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The Morning Skate: Road trip hits halfway point

January 19, 2012

After three disappointing road losses, the Sabres current trip away from First Niagara Center is nearing its end.

The current seven-game road trip is half over. The Sabres will play in Winnipeg tonight prior to shipping off to St. Louis on Saturday. The trip has not been friendly thus far. Buffalo has given up fifteen goals on the trip while scoring only four. The past two games have shown what looks to be an exasperated team without any answers for what ails them on the ice.

Tonight they skate into one of the most hostile arenas in the league.

The Winnipeg faithful bought up every possible ticket over the summer and have been more than just vocal for every home game this season. The edge the Jets have at home rivals that of the Blackhawks or Canadiens. Winnipeg’s impressive home record makes the trip to the MTS Centre that much more ominous.

Buffalo past two outings came against superior opponents who showed how much farther ahead of the Sabres they were in impressive drubbings. Winnipeg, while ahead of the Sabres in the standings, is not much farther ahead in the talent department. That fact is something the Sabres need to capitalize on.

Of the many dead horses surrounding the Sabres this year is the fact that they haven’t had more than a couple truly quick starts. If Buffalo manages to wrangle some passion into their first 20 minutes, there is no reason to think they won’t come away with a victory.

What to Watch For

Luke Adam. I have been a little touch and go regarding the young center for a few weeks now. Enough is enough. While he has had some defensive zone lapses, Adam’s contributions early in the year were a major reason this team was winning. Look no further than the fact that he is the third leading goal scorer on the roster. His line with Brad Boyes and Nathan Gerbe showed some fire last night in Chicago. Like many lines this season, they had their moments but couldn’t finish. Watch Adam closely, if he gets the ice time he deserves the production will come.

Projected Goaltenders

BUF: Ryan Miller vs.WPG: Ondrej Pavelec

Last Meeting

Sabres 1 – Jets 2 OT (1/7/12 – First Niagara Center)

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