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GDT: 2/23/2022 Sabres at Canadiens, 6:30 pm CT (that's 7:30 ET for you Buffalonians) MSG, WGR


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This'll be the game to either get St. Louis over 0.500 or back under with the rest of his crew.

The Sabres usually matchup well w/ the Habs, so looking for that W for the boys in white w/ blue & gold trim.

From yesterday's practice report seems there's a good chance Dahlin is back.  Rare for the good guys to pitch 2 stinkers in a row (by quality of play, not results, clearly by results 2 in a row (or 4 as the case would be) is all too common), so those should let us see a good effort.  

Can Tokarski play like the pre-COVID suffering Toker?  That's the big Q.  If he can, should be the start of a 1 game winning streak.

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The matchup: This is the Canadiens’ last chance to beat the Sabres this season. Buffalo has won the first three games in the  season series with two wins in Buffalo — 5-1 on Oct. 14 and 4-1 on Nov. 26 — and a 5-3 win at the Bell Centre on Feb. 13 in Martin St. Louis’s third game behind the bench,  Since that game, the rookie coach has reeled off three wins, including Monday’s 5-2 win over the Maple Leafs. Buffalo lost 7-3 to Columbus Sunday for its third consecutive loss. The Sabres are also in a rebuilding phase and they stand seventh in the Atlantic Division with an 11-27-8 record and an 11-point edge over the last-place Canadiens.

Choices in goal: Montreal has the worst defensive record in the NHL, allowing 3.86 goals a game, but the Canadiens have had some strong goaltending performances during their modest win streak. Sam Montembeault figures to get the start in this game after making 35 stops on Monday but, if his sore wrist is troubling him, St. Louis won’t have any qualms about using Andrew Hammond who picked up his first regular-season win in nearly six years Sunday on Long Island. Hammond was picked up in a trade from Minnesota and he’ll be around until Jake Allen returns from a groin injury in late March.





Young King Cole: The coaching change has brought out the best in rookie sniper Cole Caufield. In the six games since St. Louis replaced Dominique Ducharme, Caufield has scored five goals and added three assists. He also scored a shootout goal in Sunday’s win over the Islanders and he had another goal wiped out by a coach’s challenge. St. Louis has made a difference because he recognizes Caufield is going to make mistakes and he’s willing to live with that. On Ducharme’s watch, a mistake too often resulted in a seat on the bench or a demotion to the fourth line.

To deal or not to deal: The Canadiens are open for business and it’s only a matter of time before defenceman Ben Chiarot gets a new home. Multiple teams are interested in Chiarot and the bidding starts with a first-round draft choice. General manager Kent Hughes has said he’ll deal Jeff Petry if the price is right. The defenceman appears to have embraced the coaching change and he  has two goals and three assists in a four-game points streak. Those are the kind of numbers that attract buyers but, at the same time, they might also convince Hughes that Petry is an asset worth keeping.

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This is the last game in a long stretch of our schedule where we've been playing majority of teams outside of the playoff race. After tonight the Sabres will be playing mostly playoff teams until the last 5 games of the season. 

Let's get a win tonight because they'll soon be much harder to come by.

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• This is the fourth and final meeting between the Sabres and Canadiens this season. 
• Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Montreal 5-3 in Montreal on Feb. 13, 2022 
• The Sabres are 7-3-0 in their last 10 games against the Canadiens; 5-4-1 on the road. 

• This is the 289th game all-time between Buffalo and Montreal; Buffalo has a 133-114-41 series record.
• The Sabres are 56-73-14 on the road against the Canadiens all-time.

• The Sabres have won the first three games between these clubs this season, outscoring the Canadiens 14-5 through those games. 
• A win tonight would give Buffalo its first season sweep against Montreal since 1983-84, when Buffalo won all eight matchups. 

• Buffalo has previously gained a point in each game of a season series against Montreal in four other seasons: 
o 2011-12 (5-0-1) 
o 1996-97 (4-0-1, one tie) 
o 1994-95 (1-0-2, two ties) 
o 1974-75 (4-0-1, one tie) 

• Buffalo has won four of its last five meetings against Montreal dating back to the start of the 2019-20 season. 

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43 minutes ago, The Ghost of Doohickie said:


Hey @The Ghost of Yuri, I demand that you add AST to the title.  Just so there is no confusion that is 8:30 PM.  And while you are at it you need to add NL time too ... 9:00 PM.  Thanks.

Everybody else can be on their own and do their own math.

You want AST?  Start the GDT next time.  NL?  Get bent.

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Don't everybody thank me at once. Anyway, we should be at Alderaan the Canadiens at about oh two hundred hours.

But what time zone? Is that the local time or Space Time?

9 minutes ago, dudacek said:

It wasn't that long ago a lot of people were done with Okposo and Girgensons, but my god does the bottom of the lineup look terrible without them.

Lot of pressure on the Mitts line to give the Thompson line some help.

Okposo and Girgs are very good bottom 6 (middle-six for Okposo in the right lineup) NHL players who would fit in just about anywhere in the league. They provide a stability on the ice that the revolving door of JAGs for this franchise can cycle through. We'll miss them tonight.

My concern is now on the PP. Okposo and Olofsson (when healthy) both give us the quality shot on the right side as a balance to Thompson's one-timer. The positive spin of missing them both is that the team will have to work harder and add more movement to generate shots. It might just wake the PP up a bit.

Edited by DarthEbriate
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8 minutes ago, DarthEbriate said:

My concern is now on the PP. Okposo and Olofsson (when healthy) both give us the quality shot on the right side as a balance to Thompson's one-timer. The positive spin of missing them both is that the team will have to work harder and add more movement to generate shots. It might just wake the PP up a bit.

Neither is on PP1, but it sure leaves PP2 in shambles:

Joki Mitts Cozens Asplund...Matt Ellis?

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I’m wondering if we will ever get to a point where we will dress something even close to our optimal lineup.

This is my loose ranking of our most useful forwards and the amount of games they’ve missed:

  • Tuch 32
  • Thompson 4
  • Skinner 2
  • Mitts 42
  • Okposo 5
  • Olofsson 9
  • Cozens 3
  • Girgensons 17
  • Hinostroza 15
  • Asplund 2
  • Krebs 34
  • Quinn 49
  • Caggiula 33

Yes, Krebs/Quinn is partly by choice, but that’s 5 of the top 13 forwards absent for about 2/3 of the games and another 2 out for 1/3, and Mitts and Olofsson being hampered for a lot of the games they’ve played.

I’m not saying that our record would be significantly better, but adding that to having a third-string goalie or worse starting over half of our games, it’s been extraordinarily frustrating as a fan to have to watch. I mean all of Bjork, Eakin and Hayden have played pretty much every single night, when none of the three should ever be in the healthy starting roster.

Edited by dudacek
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I like that 2nd line. I've been wanting Cozens on the RW of Mitts all along. 

In the future put Quinn in Krebs spot, put Olofsson and JJP as Krebs wingers and put Girgs and Okposo as Asplund's wingers on the 4th line and let's find a GK and RD and we're ready to roll next year.


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