The Morning Skate: Judgement day has arrived

The day of reckoning is upon us. That is to say, the Bruins are in town and most Sabres fans and media personalities expect a brawl during warmups.

Personally, I have the over/under for fights at two. 2ITB reader Chris Wasik is taking the under, as am I. If there is one fight, I won’t be surprised. But if there is less time spent throwing fists and more time throwing body checks the fans can’t be too upset with the Sabres’ response.

Bottom line, the Sabres didn’t respond how they needed to when the Miller incident first occurred and the time to answer the bell has passed. Lindy Ruff said it best in his morning presser (thanks to TBN),

We have to play a real hard game. That’s the message in all areas. Hard on the puck, hard getting it back, hard physically.

Buffalo will have a tough enough task cooling down the NHL’s hottest team. The Bruins have won nine-straight and have climbed to the top of the Northeast Division. Well, until Toronto won last night. To put it bluntly, Buffalo, Boston and Toronto will be playing musical chairs atop the Northeast for some time.

Tonight marks the first in a run of 10 games in the next 12 to be played at First Niagara Center. Judging by the Sabres hot and cold reactions at home, they will need a good run to keep pace with the Eastern Conference playoff contenders.

Despite the main focus of tonight’s game being on trying to take Milan Lucic’s head off, the focus should be on beating the Bruins and starting a run that will separate the Sabres from the rest of the Eastern Conference.

Highlighted Matchup

T.J. Brennan. The rookie will be making his NHL debut in a pretty big game. He has shown flashes of brilliance in his two seasons in the minors. While Brennan may not see a ton of ice time, he will need to play a sound game in order to prove he is capable of remaining the first man up from the farm as the season progresses. Not to mention, this is a defensive corps without two of their best defensive zone players, Brennan will need to be responsible in his own end all night.

Projected Goaltenders

BUF: Jhonas Enroth 11GP, 7-2-0, 2.06 GAA, .931 SV%

BOS: Tim Thomas 14GP. 9-4-0, 1.77 GAA, .938 SV%

Last Game

11/12/2011, TD Garden, Sabres 2 – Bruins 6

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