Game #82, Sabres @ Blue Jackets: Testament
Who could have imagined that when Dmitry Kulikov ended Derek Roy’s season on December 23rd that tonight’s game would be meaningless for all the right reasons? Thanks to second-half star Nathan Gerbe and emerging captain Thomas Vanek, Sabres nation can sit back and breath a sigh of relief as their playoff-bound team takes the ice versus the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Will Miller start? Enroth? Will Lalime get any time at all in the twilight of his career? Will Vanek or Ennis sit as a precautionary measure? Will Kaleta get some ice time before the playoffs start? Will Sekera come back after missing a game to tune-up for the postseason? It’s unknown what the line-up will look like tonight, but with the legion of Sabres fans arriving in Columbus to give their team a friendly send-off into the second season, you would have to imagine that the Sabres would be able to snap their losing skid in Columbus and enter the round of 16 on a winning streak.
UPDATE: Per WGR, Miller will start but may not finish the game. Vanek and Ennis are both questionable for precautionary reasons, while Sekera is confirmed out with his nagging upper body injury. Grier is also out with his lower body injury. No word on whether or not Kaleta will play.
Last night’s goals by Gerbe, so full of desperation and hope and blind determination, and by Vanek, indicative of him truly embracing Atlas by once again powering single-mindedly through the opposition with the team on his back, were testaments to the comeback the Sabres have engineered. It’s as if Terry Pegula and the Sabres have taken the far-flung Buffalo faithful and said “It’s just you and me now against the world”.