Game #63, Sabres @ Hurricanes: Redneck
Like every game since Derek Roy went down, it’s the biggest game of the season. The goal is simple – win in regulation. To the victor go the spoils – 2 points. For the Sabres, it means pulling in to a tie for 8th over the Canes (tiebreakers in effect). For the Canes, it means pulling ahead of the Sabres by four points.
Lindy Ruff has scratched Rob Niedermayer tonight in favor of Nathan Gerbe, with the intention of rotating them for the rest of the season. “Obviously, if Nathan plays really well, it will make a tougher decision,” Ruff is quoted as saying in TBN. “I would like to see that.” If this sounds familiar, right down to Lindy’s words, it is – this is the exact manner in which he handled Andrej Sekera and Chris Butler toward the end of 09/10′s division championship season. It didn’t work then, and it won’t work now.
Same three things I’ve been harping about lately, I’m harping about for tonight. Keep up the strong forecheck (especially raising hell around the crease) and fast transition, while keep on working on that defensive zone breakout.
The Sabres are on the cusp of finally claiming 8th with a regulation win while retaining games in hand. With some help from Minnesota tonight, they might even be only one point back of the 7th place Rangers with three games in hand. This should be the only invitation the Sabres need.
(Ed. note: Music video is apropos, but NSFW)