Bravo to the NHL schedulers for plotting out the first game of the Canucks Eastern road swing at a time they would normally do their morning skate. No 'let's cut them a break and let them at least get somewhat acclimatized to the time difference' here. Nope, it's "You're playing at 10 am Pacific time because despite the fact we have games on CBC, Sportsnet, Sportsnet 1 and even City and Omni, you might interfere with people being able to see the Leafs". Garbage. (It should be noted that the author is still battling a horrendous cold and some of his opinions may be influenced by irritability from lack of sleep and 'nighttime cold and flu relief' not really doing shit)
So this is a big game for Ryan Miller, who returns to Buffalo for the first time since he was traded to the St Louis Blues in 2014. You do realize what's gonna happen, right? Same thing that happens at all of these pre-noon games for the Canucks:
And because of this being Miller's return to the team he played a decade or so for, that seals his fate as the one the hockey gods will smite today because we're never allowed to have nice things. Meanwhile, on the other side of the ice, the Sabres are starting Linus Ullmark. The only lineup change we're gonna see is Sven Baertschi getting back in to the mix, while Adam Cracknell draws out. Baertschi will skate with Bo Horvat and Jannik Hansen, while Chris Higgins will try to get things going with Derek Dorsett and Jared McCann.
The Sabres are going to be getting better, and that's thanks in part to some good recent drafting and a few acquisitions they made. Obviously #2 overall pick Jack Eichel is gonna be a big part of their future, as is 2014's #2 overall Sam Reinhart. They added Ryan O'Reilly and Evander Kane (who is LTIR atm), as well as Robin Lehner from the Senators (who also is out long term). Thus, it's Ullmark and Chad Johnson in the crease for the Sabres right now.
FRESH HOT LINKS
- Here's the pregamer from our pals at Die By The Blade
- It's a pretty big deal in Buffalo...
- Drance on Miller and what he means to the Canucks
- And Miller took some time to remind Buffalo (and Vancouver) he's a pretty awesome dude
AROUND THE LEAGUE
- An update from Man Games Lost on the impact injuries have had (and the lack of them) so far this season
- Ryan Kesler and Kevin Bieksa are not very funny
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN
Going back 35 years to the dawn of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal and one of the bands that doesn't get nearly enough credit: RAVEN. This 3 piece band featuring the Gallagher brothers Rob & John as well as Rob 'Wacko' Hunter on drums were a huge influence on the thrash metal scene, and the band that introduced Metallica to the world, taking them out on their first tour back in the early 80's. This is off their 1st 7" 'Don't Need Your Money'.