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The Morning Skate: Sabres nearing brink as road test in Philly looms

February 16, 2012

The Buffalo Sabres season is nearing critical mass as they travel to Philadelphia tonight. With only a few losses to give, the Sabres have dropped two-straight and are getting closer to “Fail for Nail” than the playoffs.

While there is still a chance that the Sabres could climb out of the hole they sit in, it is far more likely that they end up with a lottery pick for this year’s draft. That isn’t to say that fans should lose hope, but don’t expect the moon based on the team’s current situation.

Sadly, the season has been lost. Whether it was truly the injuries, poor chemistry or a stale message; the 2011-12 campaign will likely go down as one of waste. There have been some bright spots and room for improvement remains.

What is important to remember for the remainder of the year is to not give up in the team, but to hope for achievable goals. If Darcy Regier makes a few trades at the deadline and the roster begins to trend in the right direction, all will not be lost.

The same goes for every game from here on out. There is no reason not to hope for a victory every night, that is why you’re a fan. Tonight’s game is a winnable one, believe it or not. If this collection of players can finally find the net on a consistent basis, they will win some games. Hope for goals and hope for wins, that may be all that is left at this point.

Highlighted Matchup

Buffalo’s second line. I’m not sure exactly who will comprise this trio against Philly. I’m hopeful that Tyler Ennis will be centering Thomas Vanek and Drew Stafford. But that’s just me. Regardless, there needs to be another scoring threat beyond Jason Pominville and Vanek. If moving Vanek alongside Ennis and another winger is what it takes, so be it. The Sabres need scoring and it needs to come from someone other than the players wearing #29 and #26.

Projected Goaltenders

BUF: Jhonas Enroth

PHI: Sergei Bobrovsky

Last Meeting

Sabres 4 – Flyers 5, First Niagara Center, 12/7/2011

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