We’re a week into the NHL season, and the Columbus Blue Jackets (1-1-0) are preparing to match up against the Buffalo Sabres (0-3-0) this Thursday, October 10th, 2013. Both teams have faced some tough competitors at the beginning of their seasons and the match up should be interesting.
While the Sabres have not won any of their games this season, they are known for their strong goalies. On October 5th, during their game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Sabres starting goalie, Jhonas Enroth had 31 saves during the game.
That being said, the defense supporting Enroth during the game was weak and allowed for four goals. To start having a successful year, the goalies need to start getting support from the defensive line.
Furthermore, the team is also severely lacking when it comes to offense. They have only scored two goals total in their first three games and went 0 for 2 against the Penguins during Power Plays. Everyone on the team recognizes that they need to find a way to get some offense going.
The Blue Jackets, on the other hand, are coming off an exciting win against the New York Islanders (2-1-0) on October 5th after a tough loss at their home opener.
Although the game ended with an excited win in shootouts, the beginning of the game looked rough. Only in the 3rd period was the team able to come together and score and work back from a 2-0 score at the end of the 2nd period.
What was able to get them going was a strong Power Play; this was the second game in a row where an aggressive play got them going and led to more goals.
The star of the team was the goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, who was able to make and astounding 28 saves during regulation and overtime play. His amazing saves came at just the right time during the shootout.
All in all though, the coaching staff was proud of how the team came together to fight back from being down and of how aggressively they played against a very quick paced team, during their home opener. Though they did recognize some areas from the previous game that need to be worked out.
So what should the matchup this Thursday look like? Well both teams have had a few days to rest and work on some of the errors that held them back in the previous games. Furthermore, the game the Sabres play Tuesday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning (1-1-0) could be either a source of excitement or of more disappointment that could transfer over into Thursday’s game.
The Blue Jackets are also coming off of a very exciting win and a rest period in which they were able to work out errors. Those extra days could be a pivotal upper hand for the Columbus team.
Both teams have strong goaltenders, but the Blue Jackets run a much quicker offense and should be able to score quickly. Also, they have a strong Power Play and if given the chance, should be able to use it to their advantage.
To ensure a win the Blue Jackets need to take advantage of the Sabres weaknesses, like their defense, and score when given the opportunity. If they can keep up their fast and aggressive pace, the win is theirs.