Columbus Blue Jackets @ Buffalo Sabres
Saturday, January 18th, 2014, 7:00PM
First Niagara Center, Buffalo, New York
The Columbus Blue Jackets were given very little time to celebrate last night’s 5-1 win over the Washington Capitals, as the team had to immediately hop on a plane to Buffalo for tonight’s game against the Sabres. A poor response to success was something that afflicted the team during the first half of the season, but lately Columbus has responded to winning a game by simply winning more games. Whether it is just a fundamental change in attitude or the fact they finally have a roster resembling that of an NHL team, Blue Jackets fans are reveling in the five game winning streak.
For the second game in a row, the Blue Jackets were able to overcome a slow start and come out with 2 points in the standings. While it would be great to see the team come out swinging right from the first drop of the puck, maintaining leads and finishing games has been somewhat of a weak area for Columbus. Therefore, you can’t really complain about how this team has played in the last five games. They contained one of the best power play units in the NHL last night and kept applying pressure until the last horn.
The Sabres are coming off a 4-3 shootout loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs. They preceded that with an additional 4-3 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. While the result was disappointing to Sabres fans, the two games marked the first time in six games that Buffalo scored more than two goals in a game. Over their last ten match ups, Buffalo is 4-3-3.
Tonight has the potential to be another trap game. Buffalo may be low in the standings, but they are still a good team. Columbus must block out the success of last night and go to work at the First Niagara Center if they want the winning streak to continue.
- Buffalo has scored three goals in back to back games, despite losing both. Before that, they had not scored more than two goals in the previous six games. [ NHL.com ]
- Since being claimed off waivers by the Blue Jackets, former Sabre Corey Tropp has 2 G, 3A, 35 HITS (21 games played). In his nine games with the Sabres, Tropp had 0 G, 1A, 19 HITS. Tropp had a Rel CF% of +27.1% last night against the Caps, his highest in the last 10 games (previous high was +25.7% against New Jersey on December 27th. [ Extra Skater ]
- The last time Columbus and Buffalo met was October 10th. Columbus won that game 4-1. [ NHL.com ]
- The Jackets will not take part in a morning skate today, so as of right now it is up in the air who will get the start in goal tonight for Columbus. In back to backs, McElhinney has often gotten the nod, but Bobrovsky has been unstoppable lately.
- Fedor Tyutin did not travel with the team to Buffalo due to being sick
The Union and Blue Song For the Game:
Goo Goo Dolls – “Ain’t That Unusual”
With the Jackets in Buffalo tonight, I thought it would be a great time to break out a song from Buffalo native, Goo Goo Dolls. This is one of my favorites off of A Boy Named Goo. It shows off a little of the Goo Goo Dolls punk roots.
Tags: Columbus Blue Jackets