Only during the NHL Premiere games did the Sabres roster look as it did yesterday in practice. Aside from Jochen Hecht, it appears as if the Sabres are as healthy as they have been all season.
Tyler Ennis and Paul Gaustad appear ready to play tonight in Montreal. The same reports note that Brayden McNabb has passed his baseline test and should be ready to return by the end of the week. It is a major step forward for a team that has been searching for answers with multiple players injured at a given time.
The question remains, is the roster good enough to win games? Considering the make-up of the lines, it is safe to assume that the line-up will be a near carbon copy to the one that started the year 10-5. That, of course, was before their confidence was all but destroyed by Milan Lucic and a string of injuries.
Tonight’s game in Montreal presents the Sabres the opportunity to win two games in a row for the first time since November. It will be a tough task in a hostile building against a team that plays Buffalo well – particularly in net. But a healthy roster means fewer excuses for everyone involved.
Tyler Ennis, Luke Adam and Ville Leino. The three players, particularly the latter two, have had interesting seasons. Adam was red-hot to start the year but has filtered to fourth line minutes as of late. His creativity seems choked off as Lindy Ruff continues to demand more from the young pivot. However, he has just returned from the All-Star game, it would be foolish to keep him stashed between two grinders. Ennis skated at center yesterday in practice and could potentially make the shift if Ruff is truly looking for different answers. Keep an eye on Ennis simply because he hasn’t been the impact player he was last year. If he shifts to pivot and Leino bumps to wing, pay even more attention. Ennis and Leino need to start producing, there is no more time to wait for them to warm up.
Sabres 3 – Canadiens 2 SO, Bell Centre, 11/14/2011