Buffalo Sabres Week Ahead 11/16-11/22: Stars and Blues and Stars and Blues
A scheduling quirk means that two of the Sabres toughest Western Conference opponents will see their season series with Buffalo come and go this week.
Last week was a successful one for the Sabres, nabbing five of six possible points as they beat the Lightning and Panthers while losing in overtime to the Sharks en route to a 2-0-1 record. The week ahead features a funny scheduling quirk - the Sabres will play their next four games , both home and away, against the St. Louis Blues and Dallas Stars, thus finishing up the season series with both of those teams. With both teams being so tough, anything that makes the game planning a little easier can't hurt.
Tuesday, Nov. 17 - Buffalo Sabres vs. Dallas Stars, 7:00pm
The first game against Dallas comes at home, where the Sabres are now 4-5-1. The Stars are good wherever they play, with equal 7-2-0 records at home and on the road, which is part of the reason they lead the Western Conferencewith 28 points. At 65 goals for, the Stars are the highest scoring team in the league, but they've also given up 47 against, good for just 19th in the league. Defense will be at a premium in what will likely turn into a fast-paced shootout, and this game will also feature the always-entertaining return of for Sabres coach Lindy Ruff to Buffalo.
Thursday, Nov. 19 - Buffalo Sabres at St. Louis Blues, 8:00pm
On Thursday, the Sabres begin their Midwestern road trip by heading to St. Louis, where the Blues aren't quite as dominant at home as they are on the road, going just 4-2-1 at the Scottrade Center. The Blues and Stars both rank at or near the top of the league in shots per game, but St. Louis is far more effective at limiting their opponents shots than Dallas. This is a team that doesn't dominate any one stat or category, but does almost everything very well - the Sabres will need to do the same to have a chance.
Saturday, Nov. 21 - Buffalo Sabres at Dallas Stars, 8:00pm
Hey, look who's back! Only this time, the roles are reversed as the Sabres travel to Dallas to take on the Stars for the second time in five days. Will there be any bad blood or controversial calls from the first game that must be avenged? Can anyone stop the Dallas offense, which has three players - Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, and defenseman John Klingberg - among the top-six point scorers in the league? Which Sabres forward looks best in a cowboy hat? We'll find out on Saturday night.
That's what's on the table for this week, Sabres fans - give us your thoughts on the games ahead in the comments.