magic he’s providing the offense both 5-v-5 and on the man-advantage is critical for the Sabres right now.
Also, just a fun little tidbit I can’t help but throw out there - Auston Matthews has 53 points (25G, 28A) in 46 games, Rasmus Dahlin has 53 points (14G, 39A) in 45 games.
2. Goalofsson Doing What He Does
With the NHL trade deadline now about five weeks away, trade chatter will certainly start heating up. One name that often comes up whenever fans are talking about the Sabres is Victor Olofsson. For some reason, he gets thrown into any deal for a big incoming player as a makeweight, and I am here to say, put some respect on his name!
He might be limited to being a sniper, but he is a damn good sniper and every team needs one or two of those. He’s certainly showing his worth to the team in recent games — five goals in the last four games — and if nothing else, is certainly helping his trade value as we head towards the deadline.
The Swede has 28 points (22G, 6A) in 46 games, with 22 of those coming at even strength. The narrative that Olofsson is a power play merchant can certainly hit the road and never come back.
3. Three-headed Goalie Monster
The Sabres are continuing to keep three goalies on the roster as they try to sort out their goaltending issues, but what is pretty clear so far is that the goalie who are playing are certainly keeping them in games.
Craig Anderson was outstanding last night against the Dallas Stars, who are leading the Central Division. He singlehandedly kept Buffalo in a game that they could have been blown out in. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has been very good too, in a different way. He’s made some big saves when the Sabres have needed them the most, tied games, overtime, and the like.
Eric Comrie’s last five games have all been losses and it looks like some of the earlier shine has rubbed off, but UPL has done well since then.
Jeff Skinner - Tage Thompson - Alex Tuch
JJ Peterka - Dylan Cozens - Jack Quinn
Casey Mittelstadt - Tyson Jost - Victor Olofsson
Zemgus Girgensons - Peyton Krebs - Kyle Okposo
Mattias Samuelsson - Rasmus Dahlin
Owen Power - Henri Jokiharju
Jacob Bryson - Ilya Lyubushkin
Goaltenders: Craig Anderson, Eric Comrie, Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (projected starter)
Scratches: Rasmus Asplund, Vinnie Hinostroza, Kale Clague
St Louis Blues
Brandon Saad - Robert Thomas - Jordan Kyrou
Ivan Barbashev - Brayden Schenn - Vladimir Tarasenko
Jake Neighbours - Noel Acciari - Logan Brown
Alexei Toropchenko - Nathan Walker - Tyler Pitlick
Nick Leddy - Colton Parayko
Niko Mikkola - Justin Faulk
Torey Krug - Tyler Tucker
Goaltenders: Jordan Binnington (projected starter), Thomas Greiss
Scratches: Steven Santini
Injuries: Scott Perunovich, Marco Scandella, Ryan O’Reilly, Robert Bortuzzo, Nikita Alexandrov, Pavel Buchnevich