Saturday, October 25, 2008

Game 8: Sabres/Avalanche Preview

The Sabres travel into Denver tonight to take on the suddenly hot Avalanche at the Pepsi Center. The Avalanche have gotten on a hot streak as of late, winning their last four after dropping their first three. The main reason for this streak is the solidified play of their goaltending. After having their top goaltender, Jose Theodore, leave for free agency they promote backup goaltender Peter Budaj to the top spot. From there, they sign Leaf wonder Andrew Raycroft to backup up Budaj. While Budaj and Raycroft do not scare anyone they can play a good game every once in a while. In the Western Conference there needs to be good goaltending for a team to be able to compete.

The Sabres are still rolling behind their ability to step up their play when needed. The Sabres have found themselves in a two-goal deficit in the past two games. From there they have been able to score quickly to tie the game and actually win the game in overtime or a shootout. The Roy/Vanek/Stafford line has been the stud line for the Sabres. Combined they have 11 goals and 8 assists which accounts for about half of the goals for the team. Vanek has been the hot hand on that line but Stafford and Roy have been able to find the scoring touch as of late. Stafford has shown signs of being a play maker, scoring highlight reel goals in his last two. Right now, you could compare his scoring ability to a healthy Tim Connolly when he was able to deke defensemen out of their skates to score goals.

This game will definitely not be a snooze fest as the Sabres and Avalanche are each in the top 5 in scoring. Colorado averages 4 goals a game while the Sabres are averaging 3.43 goals per game. Game time is 9pm. Here are the stats.


Stat Leaders
Goals - Vanek (8)
Assists - Afinogenov (5)
Points - Vanek (11)
Plus/Minus -Vanek (+6)
Penalty Minutes - Kaleta (32)
Shots - Vanek (35)

Special Teams
Power Play: 23.1% (Tied for 5th in League)
Penalty Kill: 93.9% (3rd in League)

Miller: 5-0, 1.74 GAA, .935 SV%
Lalime: 1-0-1, 1.44 GAA, .951 SV%


Stat Leaders
Goals - Hejduk (6)
Assists - Stastny (9)
Points - Stastny (11)
Plus/Minus - Stastny, Hejduk (+3)
Penalty Minutes - Laperriere (33)
Shots - Hejduk (29)

Special Teams
Power Play: 20.9% (8th in League)
Penalty Kill: 71% (Last in League)

Budaj: 2-3, 3.42 GAA, .868 SV%
Raycroft: 2-0, 3.00 GAA, .875 SV%

No comments:

Post a Comment