Sabres vs. Bruins preview: Buffalo tries to rebound against Boston
The Bruins are injured, but the Sabres are terrible. Who will come out top - or rather, who will simply survive for a much needed win?
Buffalo Sabres (2-8-0) vs.
Boston Bruins (5-6-0)
1. It's Sam Reinhart's ninth game - will he do something to help us remember him during the long winter while he's back in juniors?
It's almost a certainty that the Sabres will send the physically overmatched Reinhart back to juniors before they burn the first year of his entry level contract. He could conceivably stay in Buffalo as a healthy scratch for a few more games to watch and learn, but there's really no point in keeping him around until he matures and grows a bit more. Let's just hope he has at least one memorable moment for us to fondly look back upon as this season circles the drain.
2. Will Cody Hodgson's demotion to the fourth line motivate him to get his rear in gear? And will Torrey Mitchell's continued promotions be justified?
At yesterday's press conference, Ted Nolan said that Hodgson's place on the fourth line was his last stop on the way to the bench. For a guy with one of the heftiest contracts on the team, Hodgson has underwhelmed in a big way, and is one of a number of "top" forwards who has performed poorly in the opening stretch. Tonight would be a good time to start, and with Sam Reinhart as his center, there's a chance.
As for Mitchell, he's now inexplicably a second line forward, so it would be nice for him to somehow justify that top-six placement with more than just hard work.
3. Can the Sabres take advantage of a very injured Boston blue line?
With big injuries on defense - Zdeno Chara and Torey Krug are out - the Bruins will be relying on AHL defensemen Joe Morrow and David Warsofsky from Providence to pick up the slack. If there's any way the Sabres can find a better result than the 4-0 drubbing they earned when these two teams faced earlier in the season, taking advantage of the depleted Boston blue line is a good place to start.
Projected BUF Lineup
Foligno - McCormick - Stewart
Goal: Jhonas Enroth