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Sabres @ Oilers Game 49 Preview

Toilet Bowl v. 2.0

Cody Hodgson has seven points in forty seven games.
Cody Hodgson has seven points in forty seven games.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

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14-31-3, 31 points, .646 p/g Ranks 12-27-9, 33 points, ..688 p/g
Eastern Conference - 16th Western Conference -14th
30th P/G 29th
30th ST 25th
30th ES 28th
30th Goal 28th
7:30 PM MDT - SNW
Rexall Place
The opposing view: Die By The Blade

Stopped At Two

A rousing third period wasn't enough as the Oilers fell to the Minnesota Wild by a score of 2-1.  Oilers had thirteen shots in the third period, more than twice as many as the first 40 minutes combined (11).  Boyd Gordon scored the lone tally for the Oilers late in the second period from Matt Hendricks and Oscar Klefbom, only to be deflated by a top flight goal from Minnesota's Charlie Coyle.  Devan Dubnyk won his fourth game against the Oilers this year (his first against the Oilers as a member of the Wild).  Good news for us is that the Oilers will likely only have the potential to face the Wild twice more this year.

Tonight, two very bad teams will face off to see who can get a leg up in TankBattle2015™.  The Sabres are on a twelve game losing streak.  Let's see what shakes up.

The Oilers are saying

"He's still day-to-day...It's a bone bruise, and we'll see how it reacts for him tomorrow"

That's Oilers head coach Todd Nelson on Taylor Hall's right leg.  Hall took a shot off his leg at practice on Monday.

Interesting how the club went from "He'll play Tuesday night", to "he'll be out Tuesday", to "it's day to day".  I'd say I'm surprised, but I'm not, and neither are you.  Taylor Hall will play again sometime soon, or maybe not.

The Opponent is saying

"It's been quiet, to be frank...It's been very, very quiet.  We're fairly close to the deadline and I didn't expect it.  I don't expect every team to be active, but there usually are a small amount of teams that don't wait for the deadline, that like to get it done before the deadline".
That's Sabres GM Tim Murray bemoaning how no one wants his hot garbage.

    Chemmy (of Pension Plan Puppets fame) tweeted a while ago that if the Sabres weren't in last place late in the season that they'd be putting the puck in their own net by game 75.  While they're not quite doing that yet, they're an absolute tire fire.  "Tire fire" gets thrown about quite a bit, but the tank is on, and it's by design.  Last in goals per game, last in points, last in goals allowed.  If the 'tank' is successful and the Sabres are able to land Connor McDavid, my only hope for them is that their 'rebuild' isn't half as long as the shit we've had to sit through.

Have some of this

  • Get pumped up for this one.  This is the game that everybody's been waiting for.
  • MORE BAD - The Sabres are twelve games without a win.  Hell, they're twelve games without a point.  Can they make it 13 in a row?  Maybe.  The Oilers hung 52 shots on the Sabres when they visited Buffalo in November.  Almost incredibly, the Oilers are still two points behind these very same Sabres in the standings.
  • NO HALL (part deux) ? Benoit Pouliot was the consolation prize on the top line in Tuesday's game versus Minnesota.  He's "day to day" per Nelson, so don't be surprised if he's off again tonight. This team isn't very good when Taylor Hall in the lineup, they're an empty candy wrapper on the Henday without him.
  • Thought Viktor Fasth played another good game on Tuesday, stopping 27 of 29 shots.  Seriously, scroll up and look at the Charlie Coyle goal again, it's some highlight reel stuff.  Coach Nelson is flipping things up tonight by starting Ben Scrivens (8-16-7, 3.05 / .895 SV%).  Sabres going with Jhonas Enroth (11-18-2, 3.43 / .899 SV%) for tonight's festivities.
  • The Sabres are scratching defenceman Nikita Zadorov for tonight's game as punishment for his late return from the All-Star Break.  The Oilers are bad, but if they don't hang 40 shots on the Sabres, I don't have anything for you.  This Sabres team is designed to fail and fail miserably, so this means that they'll top the Oilers something like 4-1.