Sabres Projected Lines:
*Sabres going with 11 forwards and 7 defensemen.
Victor Olofsson – Jack Eichel – Sam Reinhart
Jeff Skinner – Evan Rodrigues – Conor Sheary
Jimmy Vesey – Casey Mittelstadt – Curtis Lazar
Zemgus Girgensons – Rasmus Asplund
Jake McCabe – Rasmus Ristolainen
Rasmus Dahlin – Brandon Montour
Colin Miller – Henri Jokiharju
Wild Projected Lines:
Jason Zucker – Eric Staal – Mats Zuccarello
Zach Parise – Mikko Koivu – Kevin Fiala
Jordan Greenway – Joel Eriksson Ek – Luke Kunin
Ryan Donato – Victor Rask – Ryan Hartman
Ryan Suter – Nikita Zaitsev
Jonas Brodin – Matt Dumba
Carson Soucy – Brad Hunt
3 Things to Watch
Sabres set to face top-10 PK
The Sabres’ powerplay woes are no secret. In the last 7 games, their PP is a combined 0 for 18. Take that and see they’re going up against a Wild PK that is tied for 9th in NHL, it could be another long night for Buffalo’s special teams.
It won’t happen, but Krueger should pull some adjustment way out of left field. Like put Ristolainen in front of the goalie to screen like Chara used to do or play 5 forwards on the powerplay.
I’ll piggyback of the Ristolainen idea. Make it ugly. Fire pucks on net, let Ristolainen start digging and have everyone collapse on the net. Those broken plays with guys on their backs and the goalie flopping count just as much as an Olofsson bomb from the right circle.
Do I think those two ideas are viable long term solutions? Absolutely not and they could immediately backfire, but at least try to do something different to get a goal on the man advantage. The Sabres are losing momentum in games due to their inability to make teams pay on the powerplay.
Will someone help Eichel?
In the previous two games, Eichel has scored all five goals for the Sabres.
120 minutes of play, one player has scored all their goals. There is lacking scoring depth, then there is literally not getting any scoring depth at all.
I guess we need to start small while the Sabres are on this nausea-inducing skid, so let’s just have someone else not named Jack Eichel score tonight and lets go from there, huh?
Of course now that I say this, every player not named Eichel will have a point, so if that happens, you’re welcome.
Brad is on the Hunt
Brad Hunt is having a career year. With five goals and five assists in his first 20 games, Hunt is only two points from his point total from last season in which he appeared in 42 games with Vegas and Minnesota.
So while the normal players like Eric Staal, Jason Zucker and Jared Spurgeon will get a majority of the attention defensively, Sabres players can’t sleep on Brad Hunt.
His play might not be jump off the screen noticeable when watching tonight, but a bottom pairing defenseman that is third on the team in points must require some defensive attention.