I'm tempted to go to the Sabres/Caps game tomorrow night at the Verizon Center, but I honestly can't remember the last time I went to a Sabres game in person and they won. Oh wait, yes I can; it was the last one I went to. They came from behind to beat the 'Canes in HSBC back in '09 while I was in town for a chili promo/Bills tailgate in late November at The Ralph. The Bills actually beat the Fins too, so that was one great weekend.
But, trust me, they usually lose whenever I'm in attendance.
At any rate, I don't have 200 bucks just lying around at the moment, so no one has to worry that I'll go through all that effort just to jinx the Sabres tomorrow. I can likely do it just as easily from my couch. No matter how impartial I'll want to be, there's not much that can prevent me from rooting for anyone playing the Caps since I live down here in Maryland, so the chips are just gonna have to fall where they may tomorrow evening.
That said, we should be in for a very good game. Both teams are peaking at the right time and almost surely have to treat this game as the most important game of the season to date (Buffalo, of course, has had to peak far longer than the Caps have had to since they crapped the bed in December and January). And I know I speak for everyone when I say I can't wait to see how well the Sabres shut down Ovechkin, and what the Caps do to contain ... Marcus Foligno.
For all intents and purposes, this game is win and in -- at least for the Caps, who still have to face the Bruins and Rangers but also draw the Canadiens, Lightning, and Panthers to round out the season. Even if Buffalo beats the Caps in regulation, I'm not sure they can hold the points -- remember, they hold no tiebreakers -- considering they still have to face the Penguins, Flyers, and Bruins. By the time Buffalo plays Toronto next Saturday and the following Tuesday, their fate may already be decided depending on how they fare tomorrow night and then Friday against Pittsburgh.
Buffalo's biggest challenge against the Caps very well may not even be Ovechkin but goalie Braden Holtby. OV hasn't been the same without Nicklas Backstrom, and Holtby's hot right now and wouldn't have been faulted if he gave up at least a couple goals yesterday during his shutout win over the Wild. The puck just seems to be hitting him, so the Sabres need to be sure to drive the net and keep bodies in front of him from the opening faceoff, or this one may not even be close.
As an aside, I figured I'd point out that Derek Roy has been playing extremely well the past half-dozen games or so. He actually looks like he gives a damn, which is paramount since, well, he usually doesn't.
And how random that we have two Codys on one team? We deserve a Cup for that alone.